Willow, 19, shared her sentiments with her mother Jada Pinkett Smith during the latest episode of their online show, “Red Table Talk,” about feeling like outcasts during their prepubescent years — even when they hung with relatives.
“Specifically with the African American community, I kind of felt like me and Jaden were shunned a little bit, like, ‘We’re not gonna take pride in them because they’re too different,’ ” Willow said. “Even some of our family members, I would feel they thought, ‘You’re too different.'”
The Smiths and Adrienne Banfield-Jones, 67, broached the topic during an episode titled “Mom-Shaming: The New Epidemic” during the popular Facebook Watch show. Pinkett Smith, 49, said she felt a fierce backlash when Jaden, 22, famously sported a skirt for Louis Vuitton’s 2016 womenswear campaign.
“When he was wearing a skirt, then he isn’t what people consider your ‘typical Black man,'” Pinkett Smith said.
Pinkett Smith said that experience, however, paled in comparison to the mom-shaming that popped off when Willow decided to shave off all her hair at age 11. Pinkett Smith said that even though the backlash was painful, it didn’t come close to the happiness she felt at seeing her daughter mentally free herself.
“If they could have seen [Willow’s] expression of freedom looking at her hair falling to the ground … me as a mom, looking at that, experiencing that with her, there is nothing that anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong. Not one person, because I was there,” Pinkett Smith said.
“I was looking at her. I saw her face. I knew the journey that she and I took together to get to that point, and so it didn’t really matter what anybody said.”
Flip the page to view a portion of the new episode of “Red Table Talk.”