I’m Not Jealous, I’m Envious: Nepotism Babies
“Started from the bottom” but your parents' names on Wikipedia are blue.
11 JUL - 2022
I’m more interested in hearing who isn’t a nepo baby at this point because it seems all celebs are to an extent.
The obsession with Nepotism babies' has taken over TikTok. By Gen-Z's definition, a nepotistic baby is a person currently employed in Hollywood with some kind of familial tie to the industry—typically famous parents. The concept of "nepotism babies" also sparks an intriguing discussion about the world of Hollywood's upper class. Are nepo babies deserving of their notoriety? Should we hold them to higher standards? Do they even have that much talent? Who can say?
Uma Thurman and Maya Hawke
Chris Pine and Robert Pine
Even though this trend of fascination is still reasonably young, nepotism is nothing new. It's challenging to find an actress who doesn't have those ties to the industry. Surprisingly often, nepotism is also reported outside of the celebrity world. Seven out of ten young individuals between 16 and 25 years old said they used family ties to land their first job.
Beyond the rags-to-riches tales promoted in the media, family ties have always been the actual map to popularity and success. This may be why working-class artists commonly use YouTube, Soundcloud, and now TikTok as entry points. As far as we know, the algorithms don't care who the uploader's father is. It may also be why talent competition shows like The X Factor and American Idol were so well-liked in the early to mid-2000s. They provided ordinary, unconnected individuals with a chance at success and fame.
Why do fans from the working class react so negatively to nepotism babies?
Because it contradicts the message, we are repeatedly given throughout our lives—that hard work is what gains us rewards.
Every business reinforces that if you work hard for a promotion, you'll earn it. However, the sheer fact that nepotism exists, especially in extreme circumstances where individuals can become famous millionaires thanks to family connections, throws that message into question. It seems like our entire lives have been founded on a falsehood when you realise that you cannot achieve your ambitions. Still, nepotism kids survive off of connections alone, requiring no effort.
Quite often, nepotism doesn't sit right with people. This can be seen when Kim Kardashian recently credited her "hard work" for her success and claimed that "people just don't want to work these days." Meanwhile, her sister Kendall Jenner frequently claims that her modelling success has nothing to do with her last name, despite her undeniable privileges. Unsurprisingly, this didn't land well. Given how many young models have spent years looking for their big break, emerging models' financial and physical struggles are a tale as old as time.
Leslie Mann and Mauda Apatow
Brooklyn Beckham, the son of David and Victoria Beckham, is another example of nepotism in Hollywood. He was a photographer for many years before controversially landing a coveted Burberry campaign. Up until one day, he put down the camera and called himself a cook.
We can't entirely blame these kids. They have been raised in such a bubble from birth. They have no experience of anything other than receiving constant praise from total strangers for doing nothing. Gotta give them props for knowing how to work the web!
While we struggle to make ends meet, it may not seem important to us what celebrities and artists are up to. However, as one TikToker puts it, "It's important to have raw people, who were raised in working-class families, making media. Imagine what TV would look like if it were only produced by sheltered rich people.
Now, nothing is saying we should bring the full force of cancel culture down on the nepotism-riddled A-list. But perhaps bringing up privilege will give us a more realistic perspective on how their personas came to be so revered. Unfortunately, Hollywood's preference for nepotism won't be changing anytime soon. In the end, it serves no purpose for us commoners to compare ourselves with famous people born into wealth.