Label volunteer writer, Ritika Nair, dissects what makes us like some children of celebrities, and very much not like others.

Who doesn’t love a good ‘rags to riches’ story? We’ve all cosied to the comforts of Annie, and while the musical gave us a couple of bangers, it also presented as an iconic pop culture reference to the classic “she started from the bottom and look where she is now” plot line. Hence, when it comes to the dazzling world of Hollywood, it’s funny to learn that for some familiar faces, it was a less than daunting journey for them to make it to our silver screens. Today, celebrity status isn’t just a luxury, but more so inherited. And that’s what we call nepotism, baby. 

Inheritance takes on a whole new meaning in show business. It not only entitles people to glamourous mansions, endless estates, or big trust funds, but also a level of status that deems them worthy of privilege in such a cutthroat business. Nepotism babies, or what TikTok has so lovingly named “nepo babies”, are born with an open-door policy to whatever career path they fancy following. They’re the people who don’t have to be great, when they come from a family of greats. With the world teaching us how life isn’t fair sometimes, nepo babies make this even more true. Everyone starts life at different jumping-off points, and it seems that for some of us, that initial jump is much higher than those born into famous families. So, you might assume that nepotism babies are a marmite group of born celebrities, with some having the most loyal fan bases while others are constantly questioned for their talent and fame, or lack thereof.

A controversial example of nepotism is Brooklyn Beckham, the son of David and Victoria ‘Posh Spice’ Beckham. After working as a photographer and landing several dignified campaigns, he recently decided to put down his camera, put on a white hat and call himself a chef. He started to post a few cooking videos to Instagram, and he suddenly started partnering with YouTube Channels such as British Vogue and appearing on cooking segments on the Today Show to show off his culinary skills. This naturally resulted in a sea of criticism. Some fans called him out for using his non-existing cooking experiences to only make a bacon, sausage, egg and ketchup sandwich that students could make better as a post-night-out meal.

While the privilege of having a famous surname is almost impossible to eliminate, many of us are left with the question: Are some nepo babies getting it right? Well, the answer is yes, some of them are. After all, it’s important not to judge someone purely based on where they are from, even if that comes from a place that gives them an immense advantage. We can judge what these celebrities do with their easily acquired fanbase and status.

Compare the previous example to an actress like Dakota Johnson, and there leaves a glimmer of hope. Nepotism shouldn’t be confused with genetics. Is her family well-connected? Yes. But it’s important to understand that having parents who know someone is different to having parents who are someone. As Dakota’s talent is so apparent and she has proven herself through her work in the industry, her connections are more valuable than her coming from a family of money or status. Her mother, Melanie Griffith or father, Don Johnson, usually come as a fun fact more than a point of judgement. Even though she may have used nepotism to kick start her career, from the years under her belt, she made significant progress on her own (Including being a savage queen and taking Ellen down. She earned some points there!)

The divide is clear: some “nepo” babies are talented and hence more likeable, and others make their privilege so obvious and cringe to watch. For better or for worse, they have a powerful influence over society and can become role models for the younger generations living in this internet-dense world. When nepotism babies acknowledge this power and influence, it’s easier to consider whether we should praise them for what they’re famous for.

At the end of the day, there isn’t a need for us to bring them down in full force. If anything, this is an important conversation starter on privilege and will teach us and our future generations to take a more realistic approach and avoid glorifying and romanticising these personas.

So, what about you? Are nepotism babies in your good or bad books? Are they spoiled and insufferable brats born with a silver spoon in their mouth, treating Hollywood as their personal playground? Or are they invaluable individuals with much to offer?

Edited By: Rachel Cannings (Culture and Entertainment Editor)

Design By: Emma Rose (Design Volunteer)

Image Credits: Dave J.Hogan Getty Images


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