The magazines have been full this week of a new fashionista. She has been on the front rows of many of the catwalk shows during Milan Fashion Week, including D&G and Armani. She has a personal style reminiscent of Rihanna, with sharp 1980′s style tailoring and a fierce haircut. She has already released a single with lots of hits on You Tube. She is nine years old. Her name is Willow Smith and she is an example of bad parenting.
At a time when she should be in school with other children her own age, Willow is sitting on the front rows of Milan Fashion Week, in between Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell. When other girls her age are wearing JLS t-shirts and copying Hannah Montana, Willow is sporting head to toe designer gear in an assortment of leopard prints and graphic designs. Most girls of nine have a school satchel, Willow has a clutch bag to store her M&M’s and pocket-money in. It’s frankly unnerving that this little girl is acting and dressing like a young women, and being openly photographed doing so.
Jada Pinkett Smith has apparently put her own (not all that impressive) career on hold in order to promote and support Willow. Whilst other stars are trying to protect their young children from the glare of the public eye, Willow and her brother Jaden are actively pushed forward into music. films and clothing ranges. Jaden recently played the new Karate Kid, and both children have acted alongside dad Will in his films.
But it is the appearances at fashion week shows in Milan that have proved the most controversial. On a recent edition of Fashion Week it was argued that Jada taking Willow to a fashion show was no different from Will taking Jaden to the baseball. Little girls love fashion and so it was a treat. This is a good point well made, but still doesn’t answer why a little girl, just nine years old, would be at all those fashion shows, dressed in such a unchildlike – fashion forward way. It is almost like the little girl has become just another fashion accessory to a fashion obsessed mother. Willow was described in Heat magazine as the ‘hit of Milan fashion week’, as if grown women would really being taking their cues from a Grace Jones lookalike nine-year old.
Willow is still a little girl, she’s not even reached double figures yet. She should still be enjoying High School Musical and Camp Rock. She should look like a little girl, not someone in their late teens. And she should be playing with dolls and riding bikes, rather than carrying leopard print clutch bags and watching Salvatore Ferragamo shoe shows.