The Untold Truth Of Willow Smith

Willow Smith, the daughter of actor Will Smith and actress/talk show host Jada Pinkett Smith, may be the first name that comes to mind when you think of true Hollywood royalty. The young star first burst onto the scene in 2010 with her debut single "Whip My Hair," which garnered millions of views across numerous YouTube channels. Not bad for a 10-year-old, right? 

Since then Smith has undergone quite the stunning transformation and has grown up to be gorgeous — in more ways than one. She has evolved from a young girl into a full-fledged woman with her own unique personality, style, and way of moving through the world. And, while she continues to compose and perform music, she's come a long way since her early days, leading with reflection, wisdom, and intent in everything she does.

So, what else is there to know about this talented young star? What really makes her tick and inspires her in the biggest ways? Read on to find out the untold truth of Willow Smith.

Willow Smith says growing up famous was 'excruciatingly painful'

There's no denying Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's insanely glamorous life — and the fact that they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend however they please — but there are consequences, especially for their daughter. Having a microscope on you at all times doesn't exactly sound fun; a sentiment Willow Smith shares wholeheartedly. 

"Growing up and trying to figure out your life while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what's going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible," she confessed in an interview with Girlgaze (via W magazine). "The only way to get over it, is to go into it." She added that you can't change your face or your parents, so you're pretty much stuck.

Rather than move into a secluded cabin in the woods, Smith has taken her fame in stride; a fate she says many of her peers don't share. "I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression," she continued, "and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones, laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche."

This is why she shaved her head

After Willow Smith's release of her first single, "Whip My Hair," and being suddenly thrust into the spotlight in a bigger way than ever before, she became overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, in fact, that she shaved her head while on tour just so she could go home. "That's so insane," she recalled in an interview with Vulture. "That was a crazy night, I remember it. I was very nervous because it was like, 'Dang, am I gonna miss my hair?'"

At the time, Smith was just 10 years old, so it's not difficult to understand that everything had gotten to be too much for her. But, one thing is for sure: She made a statement with the gesture, even though she first wondered if she'd regret it. "But then I didn't care," she continued. "I really could not have cared less. That was such a transformational point for me."

The creation of Whip My Hair

With all of the turmoil that Willow Smith endured during her "Whip My Hair" days, it makes you wonder just how she got to that place to begin with. Well, Smith opened up about it on an episode of "Red Table Talk." She admitted that her dream of being a musician had spiraled out of her control. "Everyone [was] trying to make me better, trying to make my dream," she recalled. "But I didn't really understand what my dream entailed." And, really, how could she when she was just a kid?

Because her parents were more focused on Smith's popularity than her creative input, the young star's experience turned sour. "I definitely had to forgive you and daddy for that whole 'Whip My Hair' thing," she admitted to her mom on the show. "It was mostly daddy because he was so harsh at certain times." She added that it took her several years to fully trust her parents again because she felt like no one listened to her or cared about her feelings.

Smith struggled with her mental health

The stress that came with commercial success at such a young age was indeed too much for Willow Smith, who was struggling with her mental health at the time. To that end, she turned to some unhealthy coping mechanisms in an effort to deal with the pain from becoming a public persona. "After the tour and the promotion and all of that, they wanted me to finish my album," she explained in an episode of "Red Table Talk." "And I was like, 'I'm not gonna do that.' And after all of that kinda settled down ... I was plunged into this black hole, and I was cutting myself."

Smith doesn't enjoy talking about that short, dark time in her life because she feels the episode was completely psychotic. "[I] totally lost my sanity for a moment there," she continued. "I honestly felt like I was experiencing so much emotional pain but my physical circumstances weren't reflecting that." Fortunately, Smith was able to stop self-harming and heal, both physically and emotionally, from the whole experience.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

She was bullied for her taste in music

Willow Smith may be a rocker chick with over 10 million followers on Instagram, but her taste in music didn't make her the popular girl at school. When she was school-aged, the punk rock artist got bullied for listening to rock bands like My Chemical Romance and Paramore as a young Black woman, as she told V Magazine.

"I just hope that the Black girls who are listening to my music ... see that there's more of us out there," Smith said. She continued, saying, "It's a real thing, you're not alone. You're not the only Black girl who wishes she could flip her hair to the side, and wear black eyeliner, you know what I mean?"

Smith's role model growing up was her mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, formerly the lead singer of the nu-metal band Wicked Wisdom. "This is the music that I grew up around," she said in an episode of her and her mom's Facebook Watch series, "Red Table Talk," and continued, "My mother was superwoman. She was a rock star. She was a warrior and a nurturer all in one." Yes, Pinkett Smith was the total rock star that led Smith to believe she too could be one.

