Is this Willow expressing herself? Or the coming-of-age fantasy invented for her by adults?
Willow Smith is 12. In her latest release, Summer Fling, she sings about a summer romance. She gives an older boy she has just met her phone number. It was only a few months, but they “do it anyway… “and say ”I love you.”
She is shown holding hands, hugging, cuddling and flirting with the older looking boy. Lyrics include:
“You tell me that I’m the one / I tell you it’s just for fun / Don’t really care what we do tonight / Good night kiss ’til the mood is right.”
“Laying by the beach with you / Wishing it would never end.”
The issue isn’t that it is impossible for girls this age to have crushes. But it is the outworking of this in the video. It appears to be a more mature and ‘adult’ expression, not appropriate for a pre teen girl.
The summer romance appears to be with a boy who looks significantly older than her. In fact everyone in the video looks older than her. At least one of the guys in the video is old enough to have a tattoo on his chest. She’s the little kid jumping on the trampoline. She looks tiny in over-sized clothes as she parties with the big kids – and has a ‘fling’ with one of them after willingly giving him her phone number.
It looks more like a graduation party for 17 year-olds at which a 12-year-old girl has tagged along.
Is this Willow’s adolescent dream? Is it her coming of age fantasy? Or is it the fantasy of male producers and music marketers? Will other 12 year-olds think they should have the same dreams and desires?
Here’s the clip