He came to the Met Gala with his locs as his date. Let me repeat that for emphasis. Jaden Smith, youngest son of Will Smith, came to the Met Gala with his cut-off locs AS HIS DATE. I won’t act brand new to this, though. I was in an art class and this girl made her old locs into an ankh. It was beautiful, in my opinion.
I’ve seen many forms of “art,” but this is up there as one of those “WTF” moments – WTF meaning “what’s the fascination?” or, as some may ask, “where’s the father?” For a long time, nothing about Jaden or Willow Smith has been what one might deem normal. And maybe that’s okay.
When asked why she “let” Willow cut her hair, Jada Pinkett Smith “challenged” the “let” in that statement, wondering why we live in a “world where women [and] girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves.” Smith further noted that she wanted her daughter to understand that “her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain.” Read more below, but these messages are important to tell our daughters so that they don’t go into the world thinking that they belong to it instead of it belonging to them.
However, there’s more to this story. It’s also important to teach our sons that the world doesn’t get to define their masculinity or their worth. In the same way it shouldn’t decide a little girl’s worth based on how she chooses to wear her hair, it should decide a man’s “masculinity” based on how he carries himself.
Jaden Smith becomes the assertion for this argument because he’s treated as an archetype for fluid masculinity and some say more men “should” be like Jaden Smith. I’m here to argue that they shouldn’t. You don’t have to become someone to accept them. We should not standardize Jaden Smith and other men, for those of you who would say otherwise, like him because this only creates another extreme.
Some who have a problem with the way Will and Jada parent their son will argue that the couple are letting their son carry “feminine” traits and letting society emasculate him. People have fought back against this by saying Jaden should be able to express his masculinity how he sees fit, but I just don’t think he should become the “standard.” Knowing this distinction is really the difference between being homophobic and disagreeing with the commercialization of homosexuality, or what some would call “the gay agenda.”
After reading more into it, I realized that some who disagree with the gay agenda feel that gayness is being “forced” onto society. I support gay rights but still believe that’s wrong. No one should be pressured to act a certain way, whether that’s heteronormative or homonormative standards. Yet, this argument becomes weaker when people begin inserting their anti-Gay prejudices into it. They go from “the gay agenda is wrong” to “homosexuality is a mental disease” and that’s when I turn them off.
In regard to Jaden Smith, we shouldn’t normalize him. In an effort to give men like him inclusion, we should try to understand who they are as a niche in society, a deviation from what we used to deem “normal”. We shouldn’t try to force the “more feminine” standards onto men. Instead, we should let men be who they are – the same way we should let women be who they are. We as a society have to learn to accept differences without trying to impose our differences onto others.
Now, as far as Jaden bringing his locs as his date to the Met Gala, I’m still on the fences about that. He’s a strange kid, but as Miguel said, “What’s normal anyway?”