willow

Out of all the Smith kids, Willow is my favorite.  I love her version of “girl power” and even though her fashion tastes could be questionable at times, she’s a 12-year-old kid and is probably going through her experimenting phase.

At the age of 9, Willow’s big break came with her hit single “Whip My Hair.”  That song garnered her a nomination for Best New Artist and Video of the Year from the BET Awards. Not too bad for a 9-year-old, I suppose.

With the hype machine at full throttle, Willow was everywhere.  But then she decided to take a break, so she could just be a kid.

That break apparently didn’t last too long. Willow has returned to the music business as Melodic Chaotic, a collaboration with DJ MVSIC Fabrega and released their newest video, “Summer Fling”, over the weekend.

In the song, Willow not only puts on her best Nicki Minaj fake British accent, but she talks about “hooking up” with a boy for the summer.

“Bright sun and the blue waters, We fight less and love harder.

You tell me that I’m the one,  I tell you it’s just for fun.

We walk the beach at midnight, and watch the stars and the clear skies.

We both say I love you, but it’s alright.”

Well I don’t know about you guys, but when I was 12, I was playing kickball, not talking about summer flings? Has the world changed that much?

Even some of the commenters on the YouTube video had issues with what some may call the sexualization of a child:

“This child is too young for this grown-up stuff. I don’t care how care free the Smiths are with their children. This is just too much. At this age I didn’t even know what a fling was let alone did I want to be around some boy twirling around the woods,” one person wrote.

“I like the song but she look like a confused kid,” said another commentator.

In thinking maybe I’m just being an old, over protective parent, I consulted my resident teenager for his thoughts on the video.

Here’s how the conversation went after I showed my son the video:

Old overprotective mom (that’s me): So….thoughts? observations?

Resident teenager aka The Kid: *crickets*

Old overprotective mom:  Come on, you must have an opinion?

Resident teenager: Isn’t she like 11? Or something? What’s up with that accent? Why do all of those kids look so old? Those aren’t kids! Who wants to hang out with a kid? Why are kids holding hands? But that chick with the underarm tatt…now that’s hot.

Old overprotective mom: Ok, I get it. You  can stop with all of the questions.

See, I’m not the only one who thinks it’s odd for a 12-year-old to sing about summer flings. We all know the Smiths walk to the beat of their own drum, but don’t let my 12, 13 or even 14-year-old come home talking about a summer fling.

 

  • http://vanebellephotos.blogspot.com Vanessa

    We’ve all had summer flings, even at young ages…. spending all types of hours on the phone? drawing the name of the person we like? having them come to your house just so you can just stare at them. Let’s not forget.

  • Non-womanpolicer

    I think it’s cute. Better than miley’s “we won’t stop”.

  • Me

    Miley and Willow are two completely different ages so I don’t get the comparison.

  • http://i2ameverywoman.wordpress.com JT

    So you are implying that you didn’t have, and have never even heard of any anyone having a summer crush in 7th or 8th grade. Because that how old kids in middle school are. As a fellow overprotective parent of 3 girls I don’t love the idea of it but I do understand it.

  • Humanista

    If you’re old enough to have a crush (she is), you’re old enough to have some lil knuckle-head return that crush at summer camp or down the street or whatever.

    Bam, summer fling.

    And let’s not forget ALLLLL the grown-up Jackson 5 lyrics and those from all those random lil boy groups in the 90s.

  • http://twitter.com/LenaRec Carlene (@LenaRec)

    I didn’t have any summer flings at 12 – 14, but I definitely wanted one. Didn’t want any midnight walks on the beach, more like riding bikes, hanging out on each other’s porches or going to the movies.

    But I’m with your kid: why are none of these other people Willow’s age?

    (Also Willow’s hair looks awesome, wanted to say)

  • noirluv45

    I think what’s throwing people off is fling: A brief sexual or romantic relationship.

    Puppy love at 12? YES. Fling? NO.

  • Hollywood

    Not everyone has experienced a summer fling.

  • MimiLuvs

    My goddaughter told me recently that she was in a relationship. She’s eleven.
    I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from scoffing in disbelief.

  • Hollywood

    What makes this so ‘weird’ is that no one in the video appears to be in the same age group as her.

    *Sorry y’all, but that wig is awful.

