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.