Willow Smith didn’t always know how to grapple with her emotions in a healthy way. In fact, the 17-year-old star revealed that she hit a low point in 2010, fresh off the success of her “Whip My Hair” hit when she was just 9 years old.
In a new episode Red Table Talk, the Facebook Watch series she co-hosts with her mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Willow admits that she previously engaged in self-harm. “I honestly feel like I lost my sanity at one point,” she said.
“It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and I had just stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of in this gray area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything that I can do besides this?’” she added, explaining that she didn’t want to finish her album, and suddenly began listening to “dark music.”
“I was plunged into this black hole and I was cutting myself, and doing crazy things,” Willow says, to the shock and surprise of mom Jada, who replied, “What? Really? When were you cutting yourself? I didn’t see that part.”
Willow moved on to provide some background. “I never talk about it because it was such a short, weird point in my life, but you have to pull yourself out of it. I honestly felt like I was experiencing so much emotional pain but my physical circumstances weren’t reflecting that,” she said, as Jada wrapped her head around it. “One night I was like, ‘This is actually psychotic.’ And after that, I just stopped.”
In a recent letter for InStyle, Jada writes about motherhood, and how Willow taught her acceptance. “I have learned so much about life experiences—intimate life experiences you were having that I wasn't aware of. And it taught me that, as much as I thought I knew you, there's so much more to know,” she writes. “Even though I've been surprised, and even a bit shocked at times, I'm just glad that you have your own internal fortitude to get yourself through some of your most intimate, darkest hours.”