Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Chick Rocks: Willow

Is your neck sore?  Then you've probably been whipping your hair back and forth with me and itty-bitty singing sensation Willow.

This feel good anthem has taken over air waves and dance floors, as well as my internal soundtrack.  But I'm not complaining.

Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, is only 10-years-old, a little saucey, and quite frankly-- adorable.

She turns her swag on, tunes haters out, and keeps the party jumping.  She shines, shakes 'em off, and whips it real hard.

In a greedy sampling of popular lyrics, Willow has conjured up a familiar recipe for instant success.  But it's undeniably catchy; replicated by drag queens and danced out by birds, inspiring a remix with Nicki Minaj and a YouTube juxtaposition with Sesame Street's "I love my hair" video.

While Willow may not have set out to make a statement about the politics of hair, that's exactly what her debut single is doing.

In a reality check discussion with a trusted collegue, we decided the budding star simply chose her safest asset to highlight while asserting her femininity.  Considering who she is (famous) and where she comes from (Hollywood) not to mention what is age appropriate (and what is not) it seems Willow and her consultants (parents) chose neutral territory that just happened to be more empowering than the average song. 

But the symbolism of Willow's braids bringing color to a bland and sterile lunch room is still remarkable, even if it's debatably intentional.  With paint cleverly concealed in her stereo, she whips her co-stars (and her hair) into a frenzy.  And starts a classroom-dance-party-revolution.

Demonstrating dynamic beauty, Willow rocks a variety of styles, sure to set new trends for young girls' tresses.  She invites "the ladies" (from babies to full grown) to whip their hair along with her; be it long, short, whatever.  Her defiant words are a celebration of self-- that doesn't take itself too seriously.

So my new favorite song is inclusive and infectious.  Whether strategic or coincidental, deep or simplistic, I hope to hear more positive messages from Willow in the future. 

And maybe her next song will give our necks a rest.

But in the mean time, just whip your hair.

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