Willow Smith Had To Forgive Her Mother For Not Validating Her Struggles As A Child
Celebrity News

Willow Smith Had To Forgive Her Mother For Not Validating Her Struggles As A Child

In the latest episode of Red Table Talk, Willow Smith reflected on growing up with mental health issues. The singer has been open in the past about her struggles with anxiety following the success of her 2010 song “Whip My Hair.” She was only nine at that time and although it was a widely popular song, she wasn’t happy and felt like she was being ignored whenever she expressed her feelings. She ended up shaving her head as a way to be heard.

Now, at 21, Willow shared how she was able to forgive her mom Jada Pinkett Smith for not listening to her during that tough time in her life.

"It was rough," she said. "I feel like when I was growing up, she didn't understand my anxiety because she, growing up, had seen her friends die. She had been through so much stuff that my issues to her kinda felt [smaller]."

"And that was very frustrating for me as a child, because I was like, 'How can you not see my internal, emotional struggle?'"

Jada didn’t understand Willow’s struggle as she had experienced a more complex upbringing in Baltimore in comparison to her daughter. She described her neighborhood as a war zone and admitted that she "did not even really realize that until my life changed when I started to look at how my kids were growing up versus me."

Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith


"I don't know what it's like to be a child under hot lights," Jada said later. "And then just really not knowing how to comfort her, not knowing what help she needed, not understanding the behavior."

"In having to deal with and learn about her anxiety, I've had to look at some of my own behavior and behaviors of my mother and go, 'Well, of course, I probably would have some anxiety in regards to how I grew up,'" she added. "It was very difficult."

Following a conversation they had recently, the “Transparent Soul” singer said she was able to forgive her mom. "She had no idea," she said. "So, I kinda had to forgive her a little bit.”

"When you told me that you actually do experience anxiety, that changed my life. You're my best friend, what can I say," Willow concluded.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video




This article is in partnership with SheaMoisture

Skylar Marshai is known for her extravagant style, and her hair is no exception. But now, she’s giving her hair a break and focusing on hair care with SheaMoisture’s Bond Repair Collection. “I feel like my hair has always been an extension of my storytelling because I know it's so innately linked to my self-expression that I've been thinking a lot about how my love for crafting my hair into these different forms and shapes has honestly never given it a chance to just be,” Skylar explains.

Gail Bean

When I was a child, one of my favorite pastimes was theater. There was something so fulfilling about being on stage and connecting with the talented individuals breathing life into characters and stories. So naturally, I entered college as a theater major, hopeful of creating more of these moments; I ended up switching later on. However, the love for the craft never left, and my respect for actors only grew. And every now and then, I watch a movie or television show, come across a new actor, and think to myself, ‘Ooh, you can tell they’re for real about this.’ This background brings me to the present and our conversation with NAACP award-winning actress Gail Bean.