At just 12 years old, singer Willow Smith is in the midst of a grown-up controversy. It seems many feel the tween's new song and accompanying video, "Summer Fling," are far too mature for her.
Some find fault with the lyrics, particularly the part where Smith sings, "It's just a couple months, but we do it anyway."
Presumably "do it" refers to the decision to take part in a brief summer romance at all, but critics feel that those words, when paired with idea of a "fling," is where the controversy lies.
"I would have probably been more comfortable if she'd called it a 'summertime crush' or 'puppy love,' something like that, as opposed to a fling," said YouTube user Lovelyti, who filmed a video response to the song. "Because when I think about a fling, I think about a one night stand."
That's a sentiment shared by psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, who found the "Summer Fling" video, which sees Smith frolicking with a boyfriend who looks a little older than her, equally disturbing.
"The video is called 'Summer Fling,' but it might just as well be called 'Lolita,'" she told TODAY. "It's outrageous."
But Bonnie Fuller, from HollywoodLife.com, disagrees with those who insist the song and video have strong sexual overtones.
"(Willow's) at a pool party; she's jumping on a trampoline," Fuller explained to TODAY. "I don't think that Willow Smith is talking about having sex in the summer with some boy. I think she's talking about having a relationship or romance or a crush with some boy. ... I don’t' think parents need to be concerned about their 12-year-old sons or daughters watching the video."
Lieberman, on the other hand, is concerned for parents — specifically Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
"There's nothing innocent about this video," she said. "It's clearly about sex. I don't know what Willow's parents were thinking."
E!'s Jason Kennedy, reporting for TODAY, reached out to the Smiths for comment, but their representatives did not respond.
First published July 11 2013, 8:39 AM