Jada Pinkett Smith belatedly defends Willow’s decision to shave her head

I know it’s out of character for me, but I really do think Willow Smith and her parents have gotten a lot of unfair criticism. Willow, now 12 years old, wanted to have a music career, and her brother wanted to be an actor, so their parents helped them out. And Will and Jada have gotten a crazy amount of criticism for that, which seems unfair and… misdirected. I don’t have a major issue with Willow being a singer. My issue is that Will and Jada, with all of their wealth and resources, make their children’s education such a low priority. My issue is not that Jada and Will “let” Willow shave her head… when you’re 12 years old, you can shave your head and it’s no big deal. My issue is that Jada and Will seem to force or treat their kids like full-blown adults who don’t need any parental guidance, and I just think teenagers really need MORE guidance in general.

So Jada is still dealing with all of the criticisms today, even though those controversies are more than a year old. I guess someone posted a question to Jada on her Facebook page, something about why did Jada “let” her daughter shave her head. Once again, misdirected criticism. But here’s Jada’s response:

A letter to a friend…

This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.

The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.


[From Jada’s Facebook]

Yeah. The thing is that I agree with Jada about this one specific, narrow subject. Willow should feel as if she has ownership over her own body, etc, etc. So on that, I agree with Jada, although I think her “slavery” language is a bit overblown. My issue is still that Jada and Will seem to take an increasingly Scientologist-style when it comes to parenting. As in, children should be treated as little adults and they should do whatever they feel like doing and they should not be “parented”. There have long been rumors about Jada and Will’s involvement in the Church of Scientology, and at this point, I think they probably are full-blown CoS-bots.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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24 Responses to “Jada Pinkett Smith belatedly defends Willow’s decision to shave her head”

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  1. dahlianoir says:

    Congrats for not treating a girl the traditional way, not OK for selling your kids out for fame.

  2. Eleonor says:

    I wanted to have a pixie cut at 8 years old, I begged my mum a lot, til she let me did it. I don’t see the big deal.
    Yes they’re treating Willow like an adult, but aren’t they scientolgists?

    • thebutlerdidit says:

      Yes!!! Drives me crazy when people don’t understand Suri in heels and lipstick, or the Smith kids having “careers” as preteens. You can’t apply what most of the regular world considers normal to Co$ kids. They are taught to think, act, and be treated as equals to adults. That changes everything.

  3. Mimi says:

    Jada’s cheek implants are what’s really overblown here.

  4. Mayday says:

    She’s right.

    What would be better? That she encourage her to dislikie her own her (like most young black girls are raised) and be encouraged to sew/glue long white woman hair to her head?

    I don’t think she’s trying to “treat her like an adult”. I think she’s trying to treat her like a human being.

    Clothing etc I can understand that parents should have restrictions – especially for young girls – but jesus she shaved her head, it’s not that big a deal.

    PS willow is annoying

  5. PrettyTarheel says:

    I really liked Will’s response as well. I think letting your child control some aspects of their appearance at that age is acceptable. How else will she learn that it’s HER body, HER life, HER choices, and she is responsible for them?

  6. dorothy says:

    Although I agree, they are Scientologist’s and believe that children are little adults. That, I don’t agree with.

  7. RN says:

    Willow Smith is not 14 years old. She turned 12 just last month.

  8. KellyinSeattle says:

    Big deal, so she shaved her head. As a mom, I don’t think I’d freak either. Unless I was Britney Spears’ mom….

  9. the original bellaluna says:

    She looks like her daddy! :D As far as the hair thing, there’s so many more important things to worry about with pre-teens/teens.

    It’s like potty-training: don’t make using the potty a control issue; give the child control over other things, like what to have for breakfast, or what kind of sandwich for lunch, or what outfit he/she wants to wear.

  10. neelyo says:

    I’d rather hear Jada defend her own decision to shave off the bottom half of her face.

  11. roxy750 says:

    They are kids and cannot rule the roost, it’s for their own benefit. You can let them be individuals but I do agree kids should focus on education, learning, listening to mom/dad and just being a kid. These kids were really thrown into the spotlight, they do have super famous parents after all. They should be taught to be selfless and humble, instead they are way too into themselves at such an early age. Just my opinion–hope they turn out okay when they grow up and be happy and successful adults.

  12. Veruca says:

    Jaden’s ‘cool’ look is going to give him wrinkles the size of the Grand Canyon by the time he’s 30.

    *thinks of future botoxed Jaden. shudders*

    I agree with the above post regarding the lack of education and certain disciplines, as well as the hypocrisy of Jada’s statements. I don’t think it’s helping the children. Jaden seems like a smug brat, and Willow seems lonely. It’s sad, because they really are cute and talented kids.

  13. Fue McCormick says:

    I stopped reading Jada’s FB response after the first sentence. She bores the hell out of me. She’s so irrelevant …

  14. Chrissie Malcolm says:

    How can you defend the indefensible? A 12-year old should not be making this kind of decision themselves. Where is the parental control and supervision?

  15. DanaG says:

    I think it’s the lack of any parental control and the fact these kids never seem to be in school. Jada should know education is the most important thing not a 12 year old shaving her head and going to starbucks. I don’t like the way the PR and Willow are trying to make her out to be some sort of fashionista she isn’t she is a twelve year old girl who has no style yet of her own. As for the talent bit I don’t think Willow has a great voice she has parents with lots of money who can afford the great studio and music videos to push her. She wouldn’t even be heard off if she didn’t have famous parents she isn’t that good. Willow needs to be a kid now or we will have yet another celeb complaining of a lost childhood. Sometime a parent has to say no something neither Jada or Will ever seem to do. I actually thought they were scientologists in which case the kids are probably home schooled and do whatever they want. Look at Tom Cruises kids neither have a great education and neither are actually qualified to do anything or seem to be trying to be. Connor is a dj and that is once again only because his last name is Cruise not because he has any particular talent. What happened to going to college or drama school or even finishing school?

  16. Mita says:

    I understand its her body and how Will and Jada support her. But its still kinda creepy for her to have that much freedom, what if she comes to her mom and says “Mom its my body and i choose to loose my virginity today” Jada is going to support her? Theres a time to draw the line. One day Willow is going to regret that she didnt have guidance, everyone needs guidance every once in a while.

  17. Laura says:

    I can appreciate what she says about giving Willow ownership of herself. When I was growing up, as soon as I knew what sex was (age 6), my parents informed me that I was going to be a virgin until I married. Period, end of story. Now, I do believe my parents honestly believed that they were doing the best thing for me, but looking back it seems creepy that they were making that decision for me (and less than 10 years later, I made liars out of them…lol!).