  • Lemons

    I think it’s weird that everything this child does there’s an article following telling us we should be upset by it. “Willow dyes her hair!” “Willow cuts her hair!” “Willow hold hands with a boy in new music video!”. (Meanwhile her brother who is older by just 3 years can grow his hair long, cut it short, dye it blond, hang out with kardashians and it’s all okay.)
    I see nothing wrong with this video. It’s not like she remixed the remix to “bad” or something. I also never get the whole “When I was 12 I didn’t know what a fling was, I didn’t know what genitals were and I went to bed at 8:00″ trope that comes along with these talks. I was 12 in 2000 and as a freshman in High School I knew what a fling was.

  • ChaCha

    From my grown woman perspective, it’s ridiculous and use of the word fling seems grown (and her friends look way too old), but thinking back to when I was a kid, this isn’t odd. I’m almost 30, and times haven’t changed so much. Most 12 year old girls like boys and are beginning to dream about their first kisses and dates and that hasn’t changed over time. When I was 12, all my middle school friends had so-called boyfriends (mostly at school because most of them weren’t allowed to see them outside of school with the exception of one or two girls). When I was 13, I “dated” a boy that my best friend introduced me to (we saw each other without my parent’s permission) and it was definitely a summer “fling”, but it was innocent. We kissed once (a peck) and used to ride our bikes across town to play Monopoly/Uno in his big sister’s back yard and then we’d walk to the corner store to buy junk food. We even had a song, lol.

  • lex

    i sooooo agree. when you hear the term summer fling you automatically think on sex or a brief sexual contact with someone that’s what throwing some people off. im pretty sure most of the naysayers ‘summer flings’ weren’t as innocent as the lyrics in this song is. some 12 yr old can be mature you know.

  • jessi

    thank you!!!! listen to the jackson 5, their lyrics were too grown in some songs… people are getting too hung up on the ‘fling’ in this song.

  • lex

    what I find disturbing is that the title or whatever it is says ,”go sing about candy crush saga or something.” not every 12 yr old is so immature that their oblivious to their feelings and the NORMAL process of growing up and finding love. why do some adults look down on pre-teens who talk about love and being in relationships?? we all were at that age when we had our first crush/ love.

  • JENNY

    This article is a piece of shit.

    “Well I don’t know about you guys, but when I was 12, I was playing kickball, not talking about summer flings? Has the world changed that much?”

    REALLY!!??? You didn’t have an innocent crush on ANYONE when you were 12??! Well just to let you know, it is completely. fucking. normal to start feeling attracted to people and having crushes at that age. You are the one that has a problem with it. People that understand human development don’t have a problem with it.

    “Even some of the commenters on the YouTube video had issues with what some may call the sexualization of a child”

    That’s because they have been programmed to sexualize teenage girls and especially teenage black girls who often aren’t looked at as innocently as white girls. She is not BEING sexualized in this song. She is not even talking about sex. She is singing about something that is normal to human development. Teenagers and yes, even preteens, DEVELOP SEXUALITY. That’s how it goes. There’s a fucking difference between being sexualized and talking about and expressing your sexuality. This song is an innocent teenage bubble gum pop song about silly teenage crushes. Didn’t Taylor fucking Swift start writing love songs at an early age? Oh wait, she’s white and doesn’t make anyone question how they think of teenage girls and her power comes from how she relates to men. Unlike Willow who has repeatedly shown the world that SHE is the driving force of herself, and she is centered around who she is as an individual.

    Can’t this unique, glamorous, smart, beautiful little girl have fun with the songs she is writing that no doubt are going to develop alongside her without the world telling her that she is being too provocative? She is a kid and she is exploring life and herself in the public eye and she gets no respect for it.

  • Ash K

    Would anyone care if she were a he? When I was that age, Lil Bow Wow and Lil Romeo made songs about those same things and nobody cared. I still remember seeing Bow Wow’s “That’s My Name” video featuring a sexualized (grown) woman; if I remember correctly no one had boo to say.

  • JENNY

    I don’t think of sex when I hear summer fling? Maybe the problem is that people are sexualizing her and not seeing it for the innocent teen bubble gum anthem that is is?

  • Ash K

    Loved this!

  • Camryn

    Ohh so ppl are ok with little girls & summer flings?