She is neither heterosexual nor monogamous

Although musician Tyler Cole is Willow Smith's boyfriend, you shouldn't make the assumption that she's heterosexual or monogamous. Smith has been very open about the fact that she's both bisexual and polyamorous. In fact, she finds other options personally repressive. "I love men and women equally, and so I would definitely want one man, one woman," she revealed on an episode of "Red Table Talk." "I feel like I could be polyfidelitous with those two people."

It's not about the physical intimacy for Smith either as she's not constantly on the prowl for new experiences in the bedroom — it's more about her inner life and what feels right for her personally. "I focus a lot on the emotional connection," she continued. "I feel like if I were to find two people of different genders that I really connected with and we had a romantic and sexual connection, I don't feel like I would feel the need to try to go find more."

She believes her generation is 'hypersensitive'

Gen Z has received plenty of criticism from members of older generations, who have deemed them technology addicts, among other names, who never put their phones down. But Willow Smith has a different perspective. She sees the people in her cohort as heightened in several ways. "This generation is hypersensitive spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally," she shared in an interview with Girlgaze (via W magazine). "So when we look on our phones and we see people dying right next to us and we're sitting there about to go get a latte — that breaks you down." That really is a lot to process.

It's not fair to pin the sensitivity and anxiety shared by many members of Gen Z on technology alone, either, as there's an entire world out there that's having an impact on them. "It's not just the phones," she continued. "The phones are just a tool. The phones just heighten what was already happening."

She's really close to her brother Jaden Smith

If you've ever seen Willow Smith with her brother Jaden — and you probably have considering they spend a good deal of time together — you'd notice that they not only appear close, but look alike. According to Smith, she and Jaden are really as close as they seem in photographs. "We're like binary stars, like two parts of one thing," she explained in an interview with Teen Vogue. "I know what he's thinking at all times, and he knows what I'm thinking. We're not identical twins, but it feels like that in a lot of ways."

Smith credits her parents for her tight bond with her brother, as the pair was raised very freely and was never pressured to spend time together. "Not a lot of siblings have that opportunity, because they're always being pushed together so much," she revealed to Interview. "They need their time apart in order to realize themselves and realize who they are."

She says she and her hair are best friends

As Jstor Daily highlights, Black women in the United States have been actively persecuted for centuries by both the government and employers simply for wearing their hair in natural styles. Even today, many women are facing repercussions for donning their natural hair. 

Willow Smith is keenly aware of the issues that come with wearing her hair naturally. As such, she wears her hair with great pride. "We're best friends. I love my locs and they love me," she revealed in an interview with The Cut. "I'm just really calm about it now. When I had my hair out and not in locs, it was such a hassle every single day, trying to do ... whatever to it." Not only are locs, aka dreadlocks, a completely natural style, Smith says they're also super easy for her to maintain. "Having the locs is just amazing," she continued. "I can go about my life now and not worry about it."

She would have done some things differently when she was younger

Willow Smith strongly believes that everything happens for a reason. But, looking back on everything with more maturity, is there anything she would have done differently when she was younger? As it turns out, yes. "I would have started guitar lessons when I started singing lessons," she confessed in an interview with Vulture. "And I would have not shown my face." That certainly would have allowed her a little more privacy, for sure.

Additionally, Smith said there are other aspects of her past that she would change, including which talents she shared with the world. "I probably wouldn't have made music at first," she continued. "I would've trained and trained and became a savant first, and then I would've allowed myself into the public eye." Smith still aspires to be a savant so, at the end of the day, she's content with how everything panned out for her.

Smith believes famous people should use their voices

These days, it seems possible to get famous on Instagram for, well, just posting on Instagram. This is something that Willow Smith is very familiar with. She revealed that she knows quite a few people who've done so and that some of them aspire to little more than just being internet-famous. "And then there's people like me and Jaden," she divulged to Interview magazine, "who want to utilize social media to elevate the consciousness of those people who feel like all they want from social media is to be famous."

That's how Smith thinks everyone who's famous should be as it can help make the world a better place. "Like, you can actually be a voice," she continued. "You can actually say something that's inspiring and not just make people feel like you need to buy things and be a certain way." Smith added that there's a lack of authenticity in the way some people curate their social media, too. And she's definitely not here for it!

In the future, Smith wants to study physics

Thanks in large part to her music career, Willow Smith is worth millions and millions of dollars, but that doesn't mean she's not interested in higher education. In fact, there are a lot of subjects and pursuits that Willow Smith is both interested in and curious about. For one, it's no secret that she's a voracious reader of books — and she's quite the deep thinker as well. To that end, one day Smith dreams of going to the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study her intellectual passions. "I know that at one point in my life, I'm going to go to college for both music and physics," she proclaimed in an interview with Vulture. "I'm gonna need to block out time in my life." 

As for exactly when that will happen, it's unclear. Smith is occupied with her first love for the foreseeable future. "Right now, I'm going HAM on my music," she continued. "I think after I put out another album or something, I'm gonna block out a couple years of my life to put all of my energy into learning physics."

The singer wants women to support each other

Willow Smith may be young, but that doesn't mean she isn't woke. In fact, Smith is well aware of social issues, including feminism, and understands the need for women to realize that we're all in this together. "If other women aren't going to respect other women we are pretty much f*****," she shared in an interview with Girlgaze (via W magazine).

Additionally, Smith is hip to the fact that feminism itself has some work to do, as it's excluded women and girls of color in the past. And while she doesn't want to throw feminism away because of its flaws, she does grasp just how painful that exclusion has been. "It's complicated because I support the womanist movement, the feminist movement, any movement that's supporting women," she confessed in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "But it really hurts my heart that there was this chasm between white women and Black women, and that it's still happening even in the feminist movement today."

Smith believes in elevating Black women

When speaking with Harper's Bazaar about the ways in which white women have excluded women and girls of color from the feminist movement, Willow Smith revealed that she used to think the burden of educating white women was on Black women. But, after some in-depth conversations with the Black women in her life, Smith now knows that's not the case. "I had to sit with the thought, that it's not our responsibility to make them come around," she revealed to the publication.

Smith believes any work she and her sisters do is for the Black women in their lives — whether past, present, or future — is of vital importance. "Black women are in such a unique position, especially right now," she continued. "We've always been in the unique position, but especially right now in the political climate. We really need to do this work because at the end of the day, what is more important?" For Smith, there's nothing else.

She thinks fashion is truly about expressing what's inside

Willow Smith is known for her super unique sense of fashion, which she's been cultivating for a long time. It's not superficial in the least, either, as Smith views fashion as a form of art. "I have some cool shoes on ... and I wear crazy eyeliner, but it's really all about emulating the colors you feel inside," she revealed in an interview with Teen Vogue. "A lot of clothes are cute, but after you buy the Yeezy shoes, after you get your hair done with a weave, you're still the same person." She added that she thinks more and more young people are becoming aware of this notion, too.

That doesn't mean Smith isn't delighted to be a part of the industry though — far from it. "Being a young African-American woman with dreads, it blows my mind that I'm a Chanel ambassador," she continued. "Like, how am I a Chanel ambassador? It is so beautiful." And so are you, Willow!

Smith says her father brings people joy

If you follow Will Smith on Instagram, you know just how goofy he gets in his regular posts. Whether it's being silly during karaoke, faking out viewers with tricks, or even sharing videos of himself post-surgery, the Smith family patriarch misses no opportunity to make people laugh — and his daughter is 100 percent here for it. "I think it's hilarious — I think it's absolutely hilarious," Willow Smith revealed in an interview with The Cut. "I think it gives a lot of people joy, and it gives him joy. I love that he's doing it." Aww!

Whereas some kids may be humiliated by their parents' antics, especially on the internet for everyone to see, Smith has not one shred of embarrassment for her dad's hilarious hijinks. "He's a funny dude and I'm so grateful to be his offspring," she continued. "He's definitely ... silly. But I love it — I love the silly." And so do his millions of followers.

Pop punk icon Travis Barker is impressed by her music

Willow Smith's music idol happens to be one of her biggest fans. Travis Barker, solo artist, music producer, and Blink-182 drummer, told the Rolling Stone in a dual interview with Smith in 2021 that he was so blown away by Smith's musical talent that he worked with her on her fourth album, "Lately I Feel Everything." He contributed a few songs, including the single "Transparent Soul."

"I was so impressed," Barker said of the song "Transparent Soul," adding, "I was like, 'This is what she should have been doing all along, because it sounds so natural.' It sounds like who you are, every time I've met you or I've been around you. Then, when I got into the studio and added some stuff to it, had an idea for a bridge or whatever, it turned out to be a song I was really proud of."

Smith confessed she was surprised that Barker would want to work with her on any music project. "I didn't even think for a second that you were going to be on 'Transparent Soul.' That was kind of like a far-fetched fever dream for me," she said. It turned out to be a harmonious partnership.

Willow Smith has shared her thoughts on aliens

Willow Smith is indeed a believer in alien life forms. In an interview with Glamour in 2021, Smith touched on numerous topics, from mental health to cultural stereotypes and, yes, even aliens. As the brand ambassador for Mugler's Alien Goddess, Glamour asked the punk-rock singer if she believed in the existence of extraterrestrials, to which the singer replied: "100%!" She continued, saying, "The universe is infinite, and we know this scientifically. There is no way that there's not infinite amounts of species out there doing their thing, kicking it around and wondering the same question, whether there's some other people out there."

A month prior, when speaking to Allure, Smith confessed what led to her partnership with Mugler was what it represented. "I've always been into everything and anything extraterrestrial," she said. "I've also been into goddesses throughout history, mythology, and religion — representations of the divine feminine. Bringing those two things together, it just felt so perfect for me."