Is it that much of a surprise that a 9 year old is cooler than me? No, not really, I can be out-cooled by most people, but by a 9 year old is still impressive.
...But when the 9 year old is Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith and Jayda Pinkett-Smith, it makes a little more sense.
Willow has just released the music video for her first single, "Whip My Hair."
I will be honest, I heard a leaked version of the song and was unimpressed at first. It's a little repetitive, and I just wasn't feeling it. But then the music video came out, and I reconsidered... wait... Willow Smith is awesome.
And so "Party in the USA" has officially been pushed out by "Whip My Hair" in my personal list of pump-up party jams. I love the be-yourself/have-fun message... which when sung by people older than 9, comes across as cheesey or... somehow connected to some sort of shallow sexual liberation. However, by 9 year old Willow, it's a perfect song.
Also, the implicit positive attention it's calling to black hair is great. The song can be for anyone, but the fact that it's this adorable 9 year old whippin her hair around in some crazy styles (that obviously white people cannot pull off... sigh...)
is going to very clearly show little girls that you shouldn't be hiding your hair. (Ok, there are obviously some weaves involved in her life... but they are COOL ones.) I think this is a pretty significant message coming off a year of many discussions about black hair. There was Chris Rock's documentary, Good Hair, Tyra Banks' Natural Hair Day, Sesame Street's new video, I Love My Hair (and the subsequent mashup with Whip My Hair), and all the discussions about Michelle Obama's hair, I mean... it's about time we got a good hair role model for young black girls. Not that Willow can't be a role model for everyone (Good God, she's one of mine now), but if you're a nine year old black girl listening to Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez... they're going to look very different from you, and it's always heartening to have a role model who looks like you. And since Raven Symone... I can't think of an example of another young, black starlet. (And I think I usually keep up with the pre-teen/teen crowd of stars. So, tell me if I'm wrong.)
So, you go, Willow Smith. Whip your hair all over the place. I can't wait for the rest of the album.
And in case you're wondering, she's good live too.