Jada Pinkett Smith recalls being 'mum shamed' after Willow shaved her head

Jada Pinkett Smith with Willow.
Jada Pinkett Smith with Willow. Photo: Facebook / Red Table Talk

Jada Pinkett Smith has opened up about being "mum-shamed" after her daughter Willow Smith shaved her hair off in 2010.

Pinkett Smith revealed the first time she was criticised on the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk which she co-hosts with her daughter and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris.

"I think the first time I got hardcore criticism [was] when you first cut your hair," the actress recalled. "There was a firestorm."

The almost 20-year-old agreed with her mum, adding that the backlash at the time was "constant." 

However, Pinkett Smith said despite the criticism she received, it came down to how her daughter felt about the situation. The mum-of-two added that seeing how positively Willow reacted to the dramatic hair cut helped her deal with the harsh words that she and husband Will Smith received over their parenting styles.

"If they could have seen this child's expression of freedom looking at her hair falling to the ground ... me as a mum, looking at that, experiencing that with her, there is nothing that anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong," she said.

"Not one person, because I was there.

"I was looking at her. I saw her face. I knew the journey that she and I took together to get to that point. So it didn't really matter what anybody said."


The family has talked about Willow's drastic hair style on the series before, with Smith admitting he feels like his "strict" parenting style was part of what pushed Willow to her limit.

The then 11-year-old was set to tour with Justin Bieber after the release of her successful song Whip My Hair, when she told her dad she didn't want to continue with it anymore.


A new family face joins us at the table today✨

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"It was so devastating to me when she shaved her head bald," Smith said, adding that it felt like a "protest against me".

In an interview  with InStyle, Willow said she made the decision to shave her hair to show people she wasn't "attached to it".

"I was just over it; I was literally so done," she said.