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Willow SmithWillow Smith, the 11-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, has allegedly gotten a tongue ring and her ever-ready critics have already gone wild, reports our sister site HelloBeautiful.com.

Posing with a friend, she opens her mouth wide for the camera so everyone can see her new metal (if it’s real, which is doubtful from appearances). Willow prompted the same outcry when she chopped her hair off — presumably, the move was initially to support an ill friend who was forced to shave her head — and people said that Will and Jada were “bad” parents. Willow watchers created all kinds of scenarios that starred Willow dancing her way to destruction, all because she was allowed to cut her hair.

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Then, when she changed the color of her close crop from blonde to purple to green, critics passed out to the point where smelling salts were almost needed to revive them.

Personally, I find it amazing that in a culture which overwhelmingly supported Pastor Creflo Dollar for allegedly tackling his daughter to the ground, choking her and hitting her with a shoe, many people consider Will and Jada, two people who clearly love their daughter, bad parents.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

As I’ve written previously, while Willow has spoken to adults in a seemingly disrespectful way — such as her infamous Oprah interview during which she called the business mogul Giiirrrl!” — her spontaneity and ability to know exactly who she is at such a young age (or at least comfortable enough in her own skin so she doesn’t feel the need to conform to standards of beauty and “safe” femininity)  is something that should be encouraged, not suppressed.

I’m quite sure there are many young girls walking around in ankle length skirts, knee socks and holding bibles, who are engaged in far more risky behavior than Willow Smith. Lesson for today: Appearances are not everything.

Would I let a daughter of mine get her tongue pierced? Probably not. That’s the thing about parenting, though: That’s my business, just like it is Will and Jada’s business how they raise Willow.

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