Jada Pinkett Smith was mom shamed for allowing daughter Willow to shave her head
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Jada Pinkett Smith was “shamed” for allowing her daughter Willow to shave her head.
The 49-year-old actress has recalled being sent hateful messages online at several points in her motherhood journey, including when Willow Smith, now 19, shaved her hair following the release of her hugely successful single, ‘Whip My Hair’, when she was just 10 years old.
Talking to Willow during an episode of ‘Red Table Talk’, Jada said: “I have had my fair share of mom shaming. With Willow, I think the first time I got hardcore criticism, when you first cut your hair, there was a firestorm.”
But Jada - who has Willow, as well as 22-year-old son Jaden, with her husband Will Smith - chose not to listen to the critics, as she knew how “free” the haircut made Willow feel.
She added: “Looking at how my children were being affected, that’s what counts. When people are like, ‘I can’t believe you shaved Willow’s head,’ if they could have seen this child’s expression of freedom, looking at her hair falling to the ground.
“Me as a mum looking at that, experiencing that with her, there’s nothing anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong. Not one person, because I was there, I was looking at her, I saw her face, I knew the journey she and I took together to get to that point. It didn’t matter what anybody said.”
The ‘Girls Trip’ star was also shamed for deciding to homeschool her children, as well as for Jaden’s sense of style, which is often gender nonconforming.
She explained: “I would have gotten shamed for leaving you here and not being with you. They weren’t raised typically and I think, especially for our community, it was something new.
“I think as Jaden got older, when he did the Louis Vuitton thing, he’s wearing a skirt and then he isn’t what people consider your typical Black man, what’s that supposed to mean? It’s something we as a community need to learn to let go of. I know people felt like it’s dangerous, you are doing your kids a disservice. I knew that self confidence is what helped me to survive.”