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Willow Smith Says Growing Up in the Public Eye Was 'Excruciatingly Terrible'

Willow Smith Says Growing Up in the Public Eye Was 'Excruciatingly Terrible'

Willow Smith is getting candid about the difficulties of growing up in the spotlight.

The 17-year-old daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith says figuring out who she is in the public eye was “excruciatingly terrible.”

“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,” Willow told Girlgaze Zine.

She added, “You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things.”

“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,” Willow continued.

“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,” she concluded.

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Photos: WENN
Posted to: Willow Smith

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  • Elizabeth

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  • Michael Lambretti

    Try picking rags from a landfill in India you ungrateful wench.

  • Lalique Murano

    Growing up is difficult – no argument there. Growing up in the glare of the media (social and otherwise) and having all your adolescent trials and tribulations be discussed publicly is more difficult. If I could offer Willow some advice: think of the advantages that having famous parents have given you. You say that the only way to get out of it is to get into it. You could also get some perspective and look at the horrors that other people who don’t have your advantages go through. I hope THAT helps you “get over it.”

  • Mitt Zombie

    Never having to work and living in mansions with servents is so tough too…

  • Timore

    I thought growing up with abusive parents or in a third world country with starvation and disease would be “horribly excruciating,” not growing up in a mansion with everything she could possibly want or need.

  • NubianP

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, or if you even care, but using the term “wench” when referring to a Black woman is racially offensive. Do a bit of research into the historical connotations…

  • iRNVA

    I can only imagine growing up in the spotlight no privacy everyone always worried not about me but my famous parents who wants to grow up like that especially when im growing up and have things going on in my life that have no bearing on what my parents are doing. Plus the expectations…. “willow, Im going to do me no matter what.”

  • Amber

    There is such a thing as relative deprivation, and absolute deprivation. Although this typically applies to access to resources, I think it’s important to make the distinction now. Yes, Willow grew up incredibly privileged, that does not mean that her “suffering” is comparable to the suffering of someone in an underdeveloped country (please, let’s stop saying third world) and I don’t think it’s fair of you to compare the two just to take away from her experiences. She absolutely could have had a painful childhood, and adolescence, that doesn’t mean that her experiences weren’t painful if you stand her next to someone who grew up in poverty, it just means there are various degrees of pain, and we are judging hers relative to the society we live in.

  • Shawn

    You can take a break and hide if you want because nobody cares about you. She doesn’t have that opportunity because unlike you too many people think she’s interesting.

  • webdiva1969

    it’s all relative. plus she wasn’t talking about being rich. she was talking about fame, fame she didn’t ask for. living in a mansion and having material things doesn’t mean you have all that you ever want or need. It sounds like she wants peace and privacy, not something money can buy unless you go live on a secluded island.

  • SquidBillie

    Nobody put her out there and forced her to try for a music career. She could go to college and do something different with her life, but she chooses not to. Most kids would kill for her cushy upbringing.

  • Shlomo Teittleman

    she recruits children into scientology

  • marti

    She looks super cute w/out all the makeup & garb.

  • Marla Summers

    Her parents should purchase a secluded island and set her entitled spoiled weird a$S up on it! do she really think she is that relevant? I personally won’t miss her!

  • webdiva1969

    she’s a child so yes she’s as relevant as any other child. your missing her or not is what is irrelevant.

  • Blake

    heres a thing, you can always chose not to grow up in public, go to school like some normal 10 year old instead of making a song at that age…