Will Smith’s daughter, who shot to stardom with her ‘Whip My Hair’ single, explains that she made the drastic change to her appearance as a sign of her protest.
Pop star Willow Smith shaved her head at the start of her career as a way to protest conventional beauty standards.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter made her acting debut at the age of seven, opposite her dad in “I Am Legend”, and just a few years later rose to superstardom with her hit song “Whip My Hair”.
But Smith, now 18, found life in the spotlight difficult to cope with and decided to drastically alter her appearance as a way to establish her independence.
“I was just over it,” she tells InStyle. “The truth of the song is, ‘Do want you want!’ It doesn’t actually have to do with hair. Whip your hair is just a symbol for doing whatever you want. So, in a way, I feel like it wasn’t even a rebellion because the song was saying that, and I was doing whatever I wanted and just being wild.”
“But obviously, it was a rebellion to people who thought it meant something different. I was just over it; I was literally so done and said, ‘I’m going to show people that I’m not attached to this.’ ”
Smith notes that being a woman of colour, who prefers to show off her natural hair, has made her a rarity in Hollywood.
“I look different than most girls who are featured in editorial magazines and fashion and all of that,” she tells the publication. “So I feel all of that, just being a young black woman with natural hair. Those things are a rebellion in themselves.”
Smith also uses fashion as a way to go against the norm, opting to wear gender fluid pieces on the red carpet rather than items designed solely for women.
“Both me and my brother (Jaden Smith) are very expressive with our clothes,” she shares. “I feel like, more than anything, it’s taking the taboo off of exploring different parts of yourself – that’s what it’s really about. It comes into fighting those gender norms and everything, but I feel like it starts as just a desire to explore different parts of yourself through clothes, through music, and through art. That’s just really the seed of what it is.”
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