A blog by Amanda Alcantara

Monday, October 21, 2013

Willow Smith's "I Am Me" has the potential to be every girl's new anthem

Putting aside the fact that Willow Smith was born to a wealthy Hollywood couple, and is therefore able to afford singing and dance lessons, and to pretty much develop her talent in ways that many other young girls in different situations can't, this song is kind of awesome. And so is she.

I love her personality. I love how she dresses. I love her natural hair. I love how her persona shines throughout this video. Her personality comes out so beautifully. I also love that she encourages her listeners to also be themselves and to learn to love and live in harmony.

Young black Hollywood girls are subjected to a different kind of criticism than their white peers, something that we saw earlier this year when The Onion called Quvenzhane Wallis the c-word, and some even resorted to calling her "little q" because they "couldn't" spell her name. Outside of Hollywood, black girls and Afro-Latinas get constantly criticized for not fitting the norm. Examples: a student in Oklahoma got sent home for rocking some awesome dreadlocks; and Dominican women grow up in an environment where they learn to deny their black heritage and straighten their hair. So seeing Willow Smith shine in this video can definitely continue shaping her into an awesome role model for all girls out there. Mainstream media desperately needs more Willow.

I'll leave you with these words from Jada Pinkett Smith where she defends Willow's decision to shave her head:

This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don't belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It's also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother's deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. 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.


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