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Posted at 8:16 AM ET, 10/19/2010

Too much too young? Nine-year-old Willow Smith debuts video for "Whip My Hair"

By Liz Kelly

Willow Smith whips her hair back and forth. We know this because she repeats it over and over in her video premiere, "Whip My Hair." The song is catchy, slickly-produced and could easily fit into the pop rotation between Rihanna and Lady Gaga.


Though Willow may have a little trouble finding the time to tour since she's only nine-years-old. But, at nine, Willow is the late bloomer of the family. The daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, brother Jaden made his acting debut at age five, before going on to co-star with dad in the "The Pursuit of Happyness" at the tender age of eight and lead a successful reboot of the "Karate Kid" franchise at 12.

But is it too much to young?

More, including a poll, after the jump...

More from Melissa Bell over at BlogPost: 'Whip My Hair' and 'Sesame Street': A power ballad* for black hair

Not to be a scold, but both Will and Jada have front row seats for the carnage that all too often occurs when kids are thrust into the entertainment machine too young. Should they perhaps have waited until Willow was at least a tween before launching her on a bumpy path already tread by Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus (who at 17 is stuck between worlds, neither a teen star or a full on adult attraction)?

In mom and dad's defense, the video doesn't go anywhere near sexualizing Willow. Neither do the lyrics. Both the words and the imagery are age appropriate -- she sings about keeping her head up when confronted by "haters." This is about as racy as it gets:

I'm a get more shine than a little bit
Soon as I hit the stage applause I'm hearing it
whether its black stars black cars I'm feeling it
but can't none of them whip it like I do
I, I gets it in mmmm yea I go hard
when they see me pull up I whip it real hard
I whip it real hard, real hard, I whip it real hard

"You can't be afraid to be yourself,” the apparently wise beyond her years Willow told Ryan Seacrest in a recent interview. "You have to be yourself and you can't let anyone tell you that it's wrong!"

Dangerous talk from a nine-year-old. But we'll be watching. According to Just Jared, Willow will perform "Whip My Hair" live on the Nov. 2 "Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Sources: The Dish Rag, Just Jared

By Liz Kelly  | October 19, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Music  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 'Jackass 3D': Turns out women like it, too
Next: Paris Hilton done with partying (again); Mel Gibson confirmed for 'Hangover 2'

Comments

Her face is an exact replica of Will Smith's.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 19, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

That's right folks. If you listen to Lady Gaga, this bile is right up your alley. Now, do you still want to listen to Lady Gaga? Get a brain...

Posted by: password11 | October 19, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Ok, saw the video...paid for by the weave industry. I think I saw Beyonce do the head whipping thing years ago. Actually, the whole thing looks like a Beyonce rip-off. And I think she's too young to have a lip piercing, but that's just my opinion.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 19, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Almost every star started young! I don't understand why people hates the fact she's nine...rather she did it now or later she's still great.....so keep whipping it for the haters hun!:) I believe those are sticky studs, she has them in the corner of her eye too! (Use for costume purposes)

Posted by: simplyserious | October 19, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I thought it would be impossible to trump Billy Ray Cyrus in the poor parenting decisions category; but Will Smith did it.

Posted by: stikyfingas | October 19, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't have an issue so much with her age and singing professionally, but the whole *attitude* thing really makes my skin crawl. (think Justin Bieber).

Posted by: kvs09 | October 19, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to like it. Instead I'm revolted.

Posted by: ReginaldSmash | October 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Do 9 year olds really go to hot dance parties like what she's singing about? My niece is 10 and she enjoys an afternoon of shrinky dinks. I think that's how I prefer my tweens. I voted "too young."

Posted by: sarahabc | October 19, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Like her Daddy, this song is just silly fun. Will is proud of the fact that ALL of his songs were just a bunch of fun... nothing too sexual, no "cuss" words, just fun... I would find this problematic if little Willow was being sexualized. That isn't the case. Just silly fun that, despite your best efforts, you find yourself remembering an hour later.

BTW... that's not a lip piercing... just fake stones glued to her lip.

Cute. Have fun, Willow. And remember, in another nine years that it's spelled Spelman or Hampton.

Posted by: literaryalpha | October 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

At least the music is age appropriate which is more than i can say about a lot of the other young artists. Too much too young???? Really, when you're the daughter of two of Hollywood's elite, you're guaranteed to have "too much too young" in some shape or form, i.e. designer clothes, expensive jewlery, people waiting on you hand and foot.

Obviously, entertainment is in her DNA. Whether she started at nine or nine-teen, there would still be nay-sayers. Stop waiting for young people to fail and encourage them to stay positive. Good job young Willow!

Posted by: MDC3 | October 19, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to like it. Instead I'm revolted.

Comment on Reginal Smash, Revolted? Really?

If this little girl's video revolts you than you do get out much! I liked the video and I think that parents should encourage the talent of their children. If the child then wants to stop then the parents should respect that but as far as the video goes, it's harmless and entertaining for all. Stop hating and encourage them to put out more fun, catchy music that the family can listen too and not cringe.

Posted by: mariebraxton | October 19, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm torn. I can see that it's silly and fun and non-sexualized, and that's all good. And I can see the draw of having a strong, self-confident young african-american pop star in a world of child stars promoting a pretty narrow version of beauty and style.

But I still have a gut level sense that we just shouldn't have a world of child stars driving these ideas at other children at all.

Posted by: LizaBean | October 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Not quite just a fun song to share with my kids... too much attitude for a 9-year-old. Not sexual at all, but that will happen in about three years if she sticks with the music scene and the way kids are growing up these days. What's with the toddler? That was unnecessary and a dumb decision.

Posted by: shejoy | October 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

So the song is age appropriate, the video is fun, nothing offensive but yet something's wrong. Just in case people forget Raven Simone released a pop song (album?) shortly after the end of the Cosby Show she was younger than 9. It was much more grown than this. She didn't end up as one of the Disney trainwrecks. For every Lindsey Lohan/Miley Cyrus you have a Dakota Fanning/Hillary Duff.

She's a little girl having fun, geez. Little girls like to dress up, dance and sing, she's just doing it on a larger stage.

Posted by: Redial1 | October 19, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Young....But not too young. Remember, MJ was only 5 or 6 when he joined his brothers. When you have special talents, you can't stick to someone elses time table.

Posted by: DCResident1 | October 19, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

If she can do it, More power to her!

Posted by: rexreddy | October 19, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

im on the fence! i think the vid is fun, and the lyrics arent bad. i think maybe the attitude bothers me a bit... BUT as long as my daugther understood to check that attitude at the door and return to her 9 year old self.. then i think it might could work! did someone really think she had a lip piercing? lol honestly ppl..

Posted by: brwnsuga75 | October 19, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As long as Mom and Dad are around (and I get the impression Mamma is a Bear) it's fine. As for the attitude...well she takes after her Mom.

Posted by: Vienna8425 | October 19, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Young....But not too young. Remember, MJ was only 5 or 6 when he joined his brothers. When you have special talents, you can't stick to someone elses time table.

Posted by: DCResident1

Yeah that's right MJ turned out TOTALLY normal...

Posted by: stikyfingas | October 19, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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