Will Smith Opens Up About Raising Jaden & Willow

Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Will Smith's family may be one of the most outspoken in Hollywood. Wife Jada Pinkett was one of the first to boycott the extremely white Oscars, and his kids have made headlines for saying some pretty crazy shit. In an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, Smith was asked about that "freedom of expression" he allows children Jaden and Willow. "Yeah, I think it may have been a mistake," Smith said, laughing. "I think we may have gone too far."

When asked how he handles the criticism that his kids might face from their unusual choices — like Jaden's rejection of gender norms and new campaign modeling women's clothing — Smith said it's his job as a dad to support them as artists. "You know, there's a really powerful internal quality as an artist that as parents we encourage," the Concussion star said. "You gotta get out on the edge, you have to try things, you have to be comfortable doing things that people don't agree with, and you have to be comfortable doing things that you could fail." The actor said he and Jada "decided a long time ago that it's sort of better to flow with what people are naturally, more than what our egos need them to be."
That sounds like wise parenting philosophy — especially considering what strong, singular individuals Jaden and Willow have grown into. Willow just dropped her debut album at age 15. And 17-year-old Jaden is a philosopher for the 21st century. Smith added that his son in particular is "100 percent fearless, he will do anything." The father confessed, "as a parent it's scary, it's really terrifying — but he [Jaden] is completely willing to live and die by his own artistic decisions and he just doesn't concern himself with what people think." Sounds like Will and Jada raised him well.

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