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« "You're her mother...you can say no." | Main | Guest Post: "Gender Police" by Dr. Jill Kuhn »
Monday
Jul022012

Willow Smith says "I AM ME"

Will Smith made news recently after his daughter Willow got a buzz cut. Willow is eleven-years-old and word of her new 'do made headlines--you know, because young girls are not supposed to cut all their hair off. But here's what Will Smith had to say about it:

“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.”

Those of us who believe in allowing children the freedom to express their individuality applauded Will and Jada's decision to let their little girl chop her hair. I have a seven-year-old daughter who recently got a buzz cut. I agree that she "has got to have command of her body." But some felt I should have used my parenting trump card to simply say, "no." Believe me--I do say no...a lot. In this case, however, it was not my decision to make. It is not my hair--it is her hair. If she can proudly tell the world, at seven-years-old, "this is who I am" then I need to show the world how proud I am of who she is. And I am.

 

I had to post the lyrics and video to Willow's new song called "I Am Me." The words strike a deep chord and resonate with me on a very personal level. I wish my daughter could meet Willow--I think they'd like each other.   

I’m me, I’m me, and that’s all I can be
I’m me, I’m me, it’s my one ability
I’m free
And you can’t stop me,
I’m free, and that’s all I can be

Days pass, I’m tryin' to find who I really am
I’ve been looking
People don’t like the way I dress
So it won’t matter, I’ve been looking
I’ve done my hair and it’s not just that easy
I’ve been looking
Your validation it’s not just that important to me

[Chorus]
I’m me, I’m me, and that’s all I can be
I’m me, I’m me, it’s my one ability
I’m free
And you can’t stop me,
I’m free, I’m me, and that’s all I can be

Night falls and I find it here I am in peace
I’ve been looking
Making friends with spirits lost
And it sets me free, I’ve been looking
Express myself cause it’s my liberty
I’ve been looking
Your validation it’s not just that important to me

[Chorus]
I’m me, I’m me, and that’s all I can be
I’m me, I’m me, it’s my one ability
I’m free
And you can’t stop me,
I’m me, I’m free, and that’s all I can be

I am me, I am me, I am me
I am free, I am free, I am free
I am me, I am me, I am me
I am free, I am free, X 2

Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh

Create yourself, redo yourself
Renew yourself
Be you, do what you do,
Hold your head up high, everything’s gonna alright
You’re you, I’m me, let’s livei n harmony
Coexist with each other, love each other
Be yourself
You have to be yourself, be real, be honest
Cause ain’t nobody got time for that
They really don’t, so listen to me
Listen to this song, because this is real fact
That will help you move along, yeah
That’s all I wanted to say, so I love you guys so much
Hope you like the song and you know...

Reader Comments (3)

"Your validation, it's just not that important to me." Wow. EVERY girl should feel that way. Good for Willow, and good for Gabi!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLori Day

I think that the more parents who let their kids choose (within common sense) to present themselves to the world a personal look, the less "edgy" it seems when kids do it. Hair is hair; you can cut it and it grows back eventually. You can tell your kids that dying it eight different colours in a months will probably damage their hair, but ultimately, you should let them experiment with their look.

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I cannot agree more. I am actually considering cutting my hair short myself -I'm 12, and even the bob I have now is really annoying in the mornings - but I am kind of nervous. I have quite a square jaw and having framing hair is very helpful in de-emphasising that. I know that appearance does not define me, but I already suffer serious bullying and I believe that would only make it worse.

April 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth K

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