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I Don’t Feel The Need To Just Whip My Hair

Nine year old Willow Smith is back in the news with her debut song Whip My Hair.  The song has garnered a lot of attention on the internet and the fact that Jay-Z is involved.  Whip My Hair has piqued people’s interest.  The number of visitors to my blog skyrocketed yesterday because people were coming to my post Willow Smith Gets A Haircut!  It was a post I wrote months ago about Willow Smith getting a haircut similar to Rihanna’s.  I didn’t think it was cool that the world was putting so much stock into what happens to this little girl’s hair.  Eight months later Willow Smith is topping popularity charts with a song about hair whipping.  Don’t people listen?

Maybe it says something about the so called hip-hop culture when a skinny nine year old can muscle her way onto the scene.  If the performance of yesterday is any indication, I could repurpose my blog so that it would be a shrine to Willow Smith and I’m practically guaranteed to get about a billion hits per day.  But my point isn’t to become the most popular blogger of the year.  There’s more to life than just entertainment, hair, and fashion.  I could not care any less if people feel the need to squander their time, money, and energy on things so superficial.  This kid and her family have the ability to reach people and bring attention to things of substance.  But I guess that type of critical thinking is simply asking too much.

This is not a commentary on Willow Smith herself.  Any red blooded nine year old girl would love all of the attention that is being lavished on this girl.  Most girls get a weird haircut and a leopard print outfit with shoes that look like high top motorcycle boots and they’re just another girl at school with a weird haircut and an outfit to match.  Willow’s life is like one of those fantasy shows kids can watch on the Disney Channel where some kid who appears to not have much to offer the world is suddenly cast in the limelight.

But usually, those afternoon Disney shows end with the kids coming back down to reality and realizing that the dream of being at the center of everyone’s attention isn’t all that.  The kids in those shows learn that there’s something to be said for normalcy and being mediocre and being just a regular kid.  It doesn’t appear that Willow, or her brother, is getting an opportunity to learn that lesson in any meaningful way.

It should be noted that the Smith children have opportunities that far exceed the average child.  They have great potential.  But with that potential, they should understand that they have great responsibilities as well.  It’s not always going to be to their advantage to be the focus of everybody’s interest.  It is not in these children’s interests to serve as the distraction that keeps the majority of us from focusing on what should be important in our lives.  What are the issues facing the black community these days?  Who cares?  Willow Smith has just released an album and you’ve just got to hear it!  Whip your hair around.  And if you get dizzy in the process don’t stop, just do it faster.

If life was kind Willow and her brother, karate kid Jaden, would be waking up right now and would be getting back to something resembling a normal life.  Yes, it’s fun to be prepubescent teens that live the highlife and go jet setting around the globe.  But the real life for kids as young as this shouldn’t be lived so close to the edge.  When it is, there’s always the chance that things might go a little too far.  The edge might not be enough.  And in that event, somebody whose light is burning so bright might want to take a step beyond the edge, into an ether that has nothing to offer anyone.

If the activity that I have seen on the internet is any indication it’s pretty obvious that my ramblings are in a rather insignificant minority.  People everywhere are applauding the debut release of Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair, just like everybody celebrated her brother’s appearance in the remake of the Karate Kid.  These two kids can do no wrong.  They are young entertainment prodigies like the world has never seen.  Willow Smith’s debut recording has been described as radiating with a lyrical rap flow complimented with a beat that has a funky pop undertone.  I thought it sounded too much like something out of an Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon.

The song promotes the idea that it doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have.  The lyrics tell all the ladies, if you feel it go on and do it.  It doesn’t matter if the hair is long or short.  Whip your hair.  It doesn’t matter what else is happening in your life.  It doesn’t matter what the issues are.  Just whip your hair around and act like you don’t care about what’s happening in your life.  Caring is too much like taking responsibility for what’s happening and who needs that when a nine year old releases a song with a snappy beat?  And who will be the first to complain when life is whipping our asses because we’re all too busy taking our eyes off the prize so we can whip our hair?  Don’t worry about that.  Just keep whipping your head around.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Thoughts | ,


  1. I think this is insanity. Why would anyone do this to their kid at 9 years old? It’s like throwing them under the media bus – it will keep running them over with criticism after every move they make. What kind of parent does that? Oh, wait, I’ll tell you! An irresponsible one.

    Comment by Lauren | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Reply

  2. One problem is that these girls who are starting to wear the funky outfits and crazy hair do’s are usually starting that crap at 15 or 16. Teenagers hell bent on rebellion, not 9 year old’s pushed into the fast lane by nutty parents.

    We all see the horror’s of parents pushing their kids into lifestyles of the rich and famous before they are ready to cope. Look at Different strokes kids or the Jackson or the majority of child stars. Only a few get away unscathed and I mean a very few. Or they are able to turn their lives around like Drew Barrymore who was addicted to alcohol and cocaine by her 12th birthday.

    And what will this kid be doing on her 12th birthday? Dating R. Kelley and getting busted for meth? Jada and Will better get their heads out of their nether regions and stop being idiotic. They need to instill values and not just the hair whipping kind into their kids. And nothing that they are doing is showing the opposite.

