Young girls today have the reputation of being too fast, too grown and just too much all the way around. From BET’s 106 & Park to the streets of Brooklyn and Atlanta, many adults feel that they are maturing at a rate that is detrimental to not only their safety on these mean streets, but to our communities’ evolution at large.
I beg differ.
Sure, booty-shorts and dance moves better suited for Magic City than a junior-high prom are no bueno. But behavior that out-of-order is suspect coming from any woman whether she’s thirteen or thirty-three and is a sure sign of immaturity not growth. The issue I see is the attempt of adults trying to equate over-sexualized behavior with freedom of expression when the two concepts are apples and oranges.
Take Willow Smith for example. She’s smart, precocious, free-spirited and has a penchant for whipping her hair back and forth while sporting punk-rock attire and an “I’m bad and I know it” attitude. Recently, the little diva – and her parents, Hollywood royalty Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith – have come under fire after she tweeted photos of herself with a shaved head.
What many people don’t realize, is that much more than a mere act of defiance, Willow is friends with a young girl named Hayley Okines who suffers from Progeria – a rare genetic disorder that not only produces rapid aging but accelerated hair-loss. In her book, Old Before My Time, little Hayley details her life battles and exhibits a strength absent in women twice her age.
Could it be that Willow shaved her head in a show of solidarity and support? And if so, how powerful is that message for other young girls who have not been taught the concept “I am my sister’s keeper”? Even if she did it simply because she likes the feel of the wind on her dome, whom exactly is she hurting?