Willow Smith, youngest child of Jada and Will Smith, made a name for herself at an early age, debuting in the 2007 film I Am Legend, later appearing in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, before launching her music career, and of course, the rest is history.

The talented young Smith has gone on to become the face of several luxury brands, the voice of a generation through activism and more. The self-professed, “student of the human experience,” recently sat down with Marie Claire for their “Making Change” series to talk about how she is using her brand and voice to influence good. Check out a few key points that she had to say from her interview below.  


Photo Courtesy of Marie Claire/Tyler Cole

Smith on her 24-hour art installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles with friend and article photographer, Tyler Cole:

“I’m a young woman of color in America. What I express [in my art] is my dismay or my sadness at the reality that I’m seeing in front of me,” she says.

Smith on living in a reality that isn’t rose tinted, but how it just takes one to make a change:

“Times are going to get toughy nuffy—more tough than I think we ever expected it to get. At the end of the day, it always takes just one person to be like, ‘Eff it, I’m going to go and I’m going to say this,’ and then all of the people who feel the same way look at that person and go, ‘I’m going to stand with them.’ ”

Photo Courtesy of Marie Claire/Tyler Cole

Smith on youth and societal change:

“Youth has always been at the forefront of change in society. I feel what is becoming different is that people are going out of their way to ask themselves, ‘What can I do? How can I contribute to making this world a better place?’ ”

Photo Courtesy of Marie Claire/Tyler Cole

Smith on using her social media platform to help generate change:

“I speak out as much as I can on social media and give artists of color platforms to speak their mind, to be seen and have their work known. If you have a platform and you’re not using it for good and awareness and helping others, then what are you doing?”

To read the interview in its entirety, click here. Willow Smith is unquestionably a voice and influence well beyond her years. 

Cover image courtesy of Marie Claire/Tyler Cole.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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