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Parents outraged: Willow Smith, 12, wants a summer fling July 13, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Willow Smith, daughter of entertainers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, is out with a new music video for her song “Summer Fling.” Willow sings about how a summer fling is “just for a few months, but we do it anyway,” and appears in the video with much older boys and girls flirting with one another. For those who don’t know, a fling has sexual connotations, much like “hooking up.” Unsurprisingly, the love crazed single is angering many parents and experts on children. Speaking about the pre-teen’s new song, psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman argued recently, “It is not age-appropriate for a 12-year-old to be singing these kinds of lyrics or to be involved in a scenario like this. The argument may be that it’s pretend, but there is the psychological impact on her. Do you want your 12-year-old already seen as a sex symbol?” Another parenting expert, Robyn Siberman, was quoted in an article posted to Yahoo, saying, “A summer fling is usually used to describe something physical, sexual, with no long-term attachment. People don’t want to hear about 12-year-olds talking about good-night kisses. It feels out of place; too old and sexualized.”

Willow has some backers, though. Pop culture expert Jenn Hoffman is contending that the star’s critics are overreacting. Hoffman contended, “When I was 12 years old I was madly in love with my boyfriend. To tell me otherwise would be completely dismissive of the feelings I was going through at the time. Who are we to tell Willow Smith that she is too young to be feeling these things? In 2013 12 years old doesn’t seem too young for a legit summer fling.”

See Willow Smith’s controversial new video below:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Does the term “summer fling” really mean for Willow Smith what parents and child experts are saying it does?

2.  Do videos like Smith’s influence youth culture? If so, why does this worry parents?

3.  Is Smith’s video really all that different from anything else found on television or the radio?

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