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Jaden Smith on Gender Norms: ‘People Don’t Really Get It’

Photo by Terry Tsiolis

Photo by Terry Tsiolis

Actor/entertainer Jaden Smith has become famous for his ideas and bold creative stances on entertainment, fashion and life. In a new front page interview and profile with British GQ, Smith says he doesn’t see men’s or women’s clothing — which inadvertently sent shock waves through the Internet this week.

Smith said in the interview:

“I feel like people are kind of confused about gender norms. I feel like people don’t really get it. I’m not saying that I get it, I’m just saying that I’ve never seen any distinction. I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes, I just see scared people and comfortable people.”

Recently, Smith became the first male face of Louis Vuitton’s women’s wear campaign, which did not go over well with most people. His liberal gender-identity politics has been subjected to numerous think pieces and discussed among media critics.

The first photo of Smith in a dress made him the subject of homophobic accusations — though he’s been known to keep female companions. In fact, Smith frequently wears dresses because he believes clothes should not have genders.

He has swiftly become a fashion icon in the making because of this boldness. The reasons for his rise could range from sinister attempts at Black male emasculation to companies valuing uniqueness. (It is very possible to believe both ideas.)

His “strangeness,” as some would call it, has made him distinctive and unique in an industry that does not value diversity in various forms.

His parents, actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, have come under fire for the way they’ve raised their children. Many take offense to their attention-grabbing eccentric tastes and “outlandish” comments.

The 17-year-old Jaden and 15-year-old Willow have drawn criticism from their tweets and interviews as well from media members like New York Post columnist Kyle Smith.

In a March 10 column, Kyle Smith calls Jaden and Willow “nuclear narcissists.” He goes on to write that “the elder Smiths may have boycotted the Oscars because they weren’t nominated, but they boycotted parenting because they couldn’t be bothered to raise kids with any grounding in reality.” He also attacked their personas online and their intelligence. Kyle Smith insists that Will and Jada should be ashamed of their children.

The irony of Kyle Smith’s criticism is that Willow and Jaden are far from Hollywood’s worst child stars.

They are not in and out of rehab, and they are not in and out of court like Robert Downey Jr.’s son Indio, who has a history of arrests and has a cocaine problem. Willow and Jaden may say weird things on Twitter or wear strange clothes, but they have never had issues with the law.

Jaden Smith’s front page profile hits stands and digital today.

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