Jada Pinkett-Smith is aware of the critics that frown up their noses at the way she raises her daughter, Willow. Willow cuts, dyes and styles her hair as she pleases, a fact that bothers many who feel girls shouldn’t have that much control over their appearance at such a young age.
Jada decided to address the criticism in a Facebook post:
“A letter to a friend…This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete. The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.”
While you may or may not agree with her choice to give Willow sartorial freedom, Jada’s point about girls being a slave to their mother’s deepest insecurities rings true.
I’ve heard mothers who have struggled with weight loss say they’re going to make sure their daughters don’t gain any excess pounds. There are even mothers who always yearned for long hair who refuse to let their daughters cut their’s.
Of course, both mothers and fathers could be guilty of influencing their children based on their insecurities — and the influence is not all bad. But Jada may have made a case for letting children have some degree of authority over their own look and style.