    Until there’s a post abt teen pregnancy…Righttt?

  • Camryn

    You sound angry..lol

  • Ms Write

    Yes! So true. I don’t think she (or the songwriters) meant fling in the way we as adults are sexualizing it. When I read the lyrics I just thought of puppy love.

  • noirluv45

    Yeah, people are hung up on term fling when it relates to a 12 year old. To me, it was the wrong term to use. Most people do not associate a fling with children.

  • Sheena

    Thank you, this is actually the normal age where kids start doing things like holding hands, sharing a first kiss, or just “hanging out” with someone of the opposite sex. We may not have all had “summer flings” (and btw, I think some of us are using the adult/sexual definition of this rather than the 12 year old version which is just probably a little “boyfriend” crush at camp) but you do remember your first crush on a boy, wanting him to kiss you and all of the feelings that accompanied that weird time in your life. those of you who are parents may not like it, but it’s what has been happening for generations upon generations of blossoming teenaged kids.

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    You are so right!

    Like the dancehall joint “Freaks” by Lil Vicious. Lil boy was singing about condoms and sex.

    Another Bad Creation had too many grown women in their videos.

    Usher, “Just Call Me a Mack”. No I’ll call you a tutor. You have homework.

    There are plenty of male child-stars singing about adult themes yet I’ve heard little protest.

  • Sheena

    Exactly!

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    It wasn’t sexual in the least bit. Its just about a short lived love/crush. The lyrics explain how innocent it really is.

  • Jalesa Montez

    Last time I checked, blogging & the internet weren’t big back then..or even existed when Lil Vicious was singing about “Freaks” & needless to say, it wasn’t allowed to be repeated in my house…..

  • Sheena

    Wrroonnnggg…….teen pregnancy is something totally different than I summer “crush” which is what I took the term “fling” to mean when applied to a 12 year old a summer camp. Everyone goes through that stage or has gone through it. So are we now so fearful of teen pregnancy that we won’t let an adolescent girl go through the normal stages of hanging out with boys or having a crush on a boy?

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    America kills me with its faux prudence and backwards thinking in regards to sexuality.

    I heard “fling” and not once did I think about sex. Why? Because the lyrics, video, and age of the singer all gave me pretty good clues that the song was purely innocent. All the song is saying is that Willow wants a simple summer crush while the guy wants something serious. Please stop lying to yourselves as if pre-teens aren’t attracted to one another and don’t express romantic interest. My first serious crush was at 12.

    I don’t see a young girl singing about something inappropriate. I see Willow – a 12 year old – learning how to lyrically express emotion and personal experiences.

    This is not an issue! She’s 12. She’s a child. Her expressions are going to be awkward and naive. Its a natural process. People are entirely too hard on her.

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    Those are the same overly-prudent adults hassling you in your 20s/30s about why you can’t find a functioning relationship and get married.

  • noirluv45

    Sheena, I think this stuff is “normal” for this day and age because kids are exposed to much more, thanks to music videos and the Internet, than we were back in the day. This was not normal for me or those I grew up with. That’s not to say it wasn’t for others. Yes, we liked boys, but we never even THOUGHT about relationships at 12 years old.

    We were too busy being children, riding our bikes, skating, playing hide-and-go-seek, etc. I wish my mother would’ve caught me holding a boy’s hand and kissing.

    Times have definitely changed.

  • Treece

    Yes to all this! I didn’t even think of anything sexual when I saw the word fling in the title of the song b/c I saw that it was by Willow Smith and knew that a 12 year child wasn’t singing about sex. I automatically took it to mean that she was singing about a crush. Plain and simple. Normal stage a kid her age goes through. If it were Rihanna or someone older, then I would have assumed there was a sexual connotation.

  • http://nerdstradamas.wordpress.com nerdstradamas

    Thank You @Jenny. You spoke so much truth.

  • noirluv45

    So people are “backwards thinking” and “prudent” because they don’t see things the way you do? Isn’t everyone entitled to their point of view without being labeled?

    Just because you and others didn’t think sex as it related to the word “fling,” doesn’t mean others are wrong for thinking sex because that’s what fling means: “fling describes a brief sexual or romantic affair,” so forgive the rest of us “prudent and backwards people” for thinking the terminology was wrong as it relates to a 12 year old.

