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Jada Pinkett Smith talks 'hardcore' mom-shaming after son Jaden posed in a skirt

The actor spoke about the "hardcore" mom-shaming she received after her son posed in a skirt for a Louis Vuitton ad and her daughter shaved her head.
/ Source: TODAY

It's been four years since her son posed in a skirt in a Louis Vuitton campaign, but Jada Pinkett Smith still vividly recalls the mom-shaming she received in the wake of it.

Pinkett Smith spoke on her family's Facebook Watch show, "Red Table Talk," about enduring the backlash, particularly from the Black community, after son Jaden, 22, appeared in the 2016 ad alongside three female models in skirts.

2019 MTV Movie And TV Awards - Inside
Jada Pinkett Smith has opened up about the mom-shaming she received after her son, Jaden Smith, wore a skirt in a 2016 Louis Vuitton campaign. Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for MTV

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In an episode titled "Mom Shaming: The New Epidemic" with guests Ashley Graham and Jessica Alba, Pinkett Smith also opened up about the criticism she received after her daughter, Willow, 19, shaved her head as a 12-year-old in the middle of her tour for her hit song "Whip My Hair" in 2012.

"I got shamed a lot for Willow," she said. "But Jaden — that was hardcore. I think as Jaden got older, and he did the Louis Vuitton, and he was wearing a skirt and then he isn't what people consider your typical Black man, which is like, what is that supposed to mean?"

Willow also shared on the show how she felt at the time.

"Specifically with the African American community, I kind of felt like me and Jaden were like shunned a little bit, like we're not gonna take pride in them because they're too different," Willow said. "Even some of our family members, I would feel they thought, 'You're too different.'"

"They weren't raised typically, and I think, especially for our community, it was something new," Pinkett Smith said.

Pinkett Smith's biggest concerns at the time were not about herself.

"For me, looking at how my children were being affected, that's what counts," she said. "When people are like, 'Oh, my God! I can't believe you shaved Willow's head.' If they could have seen this child's expression of freedom, looking at her hair falling to the ground, so me as a mom looking at that, experiencing that with her, there is nothing that anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong.

"Not one person, because I was there, I was looking at her, I saw her face, I knew the journey that she and I took together to get to that point. And so it didn't matter what anybody said."

Pinkett Smith has also previously opened up on the show about having a romantic "entanglement" with singer August Alsina, 28, more than four years ago while married to Will Smith. At that time, Pinkett Smith and her husband were briefly separated.

"I want to put it on the table. I'm so proud of you," Willow told her mother on the show. "To be able to see you and dad do that, for me, that was like, 'OK that's the real deal. That's real love.'"