How Will Smith Raises Willow to ‘Have Command of Her Body’

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are one of Hollywood’s favorite couples. They have a beautiful marriage that endures despite constant rumors of rough patches and divorce.

Their children are multi-talented, creative, and caring individuals. Their family is certainly in the headlines a lot, but they’ve taught their children not to worry about what others think of them. Jaden and Willow have grown to be strong, confident adults who aren’t afraid to express themselves through their style choices, from funky clothing to daring hairstyles. 

Will and Jada’s endearing marriage

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the premiere of 'Gemini Man'
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the premiere of ‘Gemini Man’ | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have apparently figured out something that many celebrity couples don’t–the secret to a lasting marriage. The pair has been married for 22 years. They’ve seen their fair share of ups and downs, and become stronger because of those challenges. 

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith met way back in his Fresh Prince days. Jada had auditioned for the role of his girlfriend but lost out on the part to Nia Long. A few years later, Will divorced his first wife and began dating Jada. They hit it off immediately–in just two years they were married and had a baby on the way.

Their son, Jaden, was born in 1998, followed by their daughter, Willow, in 2000. In 2003, the Smith’s cozy family dynamic inspired them to create a sitcom. All of Us was loosely based on the Smiths real-life situation–it followed the story of Robert, his new family, and his son from a previous relationship. The show aired until 2007 on UPN and The CW. 

Throughout their marriage, rumors have swirled about their relationship. According to the internet, the couple is always about to get a divorce or having an affair. Sometimes, the rumor is that they have an open marriage. They largely ignore it all, but once in awhile, they’ll respond, as Will Smith did a few years ago–“So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-again-ness… Jada and I are…NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! : -) I promise you all – if I ever decide to divorce my Queen – I SWEAR I’ll tell you myself!” 

The kids are just as accomplished as their parents

RELATED: Will Smith’s Best Parenting Advice Is Spot-On for Raising Gender Nonconforming KIds

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s kids — and Will Smith’s son, Trey Smith– are incredibly talented and unique individuals.

Jaden is now 22 years old, with several accomplishments already under his belt. He’s an actor and musician, starring in a couple of movies alongside his dad–The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth–and hits like The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Karate Kid.

Jaden also started a gender-neutral clothing line in 2016. He created MSFTS (pronounced “misfits”) to encourage others to dress however they like, without needing to be confined by gender norms. He wants to help teens feel comfortable dressing in what makes them happy.

In an interview with Variety magazine, Jaden explained the name of his label “I took the ‘I’ out of ‘misfits’ because we’re a team and there is no ‘I’ in team. It’s a place for the lost kids and everyone to go, and something for them to have.”

Willow Smith, almost 20 years old, also has a knack for acting and music. Like her brother, she got her start on the big screen with her dad in I Am Legend. She then played Countee in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, and the young version of Gloria the hippo in Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa.

In 2010, she released her first single, “Whip My Hair.” She went on to release three albums–Ardipithecus, The 1st, and Willow. 

In addition to being creative, the Smith children have huge hearts. Over ten years ago, they became youth ambassadors for PROJECT ZAMBI. The charity helps children in Africa who have been orphaned because of AIDS. 

Will teaches his daughter to take charge and ‘have command of her body’

The internet was buzzing when Willow Smith–who often made bold statements with her hair–shaved it all off. The world had quite a bit to say about Willow’s choice, and many posted their “concerns” on social media.

Jada Pinkett Smith defended her daughter (and her parenting skills) by explaining that she encouraged her daughter to take control of her body and understand that her self-esteem is not measured by the way she looks. She said: “Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.”

Although Jada Pinkett Smith ultimately dealt with the fallout from the hair buzz, Will Smith was asked his opinion in a 2015 interview with Act Two magazine. He echoed his wife’s sentiments, saying that it was important that his daughter understand that her body is her own. He didn’t want to send the wrong message and make her think that any man can control what she does with her body.

He said: “How can you teach her that she’s in control of her body if I tell her that I’m in charge of what she can do with her hair? Someday, she will replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She has to have command of her body.”