“My style of parenting is very similar to that of my parents, minus the concept of ownership. I think that, specifically in African American households, the idea coming out of slavery, there’s a concept of your children being property and that was a major part that Jada and I released with our kids. We respect our children the way we would respect any other person. Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms. We tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it.’ So the same way you would say to an adult if you let them use your car, you say, ‘Yo man, clean my car! Don’t drive around all filthy like that!’ And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to want an adult to clean your car, so we feel it’s perfectly reasonable to ask our kids to clean the rooms that we are letting them use.”
– I never would have thought the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and I would agree on much, but it turns out that Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith actually have some cool ideas about parenting. I’ve always loved their POV on Willow’s hair that it belongs to Willow and they wants their daughter to understand she controls her own body. Will echoed sentiments like these, too, saying that they don’t believe in treating their kids like “property” they own. I happen to agree! [US Weekly] [Photo: Getty]
Guys, the ’90s! The best! Here’s a clip from a 1990 Earth Day special, featuring, oh, basically everyone who was famous in the ’90s. While the entire special is about an hour long and features everyone from Neil Patrick Harris (NPH 4 LYFE) to Danny Devito, the Cosbys and the stars of “Thirtysomething,” we thought this Earth Day rap section was tops. In it, future movie/TV stars like Will Smith, Ice-T and Queen Latifah offer up their best environmentally-friendly rhymes. Did you want to see Heavy D rap about dying fish? Will Smith postulate on paint? Kid ‘n’ Play speak out about war (and garbage)? Tone Loc talk about used batteries? Yes, this video is all that and more. [Mental Floss]
And oh yeah, for 10 things you can do for Earth Day check out this list!
“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.”
– Jada Pinkett Smith took to her Facebook page to address the played-out “controversy” over the way her 12-year-old daughter Willow cuts, dyes and styles her hair. Some, apparently, feel that Jada and husband Will Smith should exert more control over what their daughter does with her appearance, which, I suspect, stems from their discomfort that the burgeoning pop star’s look is not traditionally feminine. I absolutely love Jada’s response to this (which echoes the one her husband gave a few months ago), and especially admire the fact that she doesn’t just call out our culture’s expectations of what a little girl should be, but is also upfront that parents should not use their children to channel their own insecurities. Bravo! [Facebook via Clutch Magazine]
Remember back in That Time Before Kristen Stewart Took Over the Tabloids (TTBKSTOTT), when everyone was talking about Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith and how they were totally breaking up? It seems like there was a weeks-long period when every celebrity rag in publication was downright obsessed with their relationship, and the rumors went so far as to claim Jada had retained a high-powered divorce attorney, they had split up the kids … and that Will was getting jiggy with actor Duane Martin.
In the latest issue of Essence, Jada addressed the rumors head-on, and I have to admire her for being willing to talk about this crap. Because it has to suck, being asked for the millionth time whether or not your marriage is about to fall apart. Read more…
Willow Smith, the 11-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, posted the above photo to her Instagram this weekend, and it appears as if the young pop star has a new tongue piercing. There’s certainly a possibility that she’s got one of those fake magnet piercings in her mouth and hasn’t actually been stabbed by a needle, but let’s assume, for the sake of debate, that it’s real. A person under 18 can’t get pierced in California without parental permission, and Will and Jada do seem like parents who try real hard to be “cool,” so I wouldn’t put it past them to allow this. (Especially if they subscribe to the Scientology belief that kids can basically do whatever they want.) However, this does seem like it would be a more extreme version of what Will talked about in regards to letting Willow shave her hair, no? What do you think — is 11 too young for a piercing? (Personally, I think yes. I also think tongue piercings are so ’90s raver. Sorry, Jessica.) [Dlisted]
“We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives.”
– I’m usually sort of ‘meh’ on Will Smith and the whole Smith family, but I am really impressed by this particular quote from him on letting daughter Willow cut her hair. There’s really something to be said for instilling a sense of body sovereignty and ownership when we’re young. I think it’s wonderful that Smith and his wife Jada have seen the importance in teaching this to their children, particularly their daughter, in ways that are appropriate and understandable for her age. I imagine this will only have a very positive effect on her as she becomes a woman and is up against the various ways in which people and society try to claim her body as their own. [Necole Bitchie.com]
I don’t usually have many feelings about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s style or, for that matter, Jada Pinkett-Smith as a whole. I try not to even think about Will Smith anymore because he just makes me sad. He is no longer the Fresh Prince I knew and loved — I thank Scientology. Anyway, “Men In Black 3″ (does anybody want to make an original film anymore or is it all sequels to sequels from here on out?) premiered in New York last night and Jada, who has made some fairly bizarre sartorial choices in the past, went for what I think is a simply gorgeous dress by Bill Blass. It’s a bit of a strain to see, but the entire skirt is sheer, with the opaque bodice and torso forming a sort of bodysuit shape not unlike Beyoncé’s Met Ball gown. I love everything about Jada’s look and I absolutely think she can pull it off, but I want to know what you guys think: is the sneakily revealing skirt totally appropriate or does it leave too little to the imagination?
Don’t get fresh with the former Prince of Bel-Air: Will Smith slapped an overly affectionate Ukrainian reporter who kissed him at the Moscow premiere of Men in Black 3, reports E! Online. Smith took the smooches in good humor when they began, but soon pushed the reporter away. “What the hell is your problem, buddy?” Smith asked before throwing a quick back-handed slap, then walking away. “He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him,” he added. Apparently the reporter’s schtick is kissing celebrities, and TMZ says Smith got upset when he felt the reporter’s mouth brush his. Read more…
“There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an asshole like Will Smith. He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.”
– Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” shot down rumors of a reunion with some harsh words for her former on-screen nephew. Apparently, these two have been beefing since the early-’90s, when she left the show.Back then, Smith implied that Hubert was resentful of his success when she had been working in Hollywood for a long time.
“She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing,” he said in 1993. “She’s mad now but she’s been mad all along. She said once, ‘I’ve been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.’ No matter what, to her I’m just the AntiChrist.” Keep reading »