Willow Smith says she, Jaden felt ‘shunned’ by Black community
'Even some of our family members, I would feel they thought, 'You're too different.'
As the offspring of Hollywood royalty, Willow Smith and her brother Jaden Smith rock to a different beat, which has stirred up controversy and criticism over their self-expression.
By the time she was a teenager, Willow was a rock star thanks to her 2010 hit single “Whip My Hair.” The song went platinum and topped the U.S. charts at number 11. At age 15, Jaden was allowed to move into his own home as part of his journey toward independence.
Their superstar parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, have caught plenty of heat over their parenting style. Willow says the fiercest backlash she and her eccentric sibling have received has come from the Black community, ABC News reports.
“With the African American community, I kind of felt like me and Jaden were shunned a little bit,” she said Tuesday on her mother’s Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk.
The 19-year-old singer admitted to Jada and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris that she felt the Black community refused to “take pride” in her and Jaden because they’re “too weird.”
“Even some of our family members, I would feel they thought, ‘You’re too different,’” she said in the episode.
Jada shared that she has been mom-shamed over the freedom she and Will allow their children to to have.
“It’s something that we as a community really have to learn how to let go of,” Jada explained. “I know that people felt like: ‘It’s dangerous. You cannot afford to raise your children this way because it’s dangerous. You know what it’s like to be a Black or brown person in this world. You are doing your kids a disservice.'”
Meanwhile, Willow recently penned a personal essay for Vogue in which she unpacks her relationship with social media amid the COVID crisis.
“When you’re forced to be with your thoughts, be by yourself, it can be scary and uncomfortable. I feel that every day. But I also feel the need to ask myself, ‘Why am I so uncomfortable?’ ‘Where are these thoughts coming from?’ ‘Why can’t I just sit by myself and feel at peace and at home?’ It’s been about digging into those questions in a way that we wouldn’t get to do, if it weren’t for the time we’ve had to reflect this year,” she wrote.
Adding, “If we’re given the opportunity to hang out with friends or go to a party, most people would rather do that than take time to sit and hash out those demons and insecure feelings. I feel like a lot of people, including myself, have been given that opportunity during quarantine.”
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