Famous people are fascinating. There is no denying this. I mean, why else would we spend hours scrolling through their Instagram pages, watching their interviews, or reading Daily Mail articles dedicated entirely to Kendall Jenner grabbing coffee in a casual fit.

I know I have gone through phases where I try not to play into celebrity culture. Telling myself not to care about the latest Hollywood breakup or who is featured in the next Taylor Swift album. But the truth is, this is hard to do. Sure, I could live without hearing about Kendall Jenner’s coffee order, but I can’t help admitting that celebrity culture plays a significant role in my life. I have my favourite fashion bloggers, like Matilda Djerf, and Mia Regan, favourite artists, such as King Princess, Rihanna, Role Model, Clairo, and Chelsea Cutler, and favourite actors, like Jodie Comer and Daisy Edgar-Jones. I could go on and on about how all of these people, and many more, continue to inspire me through their work.  

 I have always been fascinated by the stars and starlets of Old Hollywood. I love Etta James, The Wright Brothers, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Loren. The birth of celebrity culture in this era formed the modern distinctions between average people and those considered extraordinary. Fame was the corresponding symbol of one’s talent in music, film, theatre and other realms of innovation. But over time, a new celebrity phenomenon has captured our same devoted interest: the nepotism kid. People don’t have to be famous for any particular reason anymore. It’s become as simple as smiling on TikTok and posting cool Instagram photos to secure an invite to the most exclusive celebrity events, like the Vanity Fair Oscar Party and the Met Gala. In the past couple of years, the fascination we once held for Hollywood stars is being equally invested into their kids—the beneficiaries of the rich and famous.

They are born into being deeply loved or violently hated by the world, most often a combination of both.

Margot Dent

What is interesting about this group of celebrities is that, despite the fact they often build their own successful careers, we rarely give them the opportunity to make a name for themselves, disassociated from their lineage. It is impossible to tell whether they would have achieved that level of success without the family name providing their career’s foundation.

Society seems to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the nepotism kid. While we struggle to acknowledge their successes as well-deserved, we still romanticize these people because they seem to “have it all”.

Growing up with their immense wealth and status, means that celebrity children have been handed the privilege of financial security since birth. Capable of affording the best that basic necessities of food and shelter have to offer, with money left over for all the clothing and vacations they could want. For most of us, life will never be that carefree.

Some notable nepotism kids that seem to be all the rage in 2022 are Lily-Rose Depp, Willow and Jaden Smith, Iris Law, Brooklyn and Romeo Beckham, Lila Moss, and the Apatow sisters. The commonality between them, besides having famous families, is an incredibly cool and enviable image. They sit in the front row of fashion shows, grace the cover of Vogue, attend the Met Gala accompanied by the biggest designers, dress in the coolest and trendiest fashion, and seem to have their calendars overwhelmed with endless vacations, events, massages, and dinner dates with other glamorous people. I’ll admit that I follow several of the people named above on social media. And I take inspiration from what they wear, how they act, and what they say.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the access we have into their lives is the same as what we allow the world to see of ours; a carefully curated selection of all the best and most beautiful moments. There is no denying that the children of celebrities grow up with extreme privilege, but they aren’t perfect or perfectly happy. They will never have the opportunity to make something of themselves, separate from their parents, or experience the freedom of life outside of the public eye. There is little choice in terms of fame for the nepotism kid. They are born into being deeply loved or violently hated by the world, most often a combination of both.

I believe there is something intrinsic about the desire for “more” that leaves humans constantly unsatisfied. We are always aspiring for something greater in our lives, even if we know it’s unachievable. The nepotism kid is a romanticized picture of reality—never having to worry about the bothers of everyday life, having cool and interesting parents, getting accepted by all the best people and invited to all the best events. But the truth is, we will never know what their lives are completely like, and this is why we are fascinated.  

About The Author

Margot (she/her) is one of the Heads of Initiatives for MUSE. She loves farm animals, books, and the ’70s.

About The Illustrator

Valerie Letts (she/they) is an Online Illustrator for MUSE. They specialize in portraiture and representational artwork. By primarily working with oil paint, graphite, ink and new digital media, their art provides a focus towards ideas of humanity, identity and sensibility.

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