Willow Smith Enters Nepo Baby Discourse: ‘I Don’t Need To Prove S**t To Anybody’

Willow Smith is acknowledging her silver-spoon upbringing but giving herself some grace.

The 23-year-old “Whip My Hair” singer is well aware of the discourse surrounding “nepo babies,” a term that describes the nepotism afforded to privileged celebrity children, but she isn’t going to let her parents — Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith — steal her thunder.

“I definitely think that a little bit of my insecurity has driven me harder because people do think that the only reason I’m successful is because of my parents,” she told Allure in an interview Thursday. “That has driven me to work really hard to prove them wrong.”

“But nowadays,” Smith continued, “I don’t need to prove shit to anybody.”

The young musician has forged an impressive career, including collaborations with artists like Nicki Minaj and Travis Barker. She’s also won an NAACP Image Award and earned a Daytime Emmy nod as the co-host of her mom’s “Red Table Talk” series.

She made her movie debut at only 6 years old in her dad’s 2007 blockbuster “I Am Legend,” but she argued Thursday that she’s mainly successful because of her “strong spirit” and said, “Even if my parents weren’t who they were, I would still be a weirdo and a crazy thinker.”

Smith also argued that the “nepo baby” discourse doesn’t fully apply to Black Americans.

Willow with her parents after the infamous
Willow with her parents after the infamous "slap" at the 2022 Oscars. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

“Being Black in America, even with privilege, which I’m never going to deny that I have, you’re still Black,” she told Allure. “And I love being Black. People would look at me and [say], ‘Okay, well, her parents are this and this and that, but she is still like me. She still has brown skin.’ And we all know that that doesn’t exempt you from anything.”

Smith noted that her upbringing, while privileged, was always rooted in discipline and self-awareness. She claimed her parents “were always so extreme” about looking people in the eyes and being “very respectful” to all, and argued, “there’s not a lot of that these days.”

While Allison Williams might’ve had the best reaction to being a “nepo baby,” Smith is already miles ahead of Zooey Deschanel and her comments on the topic. In the end, Willow told Allure that most of her doubts merely reflect “the things that people have said to me.”