During a time where police brutality, gender inequality, and attempts to squander our freedom of expression run rampant, it’s great to see Black people who #shareblackjoy. Especially when it comes to our children. Often times, they’re not allowed to just be kids (as we’ve seen with Malia Obama). So when we see Black children in the spotlight who are carefree and proud, we should embrace them for daring to be themselves in a society that wants them to do otherwise.
Enter Willow and Jaden Smith. They’ve undergone their fair share of criticism and yet still manage to come out on top. Willow is an ambassador for Chanel and Jaden is making waves on the Netflix hit, The Get Down. The 15 and 18 year-old siblings sat down with Pharrell Williams and Interview Magazine to talk about the realities of not being famous, but of being themselves.
On who really inspires them:
Willow: “Growing up, all I saw was my parents trying to be the best people they could be, and people coming to them for wisdom, coming to them for guidance, and them not putting themselves on a pedestal, but literally being face-to-face with these people and saying, ‘I’m no better than you, but the fact that you’re coming to me to reach some sort of enlightenment or to shine a light on something, that makes me feel love and gratitude for you.’ They always give back what people give to them. And sometimes they keep giving and giving and giving.”
Jaden: “I 100 percent agree with Willow on that one. My parents are definitely my biggest role models. And that’s where me and Willow both pull all of our inspiration from to change the world. It all comes from a concept of affecting the world in a positive way and leaving it better than it was than when we came.”
On learning how to dress themselves:
Willow: “Me and Jaden, when we were younger … [laughs] Ooh! We would wear the craziest things. Jaden would only wear his Spider-Man costume. I would freaking mismatch every single shirt and pants in my closet. We would just be so rambunctious with our clothing choices. And when we were old enough to start dressing ourselves, my mom was like, ‘Are you sure you want to go out like that?’ And me and Jaden would be like, ‘You know what? Yes.’ And she’d totally accept it.”
On the real perks of “fame:”
Willow: “If we didn’t have the kind of exposure to the world that we do now, people wouldn’t hear the positive thoughts that we have. It’s amazing to be able to work with iconic people and to have my name on something that’s so beautiful, but at the same time, the only reason why I do it is so that I can have more of a reach to different kinds of people and spread my message.”
On keeping their public and private selves separate:
Jaden: “The only thing that we want to keep people updated with is that we want to keep the kids that are following us, the kids that are looking up to us updated on what we’re learning and what we’re thinking about life. So that’s why we have our brand MSFTSrep, but that’s a different story. That’s where we try to fuel the youth. Like, I have a homie right now, his name is Ian. He’s from D.C. He’s a super young dude. He’s been a MSFTS fan for, like, ever. He’s been to our shows. He’s just starting to make music. And he’s out here with me right now because I got him a hotel room at the spot that I’m staying at, for him and his homies to just to, like, witness a lifestyle, see that anything’s possible.”
On the best piece of advice they’ve received:
Willow: Well, mine is from my mom. And she said, “Do you, boo boo.” [laughs] That is forever going to be the best advice.
Read the full story at Interview Magazine.