Will Smith Said Willow Smith ‘Taught Me Such a Valuable Lesson’: She ‘Hit Me Hard’

Willow Smith sent a strong message to dad Will Smith when she shaved her head during her “Whip My Hair” tour. In a 2020 interview, Will explained how he wasn’t really hearing his daughter’s unhappiness about being on tour until she grabbed his attention by cutting her hair off.

Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Trey Smith attend the "After Earth" premiere
Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Trey Smith | Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Will Smith had an energy that ‘torched my family’

During an appearance on HBO Sport’s The Shop Uninterrupted, Will discussed how he had been moving through his life with a very rigid mentality that he learned as a child.

“And, you know, for a good 15 years of my life I just torched my family with that energy,” Will said. “Because a part of what I wanted was not just me — I wanted my kids to do that, I needed my wife to do that, and just my family was miserable.”

It was Willow who made it very clear that he needed to end that way of thinking. “Willow hit me hard,” he explained.

“So she’s 9 years old, with a top 10 single … and before that, only Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder had done it at that age,” Will shared. He believed he was winning at the parenting game, based on her success, so when she told him “Daddy, I’m ready to go home” after opening for Justin Bieber in Dublin, he was confused.

“I was like, ‘No baby, you can’t go home, you gotta finish the tour.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah daddy, I’m finished,’” he said.

“But you can’t be finished … you promised Mr. Jay-Z that you were gonna do the 30 days,” Will continued. “And she was like, ‘No daddy, you promised Mr. Jay-Z.’”

Will Smith learned a huge lesson from Willow

Will was blinded by his kid’s success and couldn’t understand why she would want to walk away from it since his professional drive kept him always striving to be number one.

He shared that the moment Willow shaved her head that night, it became very clear to him.

“She comes down that morning and she had shaved her head bald … in the middle of her ‘Whip my Hair’ tour,” Will explained. “Yo man, I was like, ‘Wow!,’ And she taught me such a valuable lesson.”

 “I was like, ‘Baby I got it. We can go home,’” he said.

RELATED: Will Smith and Jaden Smith Said Willow Smith Is the Biggest Star in Their Family: ‘She Just Knows Who She Is’

Jada Pinkett Smith also understood the significance

During the Oct. 13 episode of Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith and guests discussed the mom shaming they had experienced and the actor said when Willow shaved her head, “there was a firestorm.”

According to Jada, however, none of the criticism mattered because of what she witnessed.

“When people are like, ‘I can’t believe you shaved Willow’s head,’ if they could have seen this child’s expression of freedom, looking at her hair falling to the ground,” Jada explained.

Seeing her daughter’s reaction to that empowering moment definitely quieted any of the external scrutiny.

“So me as a mom looking at that, experiencing that with her, there is nothing anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong,” Jada explained. “Not one person, because I was there, I was looking at her, I saw her face, I knew the journey that she and I took together to get to that point. And so it didn’t really matter what anybody said.”