SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Willow Smith at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards at Barkar Hangar on September 23, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association)
“I’m going to be completely and utterly honest: It’s absolutely terrible,” she told Girlgaze magazine regarding growing up in the spotlight “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. You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things.”
Smith, 17, went on to explain how social media puts even more pressure on the children of celebrities as the world watches their every move.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Despite the struggles that came along with fame, Smith, in an interview with People magazine last year, reflected on how much she admires her parents:
“Growing up, all I saw was my parents trying to be the best people they could be and people coming to them for wisdom, coming to them for guidance, and them not putting themselves on a pedestal, but literally being face-to-face with these people and saying, ‘I’m no better than you, but the fact that you’re coming to me to reach some sort of enlightenment or to shine a light on something, that makes me feel love and gratitude for you.’ They always give back what people give to them. And sometimes they keep giving and giving and giving. It’s not just about money. It’s not just about giving people gifts or whatever. What my parents have given to me is not anything that has to do with money or success or anything that society says people should be focusing on -- it’s something spiritual that only certain people can grasp and accept.”