Willow Smith and her family have been more transparent over the years about their struggles with mental health.
The singer recently opened up about her mental health to The Independent and explained how her battle with anxiety was ignored when she was around 9 years old. Smith’s 2010 single “Whip My Hair” was becoming a hit and got so popular on the airwaves that she was signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and she was doing performances and touring.
Smith revealed that while on tour she made the decision that she did not want to tour anymore, but her father, Will Smith, told her she needed to because she had committed to doing it. Recalling the incident, she said, “That was crazy. I was brainwashed into thinking, ‘No, you’re being a brat, suck it up.’ Then I grew up, and I realized it was something that needed to be dealt with.”
After realizing her father wasn’t prioritizing her feelings, one day the “Transparency” singer came to him with her hair completely shaved off, and that is when he began to understand. The “I Am Legend” actor spoke about the incident multiple times, once being in 2017 on Jay-Z’s “Footnotes of Adnis.”
He said, “We came downstairs and she had shaved her head bald. She shaved her head bald in the middle of her ‘Whip My Hair’ tour. I was like, ‘Oh, sh-t. I’m looking at that girl and I’m like, ‘Got it. I understand. You will not have this trouble out of me ever again. Let’s go, baby. We can go.’”
Last year in November, the father of three spoke at his “Will Smith: An Evening of Stories with Friends” event about how the moment helped him change his parenting style from what he grew up with. “Because of my childhood, because of the way I was raised … I didn’t care about how I felt, so I damn sure didn’t care about how somebody else felt,” he said. “My feelings didn’t matter in my childhood home. You did what you were told to do.”
He changed his mindset and began to see his children as seeds. The 53-year-old explained, “It’s not my job to demand it be a thing that I need it to be to satiate and gratify my ego. My job is to water and nourish and nurture that seed to become what it already is, and to align myself with that seed versus pushing and prodding.”
More Stories from Our Partners: