Monday, July 2, 2012

5 Minute Blogs: Willow Smith, Awkward Black Girl

I don’t normally blog about artists on some individual level but I feel inspired today. By Willow Smith.

First off, Young Willow is an…interesting child to say the least.

Secondly, I’ll admit it: I didn’t like this kid. I thought she was “grown” acting. Sure she’s cute and she does have talent (if you go to her official youtube page, you will see various videos of her writing, singing, dancing, acting…). But something always seemed off. Then I had to step back and realize: This is a child.

Willow is 11 years old. I think back to when I was 11 and how awkward I was. The mushroom hairstyle, the big ass glasses, how “grown” I was. Grown as in very intelligent, above it all, snark level on high grown. Oh you couldn’t tell me anything. I was the smartest person I knew. I got all As, and was in the SPACE program (a program in VA for the smarter kids in school, to stimulate us more intellectually). I stayed on the scholar roll. As smart as I was, I was just as awkward and geeky. No real money for nice clothes, no knowledge of self, and trying to deal with the fact that my mom loved my sister more than me. Note: I do NOT know if this is true, but back then you couldn’t tell me that my sister wasn’t more favored than me. I was awkward but I had good friends who accepted me. I appreciate that a lot more now than when I was 11. I digress.

Last night Willow dropped a new video for her song “I Am Me.” Twitter, of course, was filled with snide remarks about this child. How she dresses, her hair (or lack there of), and how she speaks. I even saw quite a few #PrayForWillow tweets. I shook my head because honestly Will Smith was awkward as hell to when he first came out, but because he could rap, people looked past that. If he couldn’t, he would have been just another square lightskinned guy. But as soon as the video starts, people got nasty.

Grown ass adults talking about a child’s looks and her singing. And the hate for the song…amazing. I don’t get it tho. She’s talking about being who she is, she is being her awkward self in the video, and she’s having fun. And she can sing (although I’ll admit I didn’t like the Alanis Morrisette thing she did at the beginning). With all of the music being played on the radio, it’s nice and refreshing to see a young girl being herself and singing about being true to yourself. I’d rather my child sing this song than go around singing “Amen” or anything by Nikki Minaj. Why can’t kids be kids anymore?

But like I said on twitter, if this was a Beyonce song, everyone would have been ON it. And yes, it could have easily been a B song. Let’s not act like Beyonce has these complex, super deep songs. Beyonce was actually the first thought in my mind when I heard the song. I could see/hear her singing this. Either way…if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s below.


  1. Is it ok if I link to this article from You are the ONLY person who seemed to view the overall Willow situation in a positive light and I would like to showcase that view. Everyone else is deriding the poor girl...

  2. Finally watched the video Steph and the song made me cry. I can identify in a lot of ways. I understand her trying to create a life that is natural to her and being free. She is a blessing because she is learning as a child. I think she may have a little too much free will at times, but I applaud Will and Jada for not getting in her way! Good stuff.