Jada Pinkett Smith is once again opening up about her and husband Will Smith's children, 17-year-old daughter Willow and 19-year-old son Jaden, and their unconventional choices growing up in the public eye.
On Monday, Jada's latest episode of her hit Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk, featured EJ Johnson and his mother, Cookie, along with her regular guests -- Willow as well as Jada's mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The group candidly discussed EJ coming out, and how his father, legendary NBA star Magic Johnson, reacted. Cookie and EJ said the pro athlete needed time, but has clearly accepted EJ for who he is.
“When Jaden got asked to do the women’s campaign for Louis Vuitton, this kind of gender fluid fashion, you know, Will called me,” Jada recalled. “And he's like, 'Nope. My son is not supposed to be in a Louis Vuitton ad wearing skirts. No, no, no, hold up … Is this a good idea?’"
Jada then said she replied, ‘Well, you know what, Will? This is what he wants. This is his expression.’ And he said 'OK, OK.' But it was tight. He was afraid, it was uncomfortable. Because you know, as dads, expectations ... 'macho, macho,' you know?"
Willow chimed in that the actor also didn't approve of her famously shaving her head at nine years old.
“He told me he didn’t want me to cut my hair," Willow recalled. "He was like, ‘Don’t do it. All your femininity!’ As if my femininity was in my hair."
But Jada explained that Will's initial reactions to his children were because he wanted to protect them, when EJ pointed out that the 46-year-old actress has also been sporting a short hairdo for a long time.
"Willow was nine ...and it's his little girl, and 'I want you to stay a little girl as long as I can,'" Jada noted of Will's mindset. "They want you in a place where they can protect you is what I really learned from Will."
These days, Jada said her kids are constantly educating her on changing gender norms. She also notes that their unconventional ways are how they "were born," rather than how she and Will raised them.
“Jaden and Willow have always been different," she stressed. "They were born that way. A lot of people think that it came from my rearing, but no, it just so happened that that’s how they came into the world and I had to get in order. I had to be open enough to receive it.”
"I gave birth to a son that I didn't know," she said specifically of Jaden. "Jaden's so sweet. I went through a process like, oh my god, what a beautiful child, and then I went to, oh I'm fearful he's going into the world, he's going to get eaten up, and then learning to have that trust in him that, 'they got it.'"
Jaden appeared on a previous episode of Red Table Talk, in which they once again discussed his memorable Louis Vuitton ad. Jaden joked that aside from wanting to give other kids the freedom to think outside of the box and to not be bullied for it, he also wore women's clothing for pure style reasons.
"That comes along with it, but like, I wore the skirt so I could look fly," he said. "That's why I wore the skirt, so that everyone would say, 'He's an innovator. His head's in a different place.'"