I just love the Smith family - their talent, ambition, work ethic, the love that they have for each other and I love that the kids are allowed to go through a phase of just figuring out who they are without tough restrictions from their parents. Jada's parenting style has been criticized numerous times in the past as she has chosen to not dictate how her children should dress and style their hair. I debated a few issues in regards to her parenting style not too long ago, but one thing that I refuse to argue is people taking offense to Willow's shaved head.
We should be celebrating Willow for her apparent non-attachment to her locks. Her fearlessness when it comes to hair is inspiring because not too many children never mind womyn are brave enough to rock a shaved head while putting their face completely on display. As womyn, especially black womyn, we hide behind our hair. The longer and fuller our hair, the more beautiful and feminine we feel. Remember being young and finding ways to wrap a towel or sheet over your hair so that the length was cascading over your shoulders like hair? We would wear it all day as kids, flipping it over our shoulders mimicking the way we see women with long hair on tv do.This attachment to long hair and ideals of feminine beauty has gone on for generations, so it is amazing to see such a young girl reject it.
Instead of criticizing her, we should be promoting her actions. Not just for her but for other young girls and womyn to see that as cliche as it may sound and India Arie sang it best, I am not my hair. There has to be an absolute freedom in looking in the mirror and the first thing that you see is face, not hair. With short, cropped hair you can't hide from yourself. That bravery is what I appreciate in Willow and all of you short, cropped and pixie haired beauties.
Check out the letter that Jada posted on Facebook in response to people's criticism of Willow:
A letter to a friend…
This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.
The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women,girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.
More to come. Another day.
Well said Jada and I applaud you for this! I'm taking notes for if I have a little girl in the future. I want her to feel beautiful and strong regardless of what her hair looks like and what society uses to measure her worth.
What are your thoughts on Jada's letter and Willow's short hair? Would you allow your kids to sport a cropped 'do or is that a decision that should be made when they get a bit older? Meet me in the comment section, would love to hear your thoughts!
Happy Friday All!!