i-D Magazine spotlights teenagers who defy the preconceived boundaries of their age in its Pre-Fall 2015 “Coming of Age” Issue, covered by one of the most visible of these young minds, Willow Smith.
In a cover story titled “willow smith: fluorescent adolescent,” the 14-year-old creative force discusses the relativity of everything, being raised to carve her own path and not caring about selling music.
“The only reason I carve my own path the way I do is because of the way I was raised. My parents always said, ‘If you don’t carve your own path, someone’s going to carve it for you. And that’s not fun.'”
“No one could ever tell me what to do with my music. No one could ever say, ‘No, don’t do that ’cause that’s not what sells.’ I couldn’t care less what sells,” she insists. “I care more about what can help people, and help them realize there lies an inner power.”
Her love of nature:
“I just love being outside, being with the Mother and communing with the animals and the trees and all the living beings, dancing and letting everything go wild.”
Her fondness of Ai Yazawa’s popular manga, Nana:
“It’s basically about these two girls that live in Asia and both of them are named Nana, but they’re two completely different girls. They end up living together and creating a life with their friends.”
Her obsession over James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar:
“Oh, my God, that’s my life. I watch that movie and it hits me in places. I know that I lived it. I just know that I did. It reminds me of what this generation need to do to raise their own consciousness and to rise against the powers that be, because the strength that the tribe has to overthrow the Sky People, that’s the kind of strength that we need to have. That’s the strength that we need to cultivate.”
On feminine powers:
“When I was little, my mom always used to tell me about Goddesses and the feminine powers of the universe, and I’d always be so confused because everyone said God was a man. I felt this strong feminine energy in my life but society is on this whole other polarity. It’s always been so confusing to me. But just being around women like that and talking about that goddess energy more and more and cultivating it with other young girls… I feel that my song Female Energy inspires a lot of girls to reach for that Goddess entity.”
On activism against sex trafficking:
“They’re very real issues. Nobody really thinks that human trafficking exists in the US, but it exists everywhere and it’s happening every day. That’s why I’m so saddened when the media is degrading women. This is happening to us; we’re suppressed enough, us women, we need to come together and we need to be together. We shouldn’t be demeaning each other. That’s one thing that makes me so sad.”
On whether millennials are figuring out things faster than previous generations did:
“I don’t think it has to do with figuring it out. I feel like it has everything to do with realizing it. Once you realize that there’s something more than what you’ve been given permission to believe, then a whole other dimension of life is opened up to you – a whole other dimension of creation, of laughter, of living, of everything.”