“In the African American community in particular, I felt like I and Jaden were being shunned a bit, like, ‘We’re not going to be proud of them because they’re too different,'” the 19-year-old singer said during the latest episode of “Red Table Talk” on Facebook Watch, published Tuesday.
“Even some of our family members would feel like they thought you were too different,” she added.
During the new episode of “RTT,” Willow sat down with fellow campaigners, mother Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother Adrienne Banfield Norris, to discuss motherly shame.
The conversation turned to Willow, who felt judged by the Black Community after Pinkett Smith admitted that the first time her daughter shaved her head was her first “hardcore” embarrassment. Willow was only 11 years old at the time. Willow later revealed that after the success of her 2010 song “Whip My Hair” she had gone through the drastic transformation as an act of rebellion. She proceeded to dye her hair green and later pink.
Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images
Pinkett Smith said during the discussion that the mother shame didn’t end there. She also felt repulsed by the public as Jaden got older. The Girls Trip star, in particular, recalled the negative attention the family received when Jaden wore a skirt for Louis Wuitton’s 2016 womenswear campaign.
“If he wore a skirt, he’s not what people think of a ‘typical black man,'” said Pinkett Smith.
Jaden has continued to challenge fashion standards over the years by wearing high heels to the 2017 Met Gala, donning a Batman suit for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s 2014 wedding, and re-flaunting the outfit at prom in 2015. And in 2016, the actor started a gender-neutral clothing line called MSFTS.
Speaking to Variety, Jaden said the collection was made for “the girl who wants to be a tomboy or the boy who wants to wear a skirt and people are trying to judge”.
Two years later he again commented on his fashion sense
: “If I want to wear a dress, then I will, and that will set the new wave …”
If I Wanna Wear A Dress, Then I Will, And That Will Set The New Wave...— Jaden (@jaden) March 26, 2018
-JADEN SMITH #ICON
Pinkett Smith said on RTT that people in the black community “create stereotypes around us,” which added to the shame she got on her parents.
“It’s something we need to learn as a community to let go,” said the actress. “It felt like, ‘It’s dangerous. You cannot afford to raise your children this way because it is dangerous. They know what it is like to be a black or brown person in this world. You are doing your children a disservice. ‘”
Pinkett Smith continued, “I understood where this fear came from, but I also understood that I was on the street and … not [being] Your ‘conventional black girl’ on the streets of Baltimore, I knew that having confidence helped me survive. ”
Watch the full “Red Table Talk” episode below.
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