Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband Will Smith have taken a lot of criticism for pushing their young children Jaden and Willow into the Hollywood limelight, and now mama bear is speaking out. The Smith family matriarch—an actress and musician herself—talked to Redbook about being a so-called stage mother:
RB: When people comment on the way you raise your kids—or, as some have suggested, "exploit" them—does that piss you off?
JPS: I understand it. They're looking at something from the outside that seems so enormous and dangerous. I have my moments where I get more frustrated than upset. But I also know that our reality is one that most people don't share and can't imagine, and there's no fault in that. And if anything happens to my children, I give all those people out there judging me the right to burn me at the stake. Go for it, because I'll deserve it!
RB: Have you ever explained to Jaden and Willow that life as they know it is not typical for most kids their age?
JPS: Let me tell you what I fear most: Them growing up like I did, in a house with drugs in a war zone, where if I walked out my door I could be shot. Hollywood ain't nothing compared to that! Growing up in the streets of Baltimore, or the streets of Philly where Will grew up—I'd rather have my kids here. It still makes me nervous that they're part of something that isn't totally real, but it's up to Will and me to teach them what's real and what's not.
Considering all the drama Young Hollywood finds itself in on a daily basis, we don't see much harm in Jaden's karate kicking and Willow's hair-whipping. And Jada seems to know to keep them away from the meanest street of all—the Sunset Strip.