In a brilliant PR stunt, the 11-year-old daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith hijacked the headlines and became a trending Twitter topic today by shaving her head bald.
Yesterday Smith posted a picture of her newly bald dome on whosay.com, a social media website dubbed "Facebook for the famous," and it didn't take long for the web to go wild with ironic comments about the star's radical non-hairdo given her most famous single is "Whip Your Hair."
* "You whipped your hair too hard," commented Courtney Baldwin on the WhoSay website.
* "Breaking: Willow Smith shaves head. Thousands uncertain on what to whip now," tweeted Mark Campbell.
Newspapers around the globe reported on the so-called news of a pre-teen shaving her head. The dry British newspaper Daily Mail drolly declared, "Aspiring pop star Willow Smith will certainly not be whipping her hair any time soon." .
Since Smith posted the photo herself and has yet to give any explanation for it, we have to wonder if her main goal was to make news by any means possible. Last week "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon received lots of ink by going bald for her theatrical role in "Wit," perhaps planting a seed for Smith. She is too young to get a tattoo or pierce body parts -- more conventional ways for celebs to seek attention -- without her parents' permission.
The Hollywood hipsterette has experimented with her hair over the years, with styles ranging from a funky mohawk to big side-swept bangs to a recent pink and white wig. But her latest decision to do away with her hair altogether is a different story. Though some teens shave their heads to provide moral support to a friend or family member who has cancer, Smith's motivations are less clear.
Although the hair-shaving stunt looks like a bid for public attention, it's possible her mom and dad's rumored marriage fail has made her act out to get her parents' attention. Minimizing her head could be a signal she is feeling small and sad. Britney Spears shaved her head five years ago during a troubled period when she was struggling with substance abuse.
A sunnier theory is that Smith is just testing her star power to see how many other teen girls will follow her lead and get their heads shaved, too. The soon-to-be "Annie" actress is already renowned for her trendy taste in fashion and is considered a style setter by the media.
The publicity will also help sales of her upcoming debut album "Knees and Elbows," keeping Smith's name in the news in advance of its April release.
Of course, it could just be that the fickle "Fireball" singer got bored and wanted to do something bold to amuse herself. To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, "Sometimes a bald head is just a bald head."
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