Willow Smith opens up about being polyamorous
Willow Smith, the daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, opened up to her mother and grandmother about living a polyamorous lifestyle.
Smith's pursuit of emotional and romantic relationships with multiple partners, known as polyamory, was the topic of discussion of this week's Red Table Talk, the Facebook Watch talk show hosted by Smith, her mother Jada Pinkett-Smith and her grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
"The history of marriage really irks me," Smith said while explaining her decision to pursue consensual non-monogamy. "Just the history of marriage as a whole and what it has represented over the years, for women in particular."
"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 continued. "So I was like, how can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind?"
The three women invited Gabrielle Smith, a polyamory advocate, to the show to discuss her practice of polyamory.
"It's not about, ‘Oh, I wanna have all these partners. I wanna do all of these things,'" Gabrielle Smith said. "It's just like my sexuality. I'm not specifically attracted to men and I'm not specifically attracted to women or any other gender. It's that I am open to anything. I want to be able to take opportunities if I feel like they're natural to me."
Later in the program, Jada Pinkett Smith said there is a lot of "non-consensual non-monogamy going on because people will not just be honest."
"I would have so much work to do on myself to be in a polyamorous relationship," said Banfield-Norris, also known as Gammy.
"As I said before, so long as you are having the greatest love affair with Willow, I don't care what you do," Jada Pinkett Smith said to her daughter.
Consensual nonmonogamy, which includes polyamory, is not uncommon, according to a 2016 study out of Indiana University published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. It found that over 20 percent of the several thousand U.S. adults surveyed reported having at some point in their lives experienced this nontraditional romantic arrangement.
That finding held steady across age, education level, income, religion, region, political affiliation and race, but not gender and sexual orientation: Men and LGBTQ people were likelier to have experienced consensual nonmonogamy.
Tim Fitzsimons is a reporter for NBC News.