Growing up in the spotlight is not easy, as Willow Smith declares in an interview for the debut issue of new webzine Girlgaze.
Discussing her second album (which, oddly enough, is called “The 1st”), the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith admits that going through the awkwardness of adolescence while the paparazzi eagerly shares it with the world can be tougher than people realize.
“Growing up and trying to figure out your life… while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible — and the only way to get over it, is to go into it,” she says, noting that the rise of social media has complicated matters even further.
“You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things. So I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche.”
Smith explains: “When you’re born into it, there are two choices that you have; I’m either going to try to go into it completely and help from the inside, or… no one is going to know where I am… and I’m really going to take myself completely out of the eye of society. There’s really no in-between.”
Meanwhile, the “Whip Your Hair” singer agrees with assessments that she belongs to the most anxious generation in history.
“I definitely think we’re the most anxious,” she says. “Yeah, we’re definitely the most anxious. I see it in myself. We’re hypersensitive. This generation is hypersensitive spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally. So when we look on our phones and we see people dying right next to us and we’re sitting there about to go get a latte — that breaks you down. It’s not just the phones. The phones are just a tool. The phones just heighten what was already happening.”