Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Um, Hello! Is Willow 'Getting The Party Started' Too Soon?

You read the title and so you already have a perception in your mind of what this post will be about, right?  You are probably thinking that I am about to go 'in' on Willow.  Or, you are probably wanting to tell me, "leave that child alone, she's cute!"  Possibly, you may be one of the people that will agree with what I am about to say. 

As a mother of an eight year old, trendy, beautiful, intelligent and talented girl, I'm exposed to the tween and teen shows, music, fashion trends and such.  I'm also exposed, of course, to Willow Smith as my daughter Janae loves her!  Being exposed to the things that she is exposed to allows me to know what I don't want her to watch/listen to, while also getting a feel of what media today is filtering to our 'impressionable' children.

Now, before I proceed further, I want to preface the remaining part of this blog by saying that I like love Willow Smith.  She is cute, trendy and making a name for herself.  In fact, the enter Smith household is talented.  However, is she doing too much, with regards to her style, for her age?  (psst, she's 11 years old)

I won't sit here and bash her, Will or Jada; however, as a parent of a child that watches and may look up to her, I'm just curious as to what the conversations are like among Willow and her parents.  Some people get defensive when you talk about kids and/or parenting techniques/skills.  However, that doesn't and won't stop me from having my thoughts about Willow.  Do they (her parents and maybe others) feel as though she's a 'celebrity,' and can do (or wear) whatever she wants?  Are boundaries set on how far she can go?  Have they considered the perception she is giving everyone?  Is she turning into a mini-Nicki Minaj as far as style and over-the-top-ness goes? <---I made that word up.

Let's take a look at Willow's trendy journey...

First, she had some long braids...
and then she shaved the hair on each side of her head.  



She's worn color in her hair and wore an array of styles (both hair and fashion).  
 
 
 
After that, she went and rocked out with a TWA (naturals were cheering her on, meanwhile, my daughter said: Now, how will she whip her hair back and forth?!?).  #giggling
 
Present day, she's rocking a low cut... dyed blonde!

Although again, I love this little 'Fireball' and I buy her music and videos for my daughter to listen and watch on her iPod Touch, I wonder if what she is doing is too much.  Yes, my daughter is intelligent and cognizant of what is and is not acceptable in our household; however, I as a parent will have to continue to reinforce and reiterate certain things to her.  She's already asked about dying her hair in the future and seeing Willow's hair dyed may not help with her desire to get it.  

I am all for children expressing themselves, within reasonable limits, and showing their personality.  However, certain things, in my humble opinion, may not necessarily be for a child at Willow's age.

This by far is no boycott or ban of the Smith's, this is more of a 'Yes, she's cute and all, but still monitor your child(ren)s intake of it all."  As impressionable as kids can be, we still need to ensure that we are letting them know that what one parent or household allows, may not be what you and your household will allow.  There's like a catch 22 when it comes to being a celebrity.  They want to be themselves and show their personality; however, they risk losing fans by showing too much.  You want them to be who they are; however, you also want them to know who's watching and looks up to them (cough, CB)...  As a parent, I urge you to continue to watch who your child watches and have that open dialogue with them.  Let them know that everything they see and hear will not always be what they can say and do!

As for Willow's style, I admit, I love it, for someone older though... I just feel that kids should be kids... I don't want any of them growing up 'too fast.'

Bonus pic: this is said to be Willow's "real hair" (as per a website I was reading).
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~Keep it Kinky~

11 comments:

  1. I think to each their own when it comes to how other people raise their children. So just like you say that you think she's too young for her trendy hairstyles and wardrobe, I think an 8 year old is too young to have an ipod touch. *shrugs*. I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with little Willow and her sense of style. I think it's beautiful that she has such a profound style at such a young age. Many adults don't even know what their style is, or have yet to even experience different things. I don't think it's too much at all. Society is a really messed up place. You want children to have their own sense of personality and you want them to be their own person, and when they do it's too much..Just my few cents tho..

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    1. Thanks for sharing and I agree, some adults, including myself, may not have the edge and style she possesses. I understand regarding the iPod Touch and I agree that some kids are too young to have certain things (hence why she does not have an actual iPad). Like you said, to each their own. Based on what I've seen, there's some mixed emotions about it all.

