OK, I turned my nose up at all of those long hybrid names people give themselves on Facebook. It made no earthly sense to me to add all of those run-on words to your name, especially since it made it more difficult for folks to find you in a search (though sometimes that’s a good thing). Then cue NFL Playoffs 2010…when pigs flew, Hell froze over, and the Saints made it to the Superbowl. After so many years of blind, unwavering devotion, my boys had a shot. So naturally I, like a few other thousand of my closest friends, adopted the middle name of “Who Dat.” Had to support my team, however small the effort. Cue us, miracle of miracles, actually WINNING that bad boy and bringing the Lombardi home…I was over the moon ecstatic and still supportive, but a little weary of my new name. But I held onto it for a little while in solidarity.
Cut to about October 2010 and the news that young Willow Smith–progeny of entertainment royalty Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith–has released her first music single, “Whip My Hair.” Like most, I snorted. Not all talented people can squeeze out talented kids, and many who try their hand at music are not necessarily successful…or meant to be (*cough* Paris Hilton *cough, cough*). After a while, I gave the kid a listen–and was reasonably impressed. I mean, she’s not an opera virtuoso here but for what she’s doing, it’s pretty good…and she’s got potential. So I wait for the video to come out and watch her pre-interviews and interviews…and I figure she’s one of the good kids who could use some support. Then the YouTube video exploded–and so did the comments. I have never in my life seen so many hateful comments from supposed adults directed at ANYONE, let alone a then-9 year old. The comments were more than just rants and dislikes about the music, they were outright nasty…even borderline to outright racist. Over a pop song. Wow. Almost sounds like fodder for my Dumbass Diaries.
As the press junket went on, Willow began to explain her concept of “whip my hair.” More than just flinging the stuff on your head, she describes it as an attitude–the new “I’m me,” as she put it. Having a positive attitude about who you are and letting it shine despite what anyone else says about you–that’s a huge concept for a pre-teen to promote AND embrace fully. I have seen Willow in classic, stylish clothes and trendy, out-there outfits, I have seen her with the close-cropped fade and the whippin’ weaves, and in whatever she’s got going on she’s comfortable and thriving in it.
If this kid can know who she is and live it out with a level of maturity uncommon at such an early age, then certainly adult women should be able to do the same. So, in support of my young “niece” in her principles and against her obvious haters, and despite my current lack of it….I’M WHIPPING MY HAIR.