Willow Smith knows exactly what it’s like to have high expectations put on you because of who your parents are.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the 20-year-old daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about the “pressure” she has faced while growing up in a family with such an undoubtable legacy.
“I always just wanted to do right by my parents,” the musician explained. “And do right by the beauty that they have put in the world and continue to uplift that beauty and to uphold that beauty.”
Still, being successful in the family business can feel all the more stressful when your mother and father’s careers have both been so prominent for so many years.
“I felt a lot of pressure,” she explained, going on to say she’s starting to find her own path as she grows older. “Because I’m not a minor anymore, I’m finding the freedom to—I can put that beauty in the world.”
This is far from the first time Willow has opened up about her struggles living up to the family name. She previously opened up about her struggle with the pressures of fame when she found major success during her “Whip My Hair” era back in 2010.
Not only did the then-10-year-old defiantly shave her head, effectively putting an end to her Whip My Hair tour, but she revealed in a 2018 episode of Red Table Talk that she began to suffer from self-harm.
“I honestly feel like I lost my sanity at one point,” Willow confessed to her mother and her grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, in the episode. “It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and I had just like stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of in this gray area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything I can do besides this?’”
Now, three years after that tragic reveal, Smith feels confident that she can continue her family legacy on her own terms.
“I can uphold that energy,” she said to Zane during the interview. “And so, I’m just figuring that out in all of these different ways, and it’s going to be a journey and there’s more to come.”