Will Smith Explains Why He Supports His Son Jaden's Choice To Wear Skirts

"The greatest gift I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are."

Will Smith is setting an example for dads everywhere by sharing his supportive approach to parenting. In a recent interview with BET, Smith addresses his son Jaden's controversial choice to wear traditionally feminine clothing such as skirts — even modeling the look for an ad campaign with Louis Vuitton.

When asked what he would say to parents in similar situations, Smith starts off by saying that he doesn't usually give parenting advice, "because it's such a unique task," but he personally believes that "the greatest gift I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are."

"Jada [Pinkett Smith, his wife] and I are very serious about finding what they are," he continues, "and encouraging them to be what they are because you can never be happy being what you're not."


"I feel like a lot of times, when I was growing up, I would see parents force a child to be what you want them to be," he says. "As a parent, if it's an oak tree, I want it to grow as an oak tree. I'm not going to try to force it to be an apple tree."

Over the summer, Jaden Smith, now 18, told NYLON magazine about his goal of defying gender stereotypes and fighting bullying: "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."

Despite his current open-minded attitude, Jaden's choice wasn't always an easy thing for his father to accept. "Then I was like, 'OK. You cannot wear a skirt,'" Smith said in an interview earlier this year. "He said to me, 'Dad, it's fine. It's going to be so hot all the kids will be wearing it.' I said, 'No, the kids are not going to do it because their parents will have sense enough to not let them do it.' But he's confident in who he is and who he wants to be."

Smith said he admires his son and told BBC Radio 1Xtra in February that Jaden is "100 percent fearless."



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