by Maya Reyes
Photography by Ece Yavuz
By now, most of the world is aware that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins. It was announced on Instagram and, within a matter of hours, became the most liked photo on Instagram with over 10 million likes. The former Instagram-like record holder was Selena Gomez with 6.5 million. However, it took Gomez months to dethrone the previous record holder.
Beyoncé is one of the most popular and controversial celebrities today; subsequently, her children are also in the limelight. Beyoncé’s oldest daughter Blue Ivy, along with other famous children, has become part of the cultural lexicon. Today, the children of celebrities are constantly followed by paparazzi due to growing market for their photos to be published in magazines. Riley Curry and North West are now in the news as often as their parents.
Celebrity children have become so popular in our society that they are now marketing tools for many brands. GAP recently launched the Icon Shop, a collection of staple denim and khaki pieces. The campaign features children of celebrities from famous GAP campaigns in the nineties. Demi Moore’s daughter, Rumer; Diana Ross’s son, Evan and Steven Tyler’s daughter were just some of models featured in the shoot. This new marketing trend demonstrates that celebrity children are slowing transcending from simply the children of celebrities to celebrities in their own right.
In order to understand why we as a culture love celebrity children, it is necessary to recognize why we are so obsessed with celebrities.
According to Sheila Kohler of Psychology Today, we love celebrities because “we love to identify with someone whom seems to lead a perfect life and to follow the vicissitudes of this life.”
Celebrities represent the idealized life our society wants. Children only further the fairytale illusion and celebrities who choose to not have children or have not yet had them are placed under scrutiny by the media. Before their conception, there is already a mythos and set of expectations that celebrity children are forced to live up to. Because of this, they have become as popular as their parents and other celebrities in tabloids and gossip magazines.
Although people many have an obsession with their favorite celebrity’s offspring, many celebrities have begun to combat the increasingly public lives of their children. In California, Senate Bill 606 was passed in 2013 prohibiting the harassment, photography or video of celebrity children. Parenthood star Dax Shepard implored in a Huffington Post article that people stop buying tabloids that exploit celebrity children because he believes the law is difficult to implement.
“The consumer,” Shepard asserted, “is the only one who can put an end to this. They are the only ones with real power.”
While celebrity children have become cultural phenomena, it is important that we all keep in mind that they are still children. The companies that capitalize on their significance do so with celebrity children who are old enough to consent to participation, but the magazines that sell images of the children do so without the child and parents’ consent. While the birth of Beyoncé’s twins will be undoubtedly an exciting moment for her fans, respecting Beyoncé’s and the twins’ privacy is essential.