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Jada defends parenting on Facebook
Jada Pinkett-Smith. Picture: Getty Images

Jada Pinkett-Smith has defended her liberal approach to parenting.

The 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' actress - who is mum to actor Jaden, 14, and singer Willow, 12, - penned an open letter on her Facebook page last week, hitting back at critics who blasted her for allowing her daughter to shave her head earlier this year.

She wrote: "The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair, first the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don't belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.

"I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain."

Jada also insisted she supported her daughter - who has had a number of hit singles including 'Whip My Hair' and '21st Century Girl' - and her eagerness to explore different styles and make her own choices.

She said: "Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It's also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother's deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be. More to come. Another day."

The 41-year-old actress - who celebrates her 15th wedding anniversary with Will Smith, 44, next month - has previously spoken about how she views her relationship with her children as a partnership.

She said: "I think that old school style of 'I'm your parent and I'm greater than you' doesn't work.

What I establish with my children is a partnership. I'm not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives."