Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter is no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to her social media postings.
She made headlines in the past for images of what appeared to be a tongue ring and again after a photo of her lying on a bed next to a shirtless Moises Arias hit the web.
Moises was 20 at the time while Willow was 13.
Now the young fashionista is 14 and creating quite the stir thanks to a designer t-shirt that had many thinking the teen went topless.
The fitted top does feature the nude figure of a woman, but it is more than evident that it isn’t actually Willow’s body.
Either way, some people still had much to say about the Smiths’ decision to let their young daughter rock the vintage Jean Paul Gaultier design.
The backlash may have also been enough to pressure Willow into snatching the photo down as it has since been removed from her account. But it is still live on a Willow Smith fan page account.
Neither she nor her famous parents have publicly commented on the matter.
Either way, it certainly seems like a lot of fuss to make over a t-shirt, especially considering Willow’s noted love for high-end fashion.
From the moment she chopped off her hair in exchange for a colorful short haircut, it was clear that Willow was a fashion-forward youngster.
With that being said, the high-end vintage top seems much closer to a form of artistic expression and less like a rebellious attempt to fool the world into thinking she was the latest member of the #FreeTheNipple campaign that has been sweeping Instagram.
So for the same reason people defended a topless teenage Kendall Jenner on the runway or fail to even think twice about teenage actresses going topless for films, a faux topless vintage shirt on a 14-year-old fashion-savvy starlet really shouldn’t cause such a massive amount of fuss or accusations of bad parenting.
In fact, some studies would suggest that the Smiths aren’t the awful parents that social media users and mainstream media critics paint them to be.
A study published in the 2009 journal Child Development found that teens actually interpreted high levels of control as “intrusive” and ultimately felt like they mattered less as individuals because of it.
That’s precisely what Will and Jada say they want to avoid with their children.
Back in 2013, Will told Haute Living that he abhors the concept of ownership over children and instead respects his kids the same way he would respect anyone else.
“We respect our children the way we would respect any other person,” he said.
In another interview he added that many parents view their children as “property” and that’s the last thing he wanted his children to feel like.
As for accusations that it’s irresponsible for the celebrity parents to let their daughter engage in what some people consider sexual behavior, Jada says people are simply projecting their own dirty thoughts on her daughter’s innocent actions.
“Here’s the deal,” the 42-year-old Gotham actress told TMZ cameras last year after Willow’s picture with Arias sparked controversy. “There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation. You guys are projecting your trash onto it. You’re acting like covert pedophiles and that’s not cool.”
She eventually told another publication that her message to the media is simple: “Just don’t pollute something that’s not dirty.”
And even if there was some sort of sexually driven urge behind the faux topless shirt, yet another study would back the Smith’s decision to let Willow explore such a fashion statement.
A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teens were actually far more likely to engage in sexual behaviors at an earlier age when their parents engaged in “negative and psychologically controlling behaviors” in an attempt to avoid exposing their child to sex.