Willow Smith Reflects on "Pressure" She Felt to Uphold the Legacy of Parents Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

In a recent interview, Willow Smith spoke about the "pressure" she’s faced as the daughter to parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. But now, says the 20-year-old, she's “finding her freedom.”

By Kisha Forde Jul 16, 2021 3:38 PMTags

Willow Smith is getting real about her pursuit of happiness.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the 20-year-musician and daughter of stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about the "pressure" she's faced growing up in a family with such an impressive legacy.
"I always just wanted to do right by my parents," Willow explained. "And do right by the beauty that they have put in the world and continue to uplift that beauty and to uphold that beauty."
But, succeeding in the family business can feel particularly stressful when Mom and Dad's career title can best be described as superstar.
"I felt a lot of pressure," she explained of following in the footsteps of their three-decade careers. But now that she is forging her own path, she added, "Because I'm not a minor anymore, I'm finding the freedom to—I can put that beauty in the world."

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Willow previously opened up about her struggle with the pressures of fame when she found major success during her "Whip My Hair" era in 2010. Not only did she shave her hair—effectively putting an end to her Whip My Hair tour—but as she revealed in a 2018 episode of Red Table Talk, she began to suffer from self-harm.


"I honestly feel like I lost my sanity at one point," Willow confessed in the episode. "It was after that whole 'Whip My Hair' thing and I had just like stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of in this gray area of, 'Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything I can do besides this?'"

Three years later, she's found her answer, recently making another splash on the music scene with her latest punk rock/pop album, Lately I Feel Everything. And she's confident that she can continue her family legacy on her own terms. "I can uphold that energy," she shared with Zane. "And so, I'm just figuring that out in all of these different ways, and it's going to be a journey and there's more to come."