Do I want to whip my hair back and forth with nine-year-old Willow Smith?

written by Love Isn’t Enough guest contributor Liz Dwyer; originally posted at Los Angelista’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness

Have you heard the song “Whip My Hair”? If not, it’s a tune where nine year-old Willow Smith sings, “I whip my hair back and forth,” a mere 67 times in three minutes.

If your ears have yet to be blessed with this masterpiece of pop music, you’ll hear it soon enough because faster than you can whip your hair, it’s gonna be on every KISS FM-style music station across America.

Don’t listen to pop radio because you’re one of those NPR only types? Don’t worry, I got your back:

You know, I’d bet money that when humans finally make contact with extra terrestrials, the aliens are gonna jump outta their space ships singing, “I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth…” 67 times.

Then they’ll massacre us, throw a big party and sing about how they shook off the human haters and they’re gonna keep the party jumpin’ and just whip their tentacles hair back and forth.

No joke, our only hope for survival might be the aliens getting whiplash before they annihilate us all.

As for moi, if you’re a child pop star and you ain’t Stevie Wonder or the Jackson 5, I’m usually not trying to give you the time of day. Especially when you’re nine and singing about haters. I mean, how many real haters can you have at that age when you’re a privileged kid from an A-list Hollywood family that pretty much only associates with other rich families? Haters that won’t invite you to tennis lessons in Bel Air?

Or is Willow talking about those haters who say, “Gee, that Willow Smith is talented but she thinks she’s all that because her mom’s Jada Pinkett and her dad’s Will Smith. I bet they paid Jay Z for her record deal. And do you see that video? Who lets their nine year-old child wear rhinestones on her lips and sport those nail decorations?”

On the other hand, if Willow keeps it up, move over Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber! As people whip their hair back and forth, Willow’s face will be the one plastered over the almost 100% white covers of teen mags like Bop and Tiger Beat. It’s like black teen stars are on some “do not put their ashy behind on the cover” list so a little color will be a very good thing. Black kids will no longer have to walk by those magazines and think, “There’s no one that looks like me on that cover. No one. SOB!”

Can’t you just see the self-esteem of black children everywhere skyrocketing as Willow’s career blows up? And screw all those stuffy education reformers who think teachers having high expectations is the key to changing public education. Pfft! Black kids need only whip their hair and shake the haters off, and the achievement gap will begin to close!

Added bonus? Willow’s so positive, she’s already mashed up into Sesame Street’s awesome ode to natural hair:

Hmm… I think I like that video version better than the official video.

I went and asked an official Los Angelista expert, my own nine year-old, Mr. O, what he thought of Willow Smith and her Whip My Hair-itis. He watched the video and at the end he asked, “Are you sure she’s the same age as me?”

A look of perplexed surprise crossed his face when I told him yes.

“Wow. It’s good… Wow! But, I’d say it’s maybe not for kids because I don’t understand what she’s singing about. But wow, she’s talented.”

Talented, indeed. Willow will turn ten and land the cover of Teen Vogue. By the time she’s 15, she’ll have her own fashion line… and by the time she’s 21, she’ll have a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.

Let’s just pray she doesn’t turn into the next generation’s Lindsay Lohan. (Fingers crossed).

In the meantime…

I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!
I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth!

That’s only 18 times. My neck hurts.

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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