Willow Smith explains polyamory decision to mother Jada on Red Table Talk

Willow Smith has revealed she is polyamorous in a candid discussion with her mother and grandmother

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 22: Willow Smith attends the Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 22, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images for Christian Dior)
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images for Christian Dior)

Willow Smith has opened up about her experience of polyamory in a recent episode on the Red Table Talk. 

The musician and actor spoke candidly about her choice to pursue non-monogamous relationships during a discussion with her mother Jada Pinkett-Smith, and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. 

"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,” she explained. 

What does polyamorous mean? 

Polyamory is the practice of having multiple sexual and/or romantic partners at the same time. 

While it may not often be discussed in a society that values finding 'The One', coupling up with more than one lover has been around for a long time. Dating back to ancient civilization, polyamory allows human beings to explore their sexuality with different people without committing infidelity. 

It is estimated that about 4―5 % of Americans identify as polyamorous, and these numbers are only set to rise in the coming years. 

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PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 08: Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith attend the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017 on March 8, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Willow Smith at Paris Fashion Week in 2016 

(Image credit: Peter White/Getty Images)

Willow, 20, went on to share how polyamory aligns with her preferred relationship style.  

“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 monogamous relationships―or why marriage―why divorces happen is infidelity," she said. 

The Transparent Soul singer was likely speaking from personal experience, having witnessed the separation of her parents, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, during her teens. The superstar couple, who have been married for over 23 years, 'separated amicably' for an unknown period of time in 2016. Jada revealed to the public in July 2020 that she became involved in an 'entanglement' with singer August Alsina following the split. She has since ended the relationship and has reportedly rekindled her romantic relationship with Will. 

She then explained that polyamory enables people who have higher sex drives to fulfill their desires without putting pressure on their partner or cheating in the relationship. 

"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 going to be the person to say, 'Just because I don't have these needs, you can't have them either'?" 

Willow was also quick to shut down the misconception that polyamory is only practiced by extremely sexually active people. 

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 28: (L-R) Adrienne Banfield-Jones, Erykah Badu and Willow Smith pose backstage at "Black Girls Rock!" BET Special at NJPAC – Prudential Hall on March 28, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Jada Pinkett-Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Willow Smith at the 'Black Girls Rock!' BET special in 2015

(Image credit: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

“In my friend group, I’m the only polyamorous person,” she revealed, “and I have the least sex out of all of my friends.”

When asked by Willow about her thoughts on her decision, Jada confirmed her full support. "When you were like 'Hey, this is my get-down', I was like, I totally get it," she said. "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." 

Jada's mother, however, was seemed a little more unsure about the issue. Adrienne argued that monogamy offers 'comfort' by providing 'social order' and 'setting boundaries.' When challenged by Willow, she insisted she herself could never imagine loving everyone in a group equally. 

The multi-generational trio also discussed the topic of marriage, an institution often avoided by polyamorous individuals. Willow admitted that while the history of marriage 'irks' her, she's not deadset against tying the knot someday.

“Let’s say me and my partner or partners wants to help people,” she said, “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.” 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.