Willow Smith Said Nepo Baby “Insecurity” Ultimately Pushed Her Harder

“I would still be a weirdo and a crazy thinker.”

Willow Smith said "insecurity" about being considered a nepo baby pushed her harder.
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Ever since Vulture published the viral article “How a Nepo Baby Is Born” in December 2022, celebrities with famous parents have felt the need to address their background. Everyone from Hailey Bieber to Jamie Lee Curtis has given their take on their status, and still the discourse continues.

Willow Smith took her turn in an Allure cover interview published on May 2. Speaking about her experience as the daughter of two major Hollywood stars, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, she acknowledged that she’s had a lot of privilege. Although the label has fueled her, she doesn’t see it as a good fit for her.

Rejecting The Nepo Baby Label

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

She noted that she doesn’t “need to prove sh*t to anybody now” and that she feels she’d be who she is now without famous parents. “I truly believe that my spirit is a strong spirit and that, even if my parents weren’t who they were, I would still be a weirdo and a crazy thinker,” she said.

Jada Pinkett, Willow, Will, Jaden, and Trey SmithDimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images

Another point Smith made is that there are layers of privilege. As a Black woman in America, she has had experiences where people made negative assumptions about her or treated her poorly because of her race. “We all know that that [privilege] doesn’t exempt you from anything,” Smith said.

Growing Up In The Spotlight

Smith also talked about some of the downsides to growing up as the child of celebrities and experiencing early fame. “There was a time where it was really, really dark,” she said. “I was trying to run away from it in every single way that I could.”

In an episode of Red Table Talk released in April 2022, Smith and Ireland Baldwin spoke about how starting to work at a young age impacted them negatively in ways. Both shared experiences with anxiety and body image issues. For Smith, it was hard because most people didn’t understand her experience, including her mom.

“It was rough. I feel like when I was growing up, she didn’t understand my anxiety,” she said, later adding, “And that was very frustrating for me as a child, because I was like, ‘How can you not see my internal and emotional struggle?’”