There is something slightly unsettling about 12-year-old Willow Smith’s latest music video release, Summer Fling.
The daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith joined forces with producer and DJ MVSIC Fabrega to form Melodic Chaotic - he is the chaotic to her melodic (according to his website) - and she is delivering a very mature sound for someone so young.
The music video looks like one massive teenage party, with the talented youngster going from pool party to beach bonfire to dancing in the streets, having a bit of fun with a seemingly older guy over the summer break – but the only problem is Willow isn’t a teenager.
Maybe Summer Fling is just a bit of youthful fun but Willow seems way out of her depth. Surrounded by bikini clad teenagers her child-like physique becomes awkwardly obvious. Yet she is the one singing about midnight strolls along the beach, under the stars with a boy that looks a lot like a man (aka her summer fling). To her credit she informs him that their time together is just for fun, even though he insists that she is the one!
Young popstars singing about love is nothing new. Just cast your mind back to the days of 10-year-old Aaron Carter singing about his Crazy Little Party Girl or 13-year-old Nikki Webster telling us how she is going to miss his Strawberry Kisses (we’ve thrown in some clips to jog your memory in case you managed to successfully forget). But while these child stars may have been singing about the angst of young love the music videos didn’t try to hide the fact that they were still children.
Perhaps, therein lays the real problem with this clip. The producers seem to be trying to make their audience – mostly primary school aged children - forget that Willow is a child. While this may have been done to appeal to an older audience it is still rather confusing in light of the fact that the singer recently bowed out of her father and Jay Z’s upcoming remake of Annie, “to be a normal 12-year-old”.
Is this just a case of a young girl growing up too fast in Hollywood or is it revealing the norm for kids these days? Have we created a generation of children that skip the later years of their childhood in pursuit of adulthood?