Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are Hollywood royalty, but their reign has had an undeniable effect on their two kids Willow and Jaden.
Willow, 17, opened up about the “absolutely terrible” life she led in the spotlight since first releasing her hit single Whip My Hair when she was just 10-years-old.
“I’m going to be completely and utterly honest, it’s absolutely terrible,” the singer told Girl Gaze when asked how it was growing up in the public eye.
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“Growing up and trying to figure out your life … while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible — and the only way to get over it, is to go into it,” she added.
“You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things.”
“I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones, laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche,” Smith said.
The teenager added that her parents’ celebrity had dictated her path in life early on.
“When you’re born into it, there are two choices that you have; I’m either going to try to go into it completely and help from the inside, or… no one is going to know where I am… and I’m really going to take myself completely out of the eye of society. There’s really no in-between.”
Earlier this year, Will Smith told Jay Z’s Footnotes of Adnis Willow had said she wanted to quit her tour when she was 12 but he’d insisted she continue.
“We came downstairs and she had shaved her head bald,” Smith recalled. “She shaved her head bald in the middle of her Whip My Hair tour. I was like, ‘Oh, s-t.”
Her drastic act of defiance forced her dad’s hand to cancel the tour.
“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,’” the actor explains.
“For me, it was that soldier that was pushing and wasn’t paying any attention whatsoever to what was going on emotionally with this beautiful little creature in front of me.”