Willow Smith is still being criticized for her controversial Instagram photos with Moises Arias. But one key party had no issue with a 13-year-old posing with a shirtless 20-year-old: Willow’s mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith. The actress spoke to paparazzi on Wednesday about her daughter’s polarizing pictures.
“Here’s the deal,” Jada Pinkett-Smith said. “There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation. You guys [Reporters] are projecting your trash onto it. And you’re acting like covert pedophiles and that’s not cool.”
This quote jibes with an earlier TMZ report about Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s reaction to Willow Smith’s bed pictures. A source told the tabloid that the teen’s parents think she is old enough to make her own decisions. The same source also claimed that Will and Jada felt the photo was just “innocent fun.” It helps that the family has known Arias for years, as he is good friends with the Smiths’ son, Jaden.
“It wasn’t for a shoot, just for fun, they both love to take photos and enjoy being creative with their shots,” a source told Us Weekly. “They are like family, brother and sister, and there is nothing sexual about the photo.”
This response to the Willow photo also does not come as a surprise, as Jada Pinkett-Smith has been open about letting her daughter express herself. In 2011, she told Mail Online why she allowed her then-10-year-old to grow a Mohawk and wear controversial outfits.
“I would say we’re giving her the freedom to express herself through her dress — with boundaries,” Jada Pinkett-Smith said of Willow. “She can’t wear tight leather pants or a corset. There’s certain areas we just have to ease up on as far as our children are concerned. It’s not about a certain pair of trousers or a certain jacket or if a child wants to shave her head. I mean, hair grows back. I find areas for Willow to express herself that, to me, are very safe — such as her dress. I’m not going to let her go out with her midriff showing and she’s not wearing any heels.”
The photos of Willow Smith and Moises Arias first went viral earlier this week, when the former Hannah Montana star posted them on his Instagram page. He later removed the pictures following backlash, but they both still appear on his website. He captioned one of them “Roar” and the other “Simba and Nala,” a reference to the main character and his love interest in The Lion King.