Fame and success come with loads of pressures and for a kid thrust into the spotlight, it can be overwhelming no doubt.
If there’s one thing we know about Willow Smith, apart from being super talented, she sure holds her own. Well during her younger years, the Red Table Talk show host and singer reflecting back opened up about experiencing anxiety attacks following the success of her 2010 smash hit “Whip My Hair.”
According to the 21-year-old, during the anxiety attacks she was basically dismissed:
“That was crazy,” Smith, 21, said in a chat with The Independent. “I was brainwashed into thinking, ‘No, you’re being a brat, suck it up.’ Then I grew up, and I realized it was something that needed to be dealt with.”
“Whip My Hair” which was released in late-October 2010, shortly before her 10th birthday, went double-platinum, earning her a record deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, among other accolades as well as an arena tour with Justin Bieber. But while on the aforementioned tour, Smith told her father, Fresh Prince star Will Smith, that she was no longer interested in continuing because she didn’t feel like it — despite committing, it led to a major disagreement with Willow shaving her hair off in an act of defiance.
In 2018 during an interview with Haute Living, Will said that Willow “really tested him” following the success of the song.
During a December 2018 episode of the “Red Table Talk” show, Willow also opened up that her dad was “harsh” at the time, but she’s since learned to forgive him.
“It was like, a couple of years trying to regain trust for not feeling like I was listened to, or no one cared what I felt during that time,” she said.
Meanwhile speaking in June 2020, Will said that it was “so devastating” when Willow shaved her head. The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star said that the act felt like a “protest against me” and “a sign from the gods” that she didn’t want to adhere to his rules.
Will also said that the fallout of “Whip My Hair” caused him to “put a pause button” on the “overt parenting” that he learned from his father.
Willow reflecting on the success of “Whip My Hair” in a cover story for the July 2021 issue of L’Officiel magazine said;
“For so long, I wanted to condemn that time of my life and forget it, just kind of push it under the rug,” she said. “I really regretted it.”
Since then, the musician has come to terms with the hit track.
“I realized that the content in my songs has always been centered around self-love and the universe and our humanity’s divine path, about expressing oneself and being unapologetic,” she said.
She continued: “I listened to ‘Whip My Hair’ not too long ago, after many years, and realized that it’s the same message. I’m not saying anything that’s against my values, and on top of that, I’m saying things that are in harmony with my values. Now, I would never take it back.”