Will Smith is ''his own man''.

The 44-year-old actor has been happily married to Jada Pinkett Smith, 41, for 15 years and Jada says the secret to their happy marriage is that they are independent people.

She told HuffPostLive:''I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK'. Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I'm here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that's not for me to do for him. Or vice versa.''

Jada also credits their strong friendship with helping their marriage to survive long past the Hollywood average.

She explained: ''Will is my best friend. He's been by my side for some of the most difficult parts of my life. You always have that for your foundation.''

Jada - who is mum to actor Jaden, 14, and singer Willow, 12, - has also been forced to defend her parenting skills and recently penned an open letter on her Facebook page, 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.''