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‘It Was Rough’: Willow Smith Says She Had to ‘Forgive’ Mom Jada Pinkett Smith for Dismissing Her Anxiety

Don’t expect an Oscars slap-focused round table discussion in the upcoming episodes of “Red Table Talk.” Instead, during this week’s episode of the Facebook Watch series, co-host  Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, opened up about her early struggles with anxiety and how she had to forgive her mother for initially downplaying her mental health disorder typically characterized by feelings of worry or fear. 

In the Wednesday, April 27, episode, the 21-year-old sat down with 26-year-old Ireland Baldwin, daughter of  Kim Basinger and controversy-stricken actor Alec Baldwin. They opened up about their personal struggles growing up in the public eye.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: (L-R) Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic)

The “Wait a Minute” singer admitted “it was rough,” noting that her famous mother wasn’t initially relating to her issues, stating, “I feel like when I was growing up, she didn’t understand my anxiety. Because she, growing up, had seen her friends die — she had been through so much stuff that my issues, to her, kind of felt like…[smaller].”

Willow said that the entire experience “was very frustrating for me as a child. Because I was like, ‘How can you not see my internal and emotional struggle?'” However, the singer-songwriter said that her mother had seemingly changed her perspective following a recent conversation. 

“We had a talk, and she was like, ‘I never knew that I actually experienced anxiety,'” the young star shared. “And she was pushing it down for so many years like she had no idea. So, I had to forgive her a little bit for being like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah … I get it, but it’s really not that bad.'”

Earlier this year, Willow spoke about the pressures she felt following the release of her 2010 single “Whip My Hair,” she was only a 9-year-old, and she claimed her needs were being ignored. 

Smith revealed that while on tour she decided that she did not want to tour anymore, but her father 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.

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