When 11-year old Willow Smith shaved her head a few weeks ago, the internet was equally abuzz with congratulations on such a little girl doing such daring things with her look, accusations of poor parenting skills aimed at her famous parents, and the standard exasperated dismissal of her loss of locks as “just hair.” But Willow’s latest experiment, dyeing her lil’ cue-ball a bright blonde, is a little bit next level.
Willow Smith will probably be cute no matter what she does, and whatever she does is likely to be eye-catching because she is a celebrity kid, after all. I’m just amazed at how much black-girl-hood has changed over the past twenty years or so — when I was her age the last thing I’d ever be allowed to do is dye my hair any color, let alone what was then considered “brainwashed” blonde. I’m also pretty sure that if my child wanted to dye her hair blonde my answer would be a big fat “no way.” Has our perception of what is age and race appropriate changed so much that a tween black girl with this kind of look is no big deal? Or is it a little bit too much attention-seeking even for a child entertainer?