Willow Smith has spent the past few years elevating teen wokeness to new, previously undiscovered heights, an achievement that is on full display in her new Teen Vogue cover story. In addition to her music career, serving as Chanel’s new ambassador, and being one of Gen Z’s most enlightened philosopher-poets, the profile reveals that Willow also “sews clothing, hosts underground teachings in quantum mechanics, and is studying how to produce songs from mathematical equations.” Hey, same! (Not same.)
Other things Willow can do? Well, for one thing, she can read her brother’s mind. “We’re like binary stars, like two parts of one thing,” says Willow of her brother Jaden Smith, post-human moon child forged from the cosmic DNA of Will and Jada. “I know what he’s thinking at all times. And he knows what I’m thinking. We’re not identical twins, but it feels like that in a lot of ways.”
Smith confesses that not even she is immune to self-doubt, and she struggled to find herself amid the post–“Whip My Hair” media frenzy (ten is such a hard age!). Thankfully, she came out of her funk, and now she is here to inspire her fellow youths to ditch their Yeezys and embrace their inner light.
“During that time of figuring it out, I was lost and super insecure. But then I stopped trying to find myself in these other inanimate objects, people, and ideas. I realized it isn’t about finding yourself — it’s about creating yourself,” Smith explains. “A lot of clothes are cute, but after you buy the Yeezy shoes, after you get your hair done with a weave, you’re still the same person. I feel like more and more kids are starting to realize this.”
Dang, if there’s going to be a whole army of these enlightened multi-hyphenate teen prodigies walking around, we should probably find a word to describe them. Thankfully, there’s an app for that:
“I see myself as a — hold on, let me ask Siri.” The teenager whips out her iPhone and speaks into it, drawing stares from tables nearby. “Siri, define artisan.” Everybody’s favorite robotic voice serves up a satisfying definition: Artisan is a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. “Ah, OK, yes!” Willow allows. “I call myself an artisan.”
Same. (Not same.)