By Editor, January 24th, 2018
Willow Smith is all grown and Gorgeous
The world was always going to know who Willow Smith was because her famous parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith left her no choice in that matter. But rather than ride on the coattails of her parents’ fame, Willow wanted to create her own path, even from as young as 10 years old when she released her first single, “Whip My Hair.”
She has continued to pursue her musical aspirations since then, but it’s not just her repertoire that has grown. Here are the ways Smith has transformed from a Hollywood child to a talented and beautiful young woman.
She hated growing up in the spotlight
Growing up with famous parents was not something Smith wanted, nor was it something that she found easy. She shared her thoughts on the topic in an interview with Girl Gaze (via People magazine).
“Growing up and trying to figure out your life… while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible — and the only way to get over it, is to go into it,” she said.
She also feels as though this toxic environment can take its toll on mental health, saying, “I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche.”
She feels the world needs to be more open-minded
The idea that girls should like pink and boys should like blue is outdated, and Smith chose to remind everyone of this in an interview with Refinery29. She said, “I’m a black female in the 21st century. My favorite color isn’t pink; it’s black.”
That’s not the only thing that she feels sets her apart from the norm, and her open-minded approach on this topic is refreshing. She said, “I’m not obsessed with getting married or having kids. Gender norms put people in boxes and don’t allow them to really get to their full potential as a human being. Slowly but surely, dudes are starting to wear nail polish and become more in tune with their feelings. Change is happening, and it’s very exciting.”
She’s empowering other young women
Whether she asked for it or not, Smith’s parents’ fame gave her a platform and she could either ignore it or embrace it. She chose to do the latter and has been using her voice and image as a powerful tool to inspire young women.
When Smith was 15, she was invited by French fashion house Chanel to be one of their ambassadors. It’s an important role and it’s one that Smith takes seriously because, even then, she understood that “It’s not every day that a 15-year-old black girl with dreads gets elected to be the Chanel ambassador.” She made these comments in an interview with The Telegraph and told the publication she realizes the importance of being a role model for those who are not represented by the media.
“I know a lot of girls that look like me feel that they’re not beautiful and feel like they don’t have a place in the media or a place in the world,” she said. “I want them to know that’s not true, and if you’re confident and you love yourself then everything you see, your perception, will start to change and you’ll see things differently. I want to show those girls that might not think they’re beautiful but they are.”
She sees human beings in a new way
I don’t know what your average 17-year-old is like in 2018, but I do know that there is nothing average about Smith because she has a unique approach to the world. She made this clear in an interview with The Fader.
“I’ve just been doing so much growing up, I’m really just becoming a woman. Damn. I’m really a woman,” she said. “Seeing how my thought processes have changed over the years and how my observations get keener. Everything is getting more clear but also I’m starting to see the spectrum of life in such a new way. It’s so grey and uncomfortable and joyous. It’s the first time I’m seeing life and experiencing relating to human beings in a completely different way.”
She has an interesting view on love and relationships
Smith thinks a lot about love and relationships and her approach to love is interesting as it’s based on the ability to give your partner complete and utter freedom.
She shared these views with The Fader, telling the publication that to attempt to define something is a mistake. She said, “You say you love this person but then you’re doing all of these things that inhibit their freedom because of your insecurities. That’s not only in romantic love, that’s in friendships and everything. I just realized that the actions that I was taking weren’t reflective of what I’m saying. I saw that in myself and others, and as much as we want to hold on to these people, love and relationships you have to enjoy and release.”
Smith went on to explain how holding on too tightly can harm relationships. She said, “Let things go where they need to go. Don’t hold on because when you hold on you kill love. As soon as you say, ‘This is mine,’ or ‘This is my boyfriend’ or ‘This is my girlfriend,’ you’ve massacred your real relationships.”
How can someone so young can be so wise beyond their years?!
She’s all about girl power
When Smith turned up for an interview with Teen Vogue she did so wearing a cropped t-shirt with the statement, “Never underestimate the power of a woman.” And truer words have never been written, at least in the opinion of Smith, who is passionate about women supporting each other.
What made her shoot for the publication special is that it was a first for Smith: the first time that she had been photographed by a female photographer. Upon meeting photographer Emma Summerton, the publication notes how Smith reacted with excitement and stated, “This is so cool. I’ve never been shot by a woman before — not for anything this major! There is such a need for more female photographers, physicists, astronauts, doctors….”
She’s faced difficulties being in Generation Z
Don’t confuse Smith for a Millennial, because she is from Generation Z. This is the generation who were born post-1995, and according to Huffington Post, they make up 25.9 percent of the United States population.
If you have ever wondered what it was like to be part of this generation, Smith has the answers, and according to her, it has its downsides.
She described herself and the other post-Millennials as being “anxious” in an interview with Girl Gaze (via Entertainment Tonight). Some may think this anxiety is linked to a technological obsession, but Smith notes that it’s not quite as simple as that. She said, “It’s not just the phones. The phones are just a tool. The phones just heighten what was already happening.”
She cares about others
Smith may have the privileges that most don’t, but that doesn’t mean she’s closed off to the hardships of the world. The singer and her family did their bit to help ease the suffering of others when they handed over items from their wardrobe to The RealReal, with all proceeds donated to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
According to E! News, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, along with their children Jaden and Willow, had their clothing sold on The RealReal’s website — all these items now appear to have been sold. As for what was on sale? Smith’s contribution reportedly ranged from bomber jackets to sneakers, with pieces including her Adidas x Rita Ora Lightweight Hooded Jacket, and her Opening Ceremony Wool Varsity Jacket.
Music helped her to discover self-love
Smith’s last name ensured that she would never be a starving artist, but she has tried to remain true to herself with the direction she has taken her music. Her second album, The 1st, focuses on self-love and music has helped to give her clarity with regards to this idea.
Smith explained to Rolling Stone that if someone devotes hours to their art, they are left with a sense of accomplishment or competency upon its completion. For her, this competence results in confidence, and as Smith states, “It’s a cycle of tracking the progression of your competence and the growth of confidence. Each time the kinds of experiences are the same but the feelings are different. Like for each song you go through, ‘OK, I’m learning this. I’m learning this a bit more. Now, I get this.’ You start to become friends with the process.”
She doesn’t want to be in the public eye forever
We’ve already established that living in the public eye has its challenges, and Smith has revealed just how much she longs to escape it. She has big plans for her future and they don’t involve being famous.
Pharrell Williams chatted to Smith and her brother Jaden for Interview magazine in 2016, and when asked where they see themselves in ten years, Jaden responded with “gone,” a thought Willow echoed. She explained, “I feel that. I see myself in the mountains somewhere in a tent cooking a squirrel.”
After going back and forth with her brother about eating squirrel (because Jaden was shocked), Smith revealed that living away from the city life and becoming at home in nature is something her heart desires. She said, “I want to retreat back to living off the land and just being in nature, experiencing life in the most pure, natural way possible.”
She wants to hone in on her creativity in the future
Smith’s long-term goal may be to become self-sufficient and live away from civilization but there’s a more immediate ambition which she wants to achieve first: exploring her understanding of music.
“I want to rocket my knowledge and intelligence about specifically the science of music,” Smith told Rolling Stone in a 2017 interview. “The art of creating music is one thing, but the science of it is a completely different world that I want to become more comfortable with. I’m such a right-brained person that coming at me with logic rooted in creativity takes time for me to get comfortable with that and understand the logistics of my creativity.”
Courtesy, The List.