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  2. I don't think there is a problem with how the Smiths are raising Willow, based on what I see. I believe that her appearance does not dictate the person she is, just as natural hair does not determine a person's competence on a job. Their most important job as parents is to listen to what she says, help her to make responsible decisions, and keep her safe. With that being said, I agree that 11 year olds need boundaries and that by getting to know your children, parents will be able to determine just where those boundaries end. Continue to raise your daughter to be a beautiful woman with an independent mind and use those boundaries to help her get there. We need more young girls like her and Willow!

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate it and I sure will!

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  3. Despite the fact that it is up to the parent/guardians to raise their children in which ways they choose, I think maybe she should tone down just a bit. She is a young girl who has influence over her audience and some of the video's I have seen of not only hers but other young girls in the music industry is a little edgy. Although they may be "covered" with what ever outfits they are wearing, even the style of their hair, may be died a different color, sometimes, i repeat sometimes letting a child express themselves a little too much can be a bad thing.

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  4. I have a 9yr old daughter and she has had VIBRANT colors in her hair since she was 6yrs old, and she has MULTIPLE piercings as well. WHY? Because she IS a child. When she is a surgeon or whatever science profession she chooses she will have to "fit in" and conform to that professional/business look. In MY opinion it should be EXPECTED for a child to wear out of the ordinary things because when they grow up...they have to tone things down for work, school, etc...
    It is ALL up to the parents and how they see things. I see things differently than most.

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    1. Yes, totally up to the parents Vickie. While one may not agree with what you do, another may. To each their own... thanks for sharing!!

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  5. Whoa. I think you spent WAY to much time researching an 11 year old's different haircuts. Maybe you shouldn't put so much emphasis on how people SHOULD look. If she starts prancing around in a thong or doing sexually explicit things I could see your concern. This just seems to be a shallow concern of yours that your daughter may start to like a style you don't approve of or you would be embarrassed of. Point being, wether you are or not, this blog presents you as a completely shallow minded individual with petty concerns, just FYI. You should probably be a little more concerned with the political crisis' going on around the world and in the US, I think that holds a lot more of a grasp on your daughter's future than Willow Smith's timeline of hair do's..... lol .... Jesus.

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    1. Well, given the fact that you have no idea of what my concerns are, be it the political crisis or not, I don't think you have the capability, or authority, to tell me what I should or should not be concerned with. It's fine if your opinion is that it is a shallow concern of mine as I appreciate all feedback and constructive criticism within a respectful approach. Perhaps you should have read this post with then open mind that you suggest that I should have. If you re-read, you will see that I asked a bunch of thought provoking questions, soliciting conversation, not judgment. I noted very little opinion but then again your PERCEPTION is that of something else. My blog presents me as completely shallow minded, with petty concerns? Great opinion but horrible perception Nat! However, to each their own! Thanks for reading my blog, mainly about hair and hair topics,... and commenting! Stay blessed!

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  6. Allowing a child to express themselves is a key way to making them truly open minded, teaching them that it is ok for people to be different. The only harm in this is the children of parents who do not teach the same values and teach close minded judgmental behavior. So yes you are risking the chance your young child face criticism for their creativity which he or she may not handle well, in which case they will probably no longer want to dress/look/act that way. However if the child is not phased by the adversity (so long as they are not, as I stated in the previous comment, dressing/behaving very sexually at an age they do not understand the true implications of such behavior) than it will do nothing but make them a more confident and happy person being their true selves and not having anyone tell them that's wrong. Basically the only problem is the cookie cutter appearance that is expected, that does not only apply to weight and race. There is no bible handed down saying a style or haircut people should have. Boys have short hair if a girl has the courage to rock short hair than GOOD FOR HER!! What would you tell your daughter if she wanted to shave her head? "No you will look ugly or undesirable if you do that" That doesn't sound very good either.

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    1. Well, as for my parenting, I don't teach close minded, judgmental behavior at home. I'm not a Stepford mother. I let her pick out her own clothes, decide on her hair styles, even on meals. We are all individuals and have the ability to raise our children as we see fit, as well as allow them to do what we feel as though their limits should be. I'm very open with my daughter, as well as honest, about LIFE period. The good, the bad, the ugly.

      Yes, there is no Bible or cookie cutter approach that necessarily has to be followed, and this post, like others on the web, is something that will either be openly accepted, or shunned, as it appears to have been in your case.

      And to answer your question, that you in part already may have a preconceived answer for, I would say to my daughter that if she's wants to cut her hair short, that's HER choice. I will let her know the pros/cons and left her make that decision. Funny, we've actually already had conversations about cutting, relaxing, coloring, braiding, etc.

      But again Nat, thanks for your opinion and comment

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