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Will Smith says he gives his children ‘freedom to be who they are’

By Will Stroude

Will Smith and wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith’s son Jaden has become well known for his gender-neutral approach to fashion, often being snapped wearing skirts and dresses, along side more traditional masculine attire.

Sadly, for some parents, any hint of cross-dressing might be enough to spark panic. But luckily for Jaden, his famous folks have a more modern approach to parenting.

Speaking exclusively to BET, dad Will Smith explained why he embraces his kids’ exploration of gender.

“First of all, I don’t give parenting advice per se, because it’s such a unique task, he said. The greatest human task is to render a human being into the world.

“What I do with my children, that I feel that the greatest gift that I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are.”

He added: “I feel like a lot of times, when I was growing up, I would see parents force a child to be what you want them to be. As a parent, if it’s an oak tree, I want it to grow as an oak tree. I’m not gonna try to force it to be an apple tree.”

18-year-old Jaden, who modelled Louis Vuitton womenswear earlier this year, explained his gender-blind sensibilities in an interview with British GQ in March this year.

“I don’t see man clothes and woman clothes,” he said. “I feel like people are kind of confused about gender norms. I feel like people don’t really get it. I’m not saying that I get it, I’m just saying that I’ve never seen any distinction.”

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