According to Willow Smith, she and her brother, Jaden, felt shamed by the black community when they were growing up because they were very creative and appeared “weird” from an outsider’s perspective. The 19-year-old said on an episode of Red Table Talk that she and Jaden felt like they were “shunned” by others in the community.
Willow said their unconventional way of going about life and presenting themselves in public was something the black community didn’t and wouldn’t take pride in. She said they were “too different,” and it was “too weird.”
Additionally, Smith said she and her brother had felt a lot of pressure from within the family as well. Near the start of the early 2010s, Willow and Jaden started to use more of an androgynous style in the way that they presented themselves. Willow says this sort of appearence isn’t common in the black community.
For instance, when Willow cut off all of her hair, Jada said there was a huge backlash and many people weren’t happy about it. Previously, Willow explained to her mother and grandmother that she was bisexual and could definitely see herself dating a girl sometime in the future.
Fans of Willow and Jaden know they’ve always struggled with their identities. For instance, during a chat with Apple Music, Jaden Smith explained why he was going to drop “Smith” from his artist name not long after his sister did the same thing.
Jaden said he decided to drop his last name and it was a big deal for him. Just a couple of years prior, Willow did the same thing and Jaden said it seemed very powerful and brave to him.
Jaden went on to say that his sister had a lot of confidence to not rely on their father’s name to foster a career in the entertainment business. It’s one of the reasons why he has so much respect for David Bowie, Jaden explained.
David Bowie approached his persona in a similar way, adopting different genders, styles, and even names to go along with a particular musical direction.