After shaving her head as part of the conclusion of an art exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles earlier this month, Willow Smith “came into a womanhood,” according to mom Jada Pinkett Smith.
“The first time you shaved your head [was] when you were 12 years old. But this time, you came into a womanhood,” Jada, 48, told her daughter on Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk. “So, kudos to you.”
“I feel like I was just shedding a lot history and emotional baggage,” Willow explained. “Six, seven, years of emotion, I just let it go.”
During the performance art piece, Willow and musical collaborator Tyler Cole (who gave the I Am Legend actress her haircut) spent 24-hours locked in a glass room at MOCA on March 12. The pair aimed to demonstrate the eight emotional stages related to anxiety: paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance. Jada documented the hair change on social media, posting a series of videos on Instagram and her Instagram Story.
“The start of the new beginning,” Jada wrote. “Willow Smith at her interactive experience. My baby shaved her head! Again!”
The pair rented out the space themselves, and allowed audience members to watch them live for up to 15 minutes at a time, according to the Los Angeles Times. They stayed in each emotion for three hours, breaking for periods of sleeping and eating as well as short bathroom trips. Their exhibit ended with Willow and Cole releasing their new album, The Anxiety.
Red Table Talk hosts Jada, Willow and Adrienne Banfield-Jones reflected on Willow’s experience inside the glass box — especially in connection to the fear and anxiety surrounding the coronavirus pandemic — during Wednesday’s episode, guest-starring motivational speaker Jay Shetty and psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula.
“The coronavirus pandemic is causing great fear, anxiety — even panic… You put yourself in a box, dealing with eight stages of anxiety in 24 hours,” Jada said. “It was really timely, even though you’d been planning this for a while. But the fact that it was this isolation, confinement we’re experience now [was relatable].”