Willow Smith: “A Lot of Adolescent Girls Struggle With Self-Harm”
Willow Smith, the talented daughter of rapper Will Smith and actress Jada Pinkett-Smith released her first single, ‘Whip My Hair’, when she was 10-years-old and it instantly became a hit. All of this thrust her even more into the spotlight than she alreasdy was, followed by concert tours, interviews and more at such a young age.
Speaking on Red Table Talk with her mother, she spoke about how the pressures of fame at such a young age pushed her to extremes.
“It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and I had just stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of just in this grey area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything I can do besides this?’,” she said.
Willow continued: “After the tour and the promotion and all of that, they wanted me to finish my album. And I was like, I’m not gonna do that. And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull.”Explaining why she turned to self-harm, she said: “I honestly felt like I was experiencing so much emotional pain but my physical circumstances weren’t reflecting that. A lot of adolescent girls struggle with self-harm.”
Willow added that she didn’t tell her family about what she was going through, and that only one of her friends knew that she was self-harming.
“I never talk about it because it was such a short, weird point in my life. But you have to pull yourself out of it,” she said.
“One night I was like, ‘This is actually psychotic’. And I just stopped.”
Willow made headlines when she spoke out about how she struggled with the attention of fame during adolescence. Television and print were enough back in the day, but now with social media and blogs, your could be talked about 24/7.
“I’m going to be completely and utterly honest, it’s absolutely terrible,” she said.“Growing up and trying to figure out your life… while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible— and the only way to get over it, is to go into it.”
She continued: “You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things. So I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche.”
When Smith was 15, another epiphany happened: she was invited by French fashion house Chanel to be one of their ambassadors. It’s an important role and it’s one that Smith took seriously because, even back then, she understood…