"Jada Pinkett-Smith is aware of the critics that stick 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.- Have a Gay Day
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.”"
When I was growing up, my mom never let me do anything with my appearance because she said that I should not be so vain. Nevertheless after turning 16, I started to sneak things, like taking the bus to go dye my hair and then couldnt get back home. When I was 17, I got my cartilage pierced. By the time I was 22, I had four piercings on one ear, and one on the other. I didn't get my tattoo until I was 26. I can't tell whether or not I am what one would consider vain. I also cannot tell whether her prevention of my vanity made me less vain than I could have been. But either way, I did appreciate her for keeping my narcissism in check.
Provided that that the post is real, I think Jada Pinkett-Smith makes a valid point, but she doesn't actually address the point of whether or not she thinks it's important to keep her child's vanity in check. Perhaps when you let your child have control over everything, the child must also understand what type of responsibility comes with the control, which is often something a child is incapable of comprehending. I guess these type of things are contextual and the pull and release has to be different for every child. And in the case of Willow Smith, the understanding of vanity is likely more difficult. I mean how can you explain what vanity is to the child who is the product of a superstar power couple and who has made the billboards at age 9 (or however old she was)? On the other hand, maybe it's much easier for her to understand what vanity is because of that?