Jada Pinkett Smith’s open Facebook reply to Willow Smith’s ever changing hair and the public response it receives last week wins her all the cool mom high fives.
Jada Pinkett Smith herself is not a slave to the long hair and short dress female ideal foisted upon us by (not going to say the patriarchy, not going to say the patriarchy) the media, and Willow Smith has always managed to look like her own woman despite being fairly young.
And non-famous moms may look at Jada Pinkett Smith and daughter Willow and think that it must be cool to be rich and famous and be able to let your kid have pink hair as she whips it back and forth — but the star mom’s Facebook note turns the whole “kids should be picture perfect” nonsense on its head.
Jada also rightly points out how the media critique of Willow, and Jada’s “allowance” of her daughter’s agency, is at its core sexist and reinforces the idea that females are community property, eventually here mainly for men to look upon and admire.
In her note, Pinkett Smith explains:
“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.”
The actress continues, pointing out that long hair is still deemed the ideal for women, regardless of their feelings about their own hair:
“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.”
She concludes in a fashion that should make us all reconsider what messages we send our girls when it comes to how they choose to dress:
“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.”
Do you find Jada Pinkett Smith’s words to be a powerful critique of expectations pushed on young girls even before they hit double digits?