It’s late and I’d thought it’d be a good idea to check my email for things I’d missed during the week. The Grio daily mail for Friday, February 3, 2012 caught my eye. Eddie Long was crowned king. Womp. Booooo, thumbs down. However, the article on Willow Smith’s new hairdo really made me say, “Wait, what?”

According to The Grio, little Willow has shaved her hair off. It’s cute. Yet, there’s something wrong.

I have so many thoughts going through my head that I can’t figure out what to say first. Why is she posing with her lips poked out looking like that in the pictures? Why on earth is this child acting like she’s grown?

As a writer and artist, I’m an advocate of self-expression. My mom (she’ll come up again later) prided herself on raising children who not only who could express themselves well, but who were also creative, leaders, and risk takers. Willow Smith’s parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith probably have similar goals for their kids.

Willow could likely be a child of mine with her artsy flair and originality. I like the little kid. However, I’m really feeling uncomfortable with her self-expression mostly because we live in a day and age where pedophilia is rampant. I’m not understanding why her parents are allowing her not only to be in the spotlight (yes, I don’t care for little kids being famous because it reminds me of pageant moms and kids) but allowing her to wear leather pants, platforms and pink weaves seems to go too far.

Willow is 11. Not 17. Not 15. 11. She made Whip Your Hair at nine. Making music is cool. Singing about bubble gum and hopscotch is hot in the streets. So why is this little girl whipping her anything? She needed to keep that little neck still and sit her mini butt down.

When I was nine, if I’d thought about expressing myself in a way that involved me whipping my hair, which, last time I checked had sexual overtones, my momma would’ve beat my behind. Yes, my mom, and eventually I will be the quintessential black mama. I wore collared dresses and pigtails until 12, so it’s hard for me to imagine an 11 year old dressing or wearing her hair the way Willow does.

I like for little girls to stay little girls for as long as they can and for them to wear little frilly dresses and Oxfords. By 11, they can start experimenting with less baby looking clothes but for Christ’s sake, 10-15 year old children are still babies to me.

There shouldn’t be any rush for little girls to be older and provocative. Children are already victims, regardless of dressing inappropriately older or not, but why encourage ill thoughts by playing into sexuality in children?

The thing is Willow likely isn’t making the decisions in her life. I’m thinking it’s her parents and some very irresponsible adults shaping her to be a mini Rhianna. It’s to be noted that competing in the entertainment industry may require an edge so that one can make a celebrated name, but why aren’t we having a problem with children competing with adults by playing dress up on magnified scale?

India.Arie’s Better Way says it best:

I see the children on TV

It’s become a sign of the times

Glorifying their bodies

Something just don’t feel right

Still we keep pretending

That boys and girls are men and women

We watch it and we call it entertainment

And everything is okay as long as somebody’s getting paid

Why is this cool? I’m trying to be balanced, but little Willow rubs me all the way wrong. It’s not even her hair that’s the problem. It’s the whole little baby dominatrix thing that sickens me. I want to scream when I see that girl. She’s beautiful child, not a woman, not yet even a teen, but she’s being styled in risque attire and hairstyles.

As for an explanation for this, I saw on the cover of a weekly entertainment journal that Will and Jada have split the kids so they can work on projects and that there is some family turmoil. Could that be a reason they seem clueless to what seems to me as impropriety? I have no clue. I wish there was some excuse that made sense. Needing money certainly isn’t one of them. Do the Smith’s want the kids to be their equals and allow them to do whatever they want? I don’t understand the parenting style going on here.

I blame the parents. Will and Jada, though I heart them so, should really go sit in a corner. I can’t expect for everyone to parent exactly like my mom but I do expect for Willow to have on the same clothes she did in I Am Legend and not something Madonna or Nicki Minaj wore during Superbowl. According to comments from angry readers on an article about Willow in the Daily Mail, the Smith’s have been getting heat about Willow. Seems to me that Will and Jada need a spanking.