Willow Smith has no hair to whip back and forth anymore. The 19-year-old star shaved her head last week as a part of an art exhibit, and the look is here to stay. She says that she is treating this as a "new beginning." Smith held an interactive art exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California last week, along with her partner Tyler Cole. The two spent 24 hours locked inside of a glass box, acting out eight different emotional states in a performance art piece meant to precede the launch of their new album. At the end of it, Cole shaved Smith's head in front of the audience.
The exhibit was titled "The Anxiety," which is also the title of Smith and Cole's new band, and their first album together. During the exhibit, they acted out the emotional stages of anxiety, paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance.
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The event was live-streamed for those that wanted to watch at home, and each emotion lasted for three hours. There were short breaks for the two to eat, use the bathroom and sleep. Smith told reporters from The Los Angeles Times that the work was deeply personal, and not meant to reflect anxiety broadly in any way.
"We understand this is a very sensitive subject. And we don't want to be like, 'Our experience is the experience.' This is just us expressing our personal experience with this," she said. "I think everyone has a fear of just not knowing what's going to happen in the future, not knowing if you're on the right path, not knowing if you're making the right choices."
Smith said that her own anxiety was triggered by broad forces like climate change, as well as more specific events like the death of Kobe Bryant. She hoped that their work would convey these feelings in a genuine, meaningful way, not like a superficial representation.
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"This is not so that people are like, 'Oooh!' This is for awareness," she said. "The first thing we're going to be writing on our title wall is something along the lines of: 'The acceptance of one's fears is the first step toward understanding.' So then you know this is on something real. This is for a real cause."
The tangible result of the performance, Smith's new haircut, stands as a testament to hers and Cole's commitment to their new project. Smith herself has not posted any photos or videos of her new look, but Cole has, and so has Smith's mother, Jada Pinkett Smith. Presumably, she will debut her new look on an upcoming episode of Red Table Talk.