Most people agree the past year has been challenging. A global pandemic isn't something we saw coming. Yet, we bootstrapped and pushed through. Some of us are anxiously easing back into our daily routines as policies shift, and others remain reluctant. Willow Smith has one desire on the brink of post-pandemic life: "I want to mosh," Smith says to me fiercely on Zoom. "I want to perform that rock music; I want to be in the mosh—I want to incite the mosh."
The 20-year-old singer's passion for a carefree music moment is deeply rooted in an eagerness to interact with things that make her happy. This isn't my first time interviewing Smith and her voice bears the same warm, inviting, sincere tone as in conversations past. Still, the person who has been immersed in figuring out her identity has evolved since then. "Willow, now, just wants to have fun," she says. "She just wants to strap the guitar over her shoulder and scream and not worry about the meaning of life."
Fun for Smith now includes making music, meditation, and landing dope beauty deals, including her latest—a stunning partnership for Mugler's new Alien Goddess fragrance ($120)—launching on August 15th. "I immediately connected with this fragrance when I smelled it and heard the name," Smith says. "I've always super interested in anything extraterrestrial and cosmic, so I was attracted to that from the start."
Unlike most high-end fragrances that can be intense or overpowering for some, Smith says Alien Goddess is suitable for anyone's personal taste. "It's warm and floral yet light and soft," she says of the blend outfitted in a sleek gold bottle. "When you put it on, you don't feel like it's taking over you. It complements your natural scent while giving you a nice floral touch."
Alien Goddess is a small piece of understated luxury of Smith's minimal beauty routine, which includes face masks and stepping up her lip care. "I do an exfoliating lip mask then douse my face in moisture masks," she says. "I don't take care of my lips as I should, so I'm trying to be better at that."
Beauty may have been an only-physical attribute, but we're shifting that narrative. It's hardly a physical thing at all.
Self-care doesn't stop at beauty for Smith. Instead, it's about focusing on her mental health and wellness. "I started seeing a therapist, which was healing for me," she says. "It's been helpful for me because I've realized when you keep emotions inside, you give them power over you." In addition to therapy, Smith proactively sets out to begin every day with intention.
First thing in the morning, you'll find her chanting mantras that remind her to practice gratitude. "There's one that I love that goes: I'm grateful for everything in my life, even the things that don't go the way I want them to," Smith shares. "Then, I try to read for at least 10 minutes and have at least 20 minutes off my phone filling my mind with positivity at the beginning of the day." Smith also incorporates yoga and guitar practice into her days regularly.
Smith's approach to self-care alone speaks volumes to the way she—and an entire generation of Gen-Z'ers—sees beauty in the world. "We want to get rid of those lines in the sand," she says. "Beauty may have been an only-physical attribute, but we're shifting that narrative. It's hardly a physical thing at all." Instead, Smith takes pride in being a voice of the generation looking inwards. "Someone could have a lovely face and body but not care about the world or being a kind person," she says. "It's more than what you look like." Smith also encourages her supporters to be kind to themselves in the process. "If you're getting down on yourself and not loving people, you will end up doing that to other people," she says. "I try to steer clear of that as much as I can."
While Smith doesn't claim to have it all figured out, her intention of being her most authentic, music-loving, alien goddess-self is one we could take notes on. It's a liberating and refreshing approach to beauty and life, which can sometimes be anything but beautiful. All that's missing is a moshpit.