“I’m thinking about shaving my head during the ‘Whip My Hair’ performance,” Willow Smith said during a behind-the-scenes segment in her Facebook Live event, Willow in Concert: Lately I Feel Everything, promoting her album of the same name. Sure enough — the 20-year-old “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” singer followed through. Towards the 46:00 mark of the concert (which will be available on Watch Together via Messenger and Instagram, or on Facebook Watch), Willow sits down with a guitar in her hand, and someone comes in with a pair of clippers. Though Willow said earlier in the concert that “Whip My Hair” is her “favorite song in the set right now just because of how it feels to sing,” this shaving off her hair signifies how she left her past self – and the 2010 hit – behind her.
“This is gonna be my third time in my life shaving my head,” said Willow. “I’m always shaving my head at monumental times in my life when things are really changing. And this is definitely one of those moments.” During the concert, Willow explained how she struggled to come to terms with “Whip My Hair,” a viral song she released when she was only 9-years-old. “So, when I made ‘Whip My Hair,’ I didn’t really know that it was an important thing because I was just expressing my joy, and I was just expressing myself,” she said in another segment. “Young Willow was just so fearless. She was just like, ‘I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it; however, it needs to be done. And if you don’t like it, then I’m sorry.’ ”
“The core idea of ‘Whip My Hair’ is the core idea of all my music,” she said. “The genres just changes, but I’m saying the same thing every single time. For so many years, I just kind of spiraled and didn’t really understand that, and wanted to push myself away from that, without having that understanding,” she added. “I’m pushing away the very thing that is who I am.” Willow also said she wants to be “promoting positivity” and “expression,” and that “Whip My Hair” was “just a huge encouragement to people to just be themselves and to help others do the same.”
Willow’s symbolic gesture inspired her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, to shave her head, as well. “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place,” Willow captioned a July 12 Instagram post of her with her mother,” “and when we expect nothing in return.”
Willow’s lately i feel EVERYTHING arrived on July 16. It featured appearances from Travis Barker, Avril Lavigne, Ayla Tesler-Mabe, Tierra Whack, and Cherry Glazerr. The first reviews were positive, with Kerrang “calling it spiky, mature and not lacking in substance, which makes for a consistently strong and rewarding record” that ends on a “feisty, punk-driven conclusion.”
“This is such a special moment for me,” Willow captioned the Facebook Live concert. “Celebrating the release of my album, lately I feel EVERYTHING, with Travis Barker + Avril Lavigne. #WatchTogether on Instagram and Messenger. Thank you for coming on this journey with me.”