    This girl is more like her idol Paris Hilton at 9 than Paris Hilton was at 9. That is a shame. Do Hollywood parents have any sense of decency these days? And if I am going to look to these two for the answer, I guess that would be a resounding NO!


    Comment by theblacksentinel | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Reply

  3. I am sure that little Willow’s mon and dad are on top of things here. I see no danger in her losing her grounding
    at this point. She is blessed to have parents with the flexability and resources to place her in such fortune.
    When she matures beyond parental CONTROLS all of her choices will bring her what she diservers, whether she or we
    likes it or not.
    Someone once said that “whatever is, is best”.
    May what ever choices Willow makes be for the good of us all.

    Comment by Akinwole | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Akinwole,

      But I’m sure the parents of Gary Coleman, Dana Plato, River Phoenix, Todd Bridges, Danny Bonaduce, Willie Aames, Haley Joel Osment, Lindsay Lohan, Brad Renfro, Bobby Driscoll, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Cory Feldman, Edward Furlong, Macaulay Culkin, Tatum O’Neal, Leif Garrett, Adam Rich, Corey Haim, and Mackenzie Phillips probably thought that they were in control of their children’s lives as well. Some of these child celebrities managed to straighten their life out after they had achieved fame, lost it, and hit rock bottom. Unfortunately, many of these child celebrities will wear scars for the rest of their lives. Some have had their lives cut short because of poor choices. And none of these kids achieved superstardom based on other factors other than their natural talent as early as the Smith children. The Smith children’s superstar status is based not on talent but on the star status of their parents. If the parents truly wanted what was best for their children, they would allow their children to mature so that they are truly grounded with an understanding of who they are and what they are capable of before being thrust before the world. A lot of parents made the mistake of pushing their children out there way too early with tragic results. And that won’t be good for the children or anyone else.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. C’mon, folks, we can’t be serious and responsible all the time. Even the most serious and most responsible need a little release now and again. Religions know that; that’s why we have festival times. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, pretty much every religion I’ve ever learned anything about has some kind of festival schedule, and hardcore religious folks (no matter what faith) can be pretty dour people sometimes.

    I agree that it’s bad to spend too much time and energy on ephemera like “Whip Your Hair” or whatever it’s called, but if I never rocked out to a stupid song I’d probably start to feel a little dead inside.

    Comment by Jeff | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Jeff,

      But when it comes to their children, parents need to take that job as seriously responsible all the time. And if we’re talking about a little release, then go take your children to a movie or take them to the amusement park. Don’t put your child on the edge of the global stage, scream for the world’s attention, and call it a little release. It’s irresponsible. Take your child to the Jewish or Muslim festival like you said. You don’t have to take it to the nth degree in order to relax. And when we do relax or do a little release like you suggested, we should never forget that we are parents and we are responsible to our children.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. Release from rocking out to a stupid song is different that writing/singing a stupid song. Like brotherpeacemaker said, her fame is based solely on her parents because she isn’t old enough to have any of her own fame (and by that I refer to anything Willow would have done for herself, which of course is nothing because she is still under the authority of her parents).

    I guess the argument I make for bad parenting is the way she is so exposed at nine years old. She’s too young to have to deal with media attention, no matter how long she’s been dealing with it. She’s going to get bad reviews on some things and people are going to hate her because it comes with every famous personage. For a nine year old, I believe something like that can be truly scarring. We like to perceive children as strong individuals when really they are easily swayed, uneducated, and prone to the easy way out and HEY! that’s what growing up is all about! Making mistakes and learning. Would you want to do that in front of the nation?

    Comment by Lauren | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Reply

  6. I saw Willow’s video on and I can’t get her song out of my head.

    Comment by J.D. | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Reply

  7. I love the fact that a nine year old has made a song which makes most of the current R&B/Hip-Hop artist look like complete untalented fools who waste time and money promoting songs which we all forget after a week.

    Willow Smith is talented and she is still being developed as an artist which is why people love her. The reason why she has the world interested in her is because of her parents name! Willow is part of Hollywood royalty. Just like Angelina Jolie and Michael Douglas Willow’s Dad made it in Hollywood.

    I think the Smiths have made a business decision during the downturn which will benefit their family. Willow’s appearance fee will be sky high. Sooner or later she was gonna be on the scene and I think ‘Whip my hair’ is just the introduction. They want her to be the next MJ/Aaliyah/Alicia Keys/Jada. It looks like its gonna happen and good for them But lets hope all the drug dealers and child molesters keep far away from her or she will be a big embarrassment to her family!

    By the way came across Brotherpeacemaker’s blog yesterday and I was hooked! Im going back and reading older posts. There was some English girl arguing with him on one of his posts about Willow smiths role model Paris Hilton. She said there is no race issues in the UK. She is chatting complete rubbish I’m a Black man on a BA Hon Communications Degree and we study race alot on my course London is one messed up place. There is a lot of racial tension in London but its on the DL (People are not allowed to talk about it!)

    Comment by redgoldenchild | Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | Reply

  8. […] I Don’t Feel The Need To Just Whip My Hair […]

    Pingback by Sorry Willow… « curlykidz | Friday, October 22, 2010 | Reply

  9. well, as for me dis young willow is just too hard, as in she gots swaggs that most hiphop singers dont have, keep d ball rolling ma gurl.

    Comment by tunmise adeseko | Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Reply

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