Willow Smith candidly spoke on her struggles growing up as a celebrity. The ten-year-old girl who rocketed to stardom seven years ago by whipping her back and forth has suffered from celebrity whiplash.
As a seventeen-year-old teenager, the scion speaks with a maturity of a girl that belies her age. Willow released her second album, titled, The 1st, which she's written and produced, and described it in a tweet as an “emotional regurgitation from the depths of a burgeoning woman."
Being a teenage celebrity has been complicated for the daughter of Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
“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 told Girlgaze. "And the only way to get over it, is to go into it. You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things."
So I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, 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. When you’re born into it, there are two choices that you have; I’m either going to try to go into it completely and help from the inside, or… no one is going to know where I am… and I’m really going to take myself completely out of the eye of society. There’s really no in-between.
Some people just couldn't relate and were unsympathetic.
@JustJared @GirlgazeProject @OfficialWillow How come growing up famous is a bad thing? I’d be happy if I were famous lol.— Steve (@Steve) 1511626062.0
Willow Smith thinks she has a "terrible" life https://t.co/Sgh5PLP28w— Connor Ryan (@Connor Ryan) 1511579357.0
@JustJared Growing up hungry and poor is excruciatingly terrible.— Blurt Nobrain (@Blurt Nobrain) 1511626914.0
But plenty understood the singer's perspective on fame and growing up.
@BuzzFeed Y'all are missing a point. She said famous, not rich. Famous meaning a lack of privacy... can't make the… https://t.co/yrJQM1jhrD— Ms. Jackson (@Ms. Jackson) 1511618134.0
@baroquerw @BuzzFeed She’s pretty close to being an adult, especially since she and Jaden have been described as wi… https://t.co/id1MQTfaUQ— crazy ill mad rowdy (@crazy ill mad rowdy) 1511627306.0
@skynet8291997 @baroquerw @BuzzFeed Seriously? It's very shallow and naive to think like that. Money doesn't guaran… https://t.co/zf1trUlMGs— yah yah browowowout (@yah yah browowowout) 1511627756.0
Person of the Year (however that’s determined) should go to Willow Smith, a woman wise beyond her years... #WillowSmith— Jeetendr Sehdev (@Jeetendr Sehdev) 1511582108.0
The songs in The 1st are very personal, and she expresses the challenges of becoming an adult. In the track, "And Contentment," Willow compares herself to a caterpillar's transition from a cocoon.
I wanted to capture the darkness and the beauty and not separate them. Making darkness and light one thing and not always singling them out and analyzing them apart. I wasn’t going to put that caterpillar part in it. And then I found those chords and the chords felt like the perfect mixture of discomfort and beauty, and this transition is scary and it’s beautiful and I try not to separate the two.
Willow is a part of the new Z generation, whose members are absorbed in technological interaction which contributes to the growing epidemic of anxiety.
This generation is hypersensitive spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally. 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. It’s not just the phones. The phones are just a tool. The phones just heighten what was already happening.
The artist imbues the empowerment of women into the lyrics of her songs, feeding off the energy of an increasing feminist movement.
If other women aren’t going to respect other women then you’re right we are pretty much fucked. I try to talk to other women about, you know, listening to misogynistic music and paying to see misogynistic rappers and putting their energy into things that are only going to hurt them in the long run, and we just all need that awareness I think.
Willow Smith is taking a stand in the first issue of @GirlgazeProject, which highlights the power of the female per… https://t.co/XVipMNzZFL— JustJared.com (@JustJared.com) 1511511086.0
Willow has come a long way since the day she burst onto the scene. And similar to the intensity of her early introduction into the entertainment industry, a young woman is emerging from her cocoon with a ferocity and intelligence that is demanding to be heard.
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