Quick Hit: The Smiths believe in raising a girl in command of her own body

Let us all take notes on parenting girls to be self possessed women from Jada Pinkett Smith:

A letter to a friend…

This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.

The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women,girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day.

J

But I’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the beauty of a shared parenting philosophy. Here’s Will Smith in Parade Magazine in May:

When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that is hers.

Please, more.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s a breath of fresh air that they want her to be so empowered. As a black woman with long hair, you’d be surprised how many people say to me (aside from asking if I’m mixed, which is another story for another day), “I love your hair, don’t ever cut it!” Never mind that I cut my hair often to try and keep it healthy.

    It’s my hair, thanks, and if I want to shave my head, I’ll do just that–why? Because my hair is not community property–I don’t need people weighing in on what I should or shouldn’t do to something that shouldn’t be my defining trait (even though I know some people only see hair when they look at me).

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