Willow Smith, 18, is as real as it gets. During a recent episode of her Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk, with her mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, 47, and grandmother Adrienne, 65, Willow admitted for the first time that she used to cut her wrists as teen. That was the first time her mother and grandmother heard the admission. Now, Willow is expanding on her experience with self-harm in a new interview with her Red Table Talk co-hosts.
She was thrust into fame at a young age, and by the time she was 10, Willow had been struggling with the negative side of celebrity, she told People, alongside Jada and Adrienne, who were also present for the interview. All three generations cover the latest issue of People, on newsstands now. After her 2010 hit, “Whip My Hair” brought on even more attention, Willow was completely overwhelmed.
By her early teens, Willow began cutting, which she told the magazine provided her with “a physical release of all the intangible pain that’s happening in your heart and in your mind.” She continued: “I was super young, and I had a dream, but all I really wanted to do was sing and I didn’t equate that with all the business and the stress that ended up coming with it,” Willow explained referencing the time after the fame of “Whip My Hair”. “I was just like, ‘Whoa, this is not the life that I want’.”
By 2012, Willow had shaved her head as a way of going against the grain of fame. “It was the perfect way to rebel,” she said, adding that doing so made her feel more liberated.
As time went on, Willow began to study both science and spirituality, which led her to the revelation that she didn’t need to harm herself. “I was like, ‘This is pointless — my body is a temple,’ and I completely stopped,” she said. “It seemed literally psychotic after a certain point because I had learned to see myself as worthy.”
In a video accompanying the interview, Jada said that while she was “shocked” about her daughter’s admission, she was “so proud of her in that moment.” Jada added that Willow brought “a lot of healing” to their family members. Now, Willow hopes to help others who struggle with self-harm.