Jaden Smith, son of everyone’s favourite Fresh Prince, has recently been pictured wearing dresses and skirts prompting more than a few raised eyebrows. The social media figure who has historically hit headlines for his… less-than-poignant observations about the world has insisted that he is doing so to help normalise intergender behaviour.
Simplicity— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) March 16, 2018
“You just have to believe in yourself, you know. The world is going to keep bashing me for whatever I do and I'm going to keep not caring. I'm going to take most of the blow,” he told reporters at Nylon. “So you know, in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won't get beat up and kids won't get mad at him. It just doesn't matter. I'm taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren't expected before my time.”
Recently the 19-year-old tweeted another defence of his dress-wearing in a tweet that read:
“If I Wanna Wear A Dress, Then I Will, And That Will Set The New Wave... -JADEN SMITH #ICON.”
On BBC One Radio Xtra the boy’s father, Will Smith, also spoke about Jaden’s decision to wear gender-neutral clothing.
“Jaden is 100 percent fearless,” he said. “He will do anything. So as a parent it's scary, it's really terrifying — but he is completely willing to live and die by his own artistic decisions and he just doesn't concern himself with what people think.”
Meanwhile Jaden Smith has been steadily growing his presence as part of the gender fluid movement, being pictured taking Hunger Games alum Amandla Stenberg to her prom while wearing a tux-dress merger.
We applaud the idea of people working hard to dismantle unnecessary barriers while trying to help contribute to a world where children won’t be bullied or excluded just for wearing certain clothes. But we question Jaden's sense of self-importance given the issue at hand. Are we actually living in a world where a 19-year-old millionaire can portray himself as a trans rights hero because he wore a dress?
On a serious note, it's going to take more than just one person to normalise gender-fluidity. And while every little helps there's something a little galling about a millionaire acting like his decision to wear a dress and ignore a few twitter trolls counts as a step torwards a brighter future.
On a less serious note, as a child of the nineties I have to wonder if Jaden Smith could actually undo all of my appreciation for Will Smith. The Fresh Prince has contributed so much goodness to popular culture that a decade or two ago I would never have fathomed that he could make something so bad and terribly offensive that it'd sour my memories of all his works. But it turns out Will Smith can make something so obnxious, out of touch with reality, and grotesque that yes, it'd tarnish my childhood memories. It just didn't turn out to be a movie, but instead it was actually his son.
Keep it up Jaden Smith. You're so unlikeable you may actually manage to balance out the sheer strength of your father's charisma.