On the Wednesday, April 28, episode of “Red Table Talk,” Willow Smith had her time to shine on the topic of polyamorous relationships. To practice polyamory is to be in romantic relationships with multiple people. While Willow explained that she not only knows about polyamory but practices it, her grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, on the other hand, did not quite understand it.
Willow, who is typically vocal on the Facebook show, was even more outspoken for this particular episode. She started, “With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do. So I was like, how can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind. Doing research into polyamory, the reasons why monogamous relationships, why marriage, why divorces happen, is infidelity.”
But Banfield-Norris expressed she felt that polyamorous relationships are “all centered around sex.” To try to help her understand that it’s not necessarily the case for all non-monogamous relationships, Willow said, “I was introduced to it through a non-sexual lens. In my friend group, I’m the only polyamorous person and I have the least sex out of my friends.”
Willow’s mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, who seemed to play the middle man in the conversation, offered her take on monogamy. “When you have those monogamous boundaries your actually forced to have to address your issues with your spouse.” She added that “most people are practicing monogamy because they feel like they have no other choice. We all know most people out here doing unethical, non-monogamy any damn way.” For comedic relief, Banfield-Norris — also known as Gam — said, “That’s called cheating, y’all!”
Still confused, she later said, “I guess I’m not really clear on what it offers you.” To which Willow tried to explain by asking her grandmother, “Could you imagine being in a group and loving everyone equally, whether it’s platonic or not.” After Gam answered no twice, the 20-year-old responded, “Wow, then, I don’t know what to say.”
Even when the hosts brought their guests out who were in polyamorous relationships, Banfield-Norris still admitted that she was “confused” and that she was “struggling.” She emphasized her perspective by telling the guests and her co-hosts that “You all are putting too much on the negative side of monogamy, as if now monogamy is not right. We don’t want to put that out there either.”
But after hearing a multitude of other people’s stories on the show, Gam had a breakthrough and realized that her ability to understand polyamory was insignificant. “That’s fact; it’s not important for me to understand. It’s important I’m able to listen without judgment and let you do your thing,” she said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with me. It’s not for us to decide for you how you should live your life,” she added.
Willow’s last statement was, “I just want to say I feel so excited and seen because I’ve been studying polyamory for a really long time and I just want to show that there’s so much here to be mined and uncovered.” Jada agreed that the conversation was “a beautiful uncovering.”