    People love saying, “everyone did such and such.” No everyone didn’t.

  • gmarie

    Lord leave this child ALONE already! I love how some of you get old and grey then develop selective memory on how you were when you were a teenager…

    IF you feel like you can raise your child better then please log off and do so.

  • MimiLuvs

    @Noir45

    I agree with your sentiment.
    Whenever I hear the term ‘summer fling’, I don’t think of ‘puppy love’.
    It seems as if “summer fling” has a new definition now.
    Now, in regards to Willow’s song title. Did I think of anything sexual? No.
    But, I do think that the song’s writer picked an eye-catching title, so people could pay attention to the release.

  • http://gravatar.com/solfresh solfresh

    I can’t even sweat Willow lol. I’m 23 and at age 12 hanging out with friends was the only goal during the summer. A pool with no parentals was icing on the cake. Someone always had that one friend whose parents weren’t home or you had somebody’s cousin who visited for the summer. I take Summer Fling to mean Summer Love which is completely possible at age 12. Luckily my group of friends at that age weren’t into sex yet. It was all puppy love, although a few of my classmates did turn up pregnant in 6th grade. I think the song is cute. I’m not feeling her haircut though, that’s my biggest gripe lol

  • Dawn

    That’s how they roll. I saw a headline the other day (didn’t read the article though) that said Jaden is seeking emancipation from his parents.

  • Sheena

    I can’t speak for you, but when I was 12 in the early 90s girls were having summer crushes on boys and holding hands at school in the halls. Kids were forming thier little 12 year old “relationships”. Even if it was just writing on a sheet of notebook paper “Do you want to be my girlfriend? Circle yes or no”.

    I agree with you on the fact that kids nowadays are different than when I was a preteen/adolescent. There are some 12 year old kids who have the sexual experience of someone twice thier age. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s totally natural for budding romantic feelings to begin to occur at twelve. It just needs to be guided and monitored and kids need to have rules and boundaries.

    That being said, I don’t think that girls should be barred from holding hands with boys or talking on the phone. Or even doing the other activities you named together with male friends. I had a close friend who was a boy when I was about 12 and we rode bikes together and just hung around our neighborhood. We held hands. He was my first kiss, nothing more. My parents had boundaries and rules and I knew that I couldn’t go home talking about some boy was my “boyfriend”. My mom would refer to him as my “little friend” and that I was too young for a real relationship, but that’s what was going on at school and with other kids where I lived. It wasn’t unusual or abnormal

  • ChaCha

    Him and his father were on tv and said that it wasn’t true, that it was said as a joke and people ran with it.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Usher, “Just Call Me a Mack”. No I’ll call you a tutor. You have homework.

    —————————————————————-
    LOL

  • Aha

    “You send cold chills up and down my spine
    We kiss for thrills then you draw the line
    Oh baby (oh baby)
    ‘Cause your mama told you that love ain’t right
    But don’t you know good lovin’ is the spice of life ? Yeah
    Mama’s pearls, let down those curls
    Won’t you give my love a whirl
    Find what you been missin’ (what you been missin’)”

    -from “Mama’s Pearl, by the Jackson 5, with 12 year old MJ singing lead.

    It’s not that unusual, nor is it disturbing. I knew about “flings” when I was that age, but that doesn’t mean I was participating in them. (It’d be years before that happened.)

  • JRM

    she never strikes me as being outta line at any time, but i still cant help but think that the amount of freedom is a bit much for a
    child

  • http://gravatar.com/hsm36 Whatever

    SUMMER FLING
    (see California fling)

    A sexual adventure free of hassles, commitments or drama, timed for the summer only. Something light and fun-filled with nothing to worry about at the end of the season. Usually not exclusive to one person, ends in a mutual agreement of friendship.

  • http://gravatar.com/hsm36 Whatever

    There’s nothing wrong with taking up for Willow but let’s not pretend, as grown women, we don’t know what a fling is… it’s the 80′s/90′s word used to describe “hooking up” before the term “hooking up” became popular.

    For everyone claiming they never thought about sex when they heard the word “fling” you must have never picked up Seventeen Magazine or Cosmo… watched any John Hughes movies… or ANY HS movie for that matter…watched The Real World on MTV… saw the movie Grease etc.

