Jada Pinkett Smith is telling critics that her 12-year-old daughter, Willow, can whip her hair back and forth or shave it all off if she wants to — not because her mother let her do it.
Smith writes on her Facebook page on Nov. 21, “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. 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 continues. “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.”
Willow’s dad, Will Smith, sounds like he’s on the same page as his wife when it comes to parenting.
“When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body?” the actor tells Parade in May. “If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world.”