Say what you will about this, but honestly? The Willow Smith situation is disturbing.
It was kind of cute when little Willow was parading around in fun, fashionable clothes. Cute, the same way any kid pretending to be a grown-up is cute, with that little dash of, “wow, maybe in ten years she’ll make something of herself in the fashion world.”
But in ten years. Not now. Not now, because Willow Smith is NINE.
The child of Jada and Will, who I assume she’s named for, recently released her first single, “Whip My Hair,” in case you’ve been locked in a meat freezer like Snooki on “South Park.” The song is catchy and fun and exactly what you would expect, lyrics-wise. Which is fine…because she’s nine.
And that’s not really the point, anyway. The point is this…
With her song on the radio and her video on MTV, we’re being asked to believe that Willow Smith has a place in grown-up land, and that, frankly, is annoying. And it’s not Willow’s fault (obviously…because she’s FUCKING NINE) — it’s the fault of whatever record company exec was swayed by Will Smith’s clout and agreed to put out Willow’s album, and convinced Will and Jada that it would be totally fine and that the listening masses wouldn’t mind that they were being asked to take seriously the warblings of a fourth-grader.
This is kind of like when your 35-year-old friend brings an 18-year-old date to a party, and you are forced to try to treat her like your peer while asking about her transition from high school to college (I’ve actually never been in that situation, but I imagine that would be annoying).
That’s kind of how I feel about Willow Smith. You can put flashy MTV backgrounds behind her, and give her a good stylist, but at the end of the day she is a child. And in addition to it being annoying, it’s also really weird and disturbing to me that she’s being marketed as some sort of mini-adult, like we’re supposed to pretend we don’t know that she has absolutely no concept of what she’s doing, because nine-year-old brains are not developed enough to comprehend things like fame. Oh Will — I hope that next to her college fund you are also amassing a therapy fund.
Anyway, I get that kids in show biz are young, and that Willow probably does have budding talent…but come on. Do we really not know by now how this early exposure ends?