    The songwriter chose the wrong word. “Crush” would have made more sense. Fling relates to a few simple physical encounters lasting only within short time frame… yes, sex.

  • Kostas

    No. People are saying when they hear Willow Smith made a song talking about a “summer fling”, they don’t think about sex.

    As adults, context is very important. A 12yr old singing about her summer fling = summer crush. It is obvious to any adult who can think in context.

  • Whatever

    With that logic, if she made a song called “no strings attached” or “just for one night” no one would think about sex because a child is singing the song?

    While it may be obvious to adults, it certainly isn’t to children. That’s the problem.

  • lolala

    I think its also that everyone in the video in their late teens early 20s. makes it looks like a more mature fling than the lyrics imply.

  • Hollywood

    Believe it or not, not everyone experiences the same typical happenings of teenage life.

  • D.

    You were 12 and a freshman in high school? hmmmm seems legit -_- at any rate usually I do not care to comment on the things that willow does because she is a child. simple. However, how are you trying to say fling isn’t an adult word , with an adult meaning…How is it ok she is talking about midnight walks at age 12? Idk what kind of home you were raised in , but when i was twelve I was in the 7th grade and while i may not have gone to bed at 8:00pm I was most certainly NOT somewhere flinging with a boy at midnight…come on dude.

  • D.

    @noirluv THANK YOUUUUU!
    I don’t understand how people are wrong for hearing the word “fling” and automatically connecting it TO IT’S VERY DEFINITION!

  • chinaza

    I think the intent is innocent and at twelve we’re sexually aware -to different degrees- but the lyrics and context are too old for her age. It’s not about moral judgment either just applying sense to language that we all understand.

  • Kay

    I didn’t even have a boyfriend until I was about 18. So….anything having to do with a “fling,” summer or not was not allowed in my household. LOL.

  • Kay

    I was thinking the same thing. I’ve had crushes as a young kid (no boyfriends though) but to me fling sounds very sexualized. I think this song is about a kid crush/puppy love kind of thing.

  • EC4205

    What kid doesn’t stay up past 8:00 during the SUMMER? no school, bedtimes don’t apply in the same manner, and if you’re off on vacation, you probably don’t want to spend the limited time you have asleep all day and all night. At that age, I loved to explore. And by explore I mean see what’s around me and take in the sights. A midnight walk wouldn’t be that strange. And having a someone of whom they have a crush on accompany them can still be innocent. “Fling” has not always been an adult term. It has very different meanings depending on age, and back when I was 12, it did not mean a one night stand.

  • lhoskins

    “having them come to your house just so you can just stare at them.” ! so cute!

  • dee

    It makes me uncomfortable. Honestly ain’t nothing good going on after midnite especially on a warm beach under the moonlight with hormonal teenagers (UNSUPERVISED). Stop with all of this give them freedom bs. Willow is 12 she needs to be in the house when the streetlights come on just like all other teens and pre-teens need to be doing. Not talking about summer flings and temporary relationships. The only interesting thing to come out of this video is that if you take out Willow and put Rhianna in you just got the video for We Found Love. Willow is not my child but what I can say is when it comes to me and mine…”Not in This house! aint no summer flingin goin’ on…no ma’am!”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    A 12 year old singing about a summer fling and hooking up? Totally inappropriate.

  • Fantastico

    It’s about crushes and puppy love in the summer. Don’t act like you had your first crush the day you turned 18.

    Note: The world will not end when you stop sexualizing everything a black girl does. You might even make the world a better place.

  • Just saying

    Inappropriate? You didn’t have a summer camp fling at 12. Whatever. This is pretty universal. So what if she decided to

  • Just saying

    oh btw THE SONG IS GREAT!

  • Gen

    Or we could just stop giving the not talented children of celebrities attention…. nepotism anyone?

  • http://www.chicmodernvintage.com Tonia

    What’s up with the accent? Like you at 12 I was playing kickball and wearing ponytails not wigs. While times have changed children need to be just that children, otherwise they’re all messed up in the head one way or another…do I need to start a list of names?

  • Tom

    If that’s the case, then why didn’t they go with, “Summer Crush?” Fling has a very sexual connotation to it.

  • Tom

    Plus the boy in the video is def older looking than 12! Probably around 15-16?

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