RAISING kids is never easy – even if you’re rich and famous. In the latest edition of Jay-Z’s Footnotes from his album, award-winning actor WILL SMITH is one of many fathers who recounts the moment that made him relook at how he was raising his kids. We can always count on papa Will and wife JADA PINKETT SMITH for sound advice. As the parents of three children who march to the beat of their own drums, both have often shared how they approach parenting while encouraging individuality. In 2012 WILLOW SMITH was 11 and enjoying massive success with her hit track Whip My Hair when she shaved her head. At the time, many questioned why the Smiths would allow her to make such a drastic change at her age.
Willow was in the middle of the Whip My Hair tour, and had repeatedly told her father she wanted to go home, while he encouraged her to continue. Then one night, the actor recalls, “We came downstairs and she’d shaved her head bald. She shaved her head bald in the middle of her Whip My Hair tour.”
Then he realised, he says, that he hadn’t been paying attention “to what was going on emotionally with this beautiful little creature in front of me”.
At the time, Jada shared a Facebook post on why she and Will believed letting Willow be in command of her own body was so vital. “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.”
‘This is a world where women [and] girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves’ JADA PINKETT SMITH
When Willow shaved her hair in 2012 dad Will knew something was up