Willow Smith comes out as polyamorous: ‘The history of marriage ... irks me’
When a celebrity wants to make a statement, they go to Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris and Willow Smith’s red table.
So where better for Willow to come forward publicly as polyamorous than to her mother and grandmother on “Red Table Talk”? On Wednesday’s episode of the hit Facebook Watch series, its youngest co-host discussed her polyamorous lifestyle, which Jada defined as “having multiple emotional and romantic partners at the same time.”
“With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do,” said Willow, 20, later adding that she couldn’t see herself having more than two partners at once.
“So I was like, ‘How can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind?’ Also, doing research into polyamory, the main reasons ... why divorces happen is infidelity.”
Jada, 49, was immediately receptive to the idea, agreeing that most people seek monogamous relationships because they “feel like they have no other choice,” while suggesting that the majority end up practicing “unethical non-monogamy” and “acting a fool” anyway. (“That’s called cheating, y’all,” Gammy added.)
“How did you feel when I told you that I was polyamorous?” Willow asked her mother.
“When you were like, ‘Hey, this is my get down,’ I was like, ‘I totally get it,’” Jada replied. “Wanting to set up your life in a way that you can have what it is that you want, I think anything goes as long as the intentions are clear. You know what I mean?”
Across the table, however, Gammy, 67, had some doubts, admitting that her preconceptions about polyamory center on sex and that she couldn’t see herself loving multiple partners equally. Despite having been “married several times,” the “Red Table” matriarch said she prefers the traditional constructs of marriage.
Gloria Estefan co-hosts “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” with daughter Emily and niece Lili. Their new Facebook Live series debuts Wednesday.
“I’ll give you an example,” Willow told her grandmother. “Let’s say you haven’t always been the kind of person that wanted to have sex all the time, but your partner is. Are you gonna be the person to say, ‘Just because I don’t have these needs, you can’t have them either?’
“That’s one of the reasons why I actually was interested in poly, because I was introduced to it through a nonsexual lens. In my friend group, I’m the only polyamorous person and I have the least sex out of all of my friends.”
While she accepted her grandmother’s preference for monogamy, Willow expressed some grievances about the history of marriage and “what it has represented over the years, for women in particular.”
“The history of marriage really irks me,” Willow said. “I feel like the only way that I would get married is — let’s say me and my partner or partners wants to help people and we need to put our finances together in order to make that vision happen. That’s the only way I could see myself getting married.”
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At the end of the day, Jada told her daughter she is “OK with whatever” and whoever Willow chooses to love as long as her partners love her back.
“I know that there’s a lot of beauty that sits outside of the conventional boxes,” the actress added.
Willow’s “Red Table” announcement comes a day after the singer released her new punk-pop single, “Transparent Soul,” featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The angsty track marks Willow’s first release since her 2020 joint album with Tyler Cole, “The Anxiety.”
“I feel so excited and seen because I’ve been studying polyamory for a really long time,” Willow said toward the end of Wednesday’s “Red Table” episode. “I just want to show that there’s so much here to be mined and to be uncovered.”
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