Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s teenage children, Willow, 15, and Jaden, 18, were interviewed by Pharrell Williams for their recent Interview Magazine cover feature – their first-ever cover together . The controversial siblings opened up on their bond, parents’ influence, weird fashion sense, social media, and more.
Find 10 things the siblings revealed…
Admitting their parents, Will and Jada, are their biggest inspirations, Willow revealed:
‘…Growing up, all I saw was my parents trying to be the best people they could be, and people coming to them for wisdom, coming to them for guidance, and them not putting themselves on a pedestal, but literally being face-to-face with these people and saying, “I’m no better than you, but the fact that you’re coming to me to reach some sort of enlightenment or to shine a light on something, that makes me feel love and gratitude for you.”…It’s not just about money. It’s not just about giving people gifts or whatever. What my parents have given to me is not anything that has to do with money or success or anything that society says people should be focusing on—it’s something spiritual that only certain people can grasp and accept. And that’s how I act and move in the world today.’
‘…My parents are definitely my biggest role models. And that’s where me and Willow both pull all of our inspiration from to change the world. It all comes from a concept of affecting the world in a positive way and leaving it better than it was than when we came…’
The siblings also attributed their remarkable bond to the fact that their parents didn’t try to control how their relationship played out. Willow said:
‘…I could’ve spent my entire childhood like, “I have to love this person.” And it becomes a chore. But our parents were never like, “You have to love them.” It was more like, “You have your life. He has his life. And when you guys want to come together, when you guys want to commune, that’s up to you.” And throughout us realizing ourselves and realizing each other, we just opened our eyes and were like, “Damn, you are the yin to my yang.” Not a lot of siblings have that opportunity, because they’re always being pushed together so much. They need their time apart in order to realize themselves and realize who they are.’
On if there’s ever been any competition between them, Jaden added:
‘Willow started making music first. I was like, “My younger sister is, like, 4, and she’s making all these fire songs. What’s happening?” Willow was doing all these things, about to have record label deals at like the age of 6, and I was like, “I feel like I’m underachieving.” That was around the time that I was doing Karate Kid, and I could do flips, and I thought I was special because I could do flips. But Willow could do the flips, too! Willow naturally had it. Like, I was trying to do no-handed cartwheels. Willow had it. I was trying to get to the studio. Willow was in the studio. You know what I’m saying? Willow just didn’t have as big as a passion for acting as me. But if she did, she could do what I did. So there’s always been competition, but we’ve always worked as hard as possible to do the things that we want to do…So there was no, like, “I’m mad at you.” Well, we would get mad at each other when we were young, but that stopped when we were, like, 9.’
On where their confidence and fashion sense stem from, Willow said:
‘Me and Jaden, when we were younger … [laughs] Ooh! We would wear the craziest things. Jaden would only wear his Spider-Man costume. I would freaking mismatch every single shirt and pants in my closet. We would just be so rambunctious with our clothing choices. And when we were old enough to start dressing ourselves, my mom was like, “Are you sure you want to go out like that?” And me and Jaden would be like, “You know what? Yes.” And she’d totally accept it. I feel like that’s where most of our confidence comes from. Because we weren’t told, “Oh, you don’t look good in that. You look crazy. People are gonna think this about you.” Like, obviously, that was going to be happening regardless, but it wasn’t like that ruled what we did or the choices that we made.’
‘Nobody knows that Willow and I were much, much cooler before. Like, before people were looking at the things that we were doing, we were so much more, like, method with fashion. We really went all the way. We went the extra mile on everything because there was no one looking at us. We’ve been through the roof, with ludicrous fashion ideas since we were extremely young…We’re so blessed! And we’re so, so proud. And thankful.
…How people look at us in public is not how we actually are in private. It’s just that we choose not to tell everyone everything. Like, okay, I’m in New York right now. I’m not posting an emoji of a plane on Instagram, like, “New York.” I don’t want anyone to know that I’m here in New York. And by the time this comes out, I won’t be. We don’t like people to really know what’s happening with us or what we’re into…’
On social media use, Willow added:
“…I know so many kids who literally are, like, Instagram-famous. They have done nothing but post pictures on Instagram. And they have followings. People love to see them in person, but it’s only because they post on their Instagram. It’s literally crazy. Kids will paint a picture of themselves that is so far beyond who they actually are. It’s like they’re wearing someone else’s skin.
…And then there’s people, like me and Jaden, who want to utilize social media to elevate the consciousness of those people who feel like all they want from social media is to be famous. [laughs] Like, you can actually be a voice. You can actually say something that’s inspiring and not just make people feel like you need to buy things and be a certain way.”
‘It’s good to be happy and tell us how cool your life is… But a lot of times, people are trying to be happy in the wrong ways—with money or with different things that are not true happiness. It’s leading people down a rabbit hole that actually doesn’t exist. So people think like, “Yo, once I get this money and these cars and stuff, I’ma be so happy.” But that’s not true…’
Away from all the above, we also found their questions to the world in view of happenings around quite spot-on. Jaden said:
‘A question I would like to present to the world is: Where is the love? And what are we doing? Who’s making the decisions that are putting us in the predicaments that we are in, with all of these people losing their lives around the world in so many different ways? I feel like a serious revolution needs to take place in order for human beings to evolve in a way where we can truly exist as a society. Because, right now, we do not act as a true society. We act as a world under terror, just scrambling to survive.’
‘That’s definitely one of my biggest questions. Another is: How are humans going to start taking responsibility for the actions that they take? When are we going to stop pointing the finger at someone else for something we do unconsciously? How are we going to start being aware of those things and changing those things?’
Some food for thought indeed!
Photo Credit: Interview Magazine/Steven Klein