Poor Babies: Why I Think Pop Culture Is Ruining The Lives Of Celebrity Children

October 3, 2014  |  

I’m usually unmoved by celebrity gossip, but when it comes to children, I’m sensitive. The thought of celebrity parents parading their offspring around like accessories in a desperate attempt to stay relevant in pop culture really sickens me. So when a recent photograph of Kanye, Kim and the beautiful little North West dressed alike in lingerie-esque black Givenchy ensembles made its way down my Twitter timeline, I was equal parts horrified, mystified and empathetic for the child.

On a night out with paparazzi swarming, attention-gluttons Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attended a NYFW show to support Kim’s sister, Kendall Jenner. In tow was their adorable infant, North West… only she wasn’t dressed like an infant at all. It seems that she was dressed to match her mother’s very adult, sheer, black get-up in a see-through lace blouse of her own. She walked along with little black pants and sneakers that looked less than comfortable for a child who can barely walk securely on her own two feet.

I absolutely applaud parents for taking interest in their childrens’ appearance. I love that we are seeing so many fashion-forward ideas for the little ones. What I can’t endorse is the trend of dressing children in outfits that are clearly too grown up for them. Why is an infant dressed in a see-through blouse? Whose idea was it to design such a thing for a baby?

Little North West looked uncomfortable to say the least, and who can blame her? I can only imagine that she was dying for a comfortable onesie and her toys at that time of night. I doubt that she was excited about some scratchy lace get-up and dozens of photographers rushing her in a hail of flashing lights.  To my way of thinking, a baby has no business being put on display and opened up to any and every kind of criticism and energy before they can even learn to speak. Babies aren’t accessories or props. They aren’t pets we dress up for show. They’re little humans that need a whole different standard of care than adults, but for some reason, we’ve decided to ignore this as pop culture seems to drive most of everything nowadays.

It’s unfortunate that we’re not more careful about what kind of attention we invite to our own offspring, the ones we’re supposed to be protecting and nurturing the most. Perhaps it’s the times we are living in that give acclaim and reality shows and front pages of magazines to people who have done nothing but simply exist. This, in turn, creates the struggle to stay in the public’s eye, and too often, pop culture celebrities thrust their children into the fray in a way that is less than smart, chipping away at their ability to truly be innocent children. It’s not impossible for celebrity parents to raise children AS children, but I suppose that if being famous for being famous is your bread and butter, you’ve got to maintain visibility in any way possible–even if it that means sacrificing your child’s childhood.

Here’s to hoping that North West gains some sensible adult allies as she grows and develops.

La Truly is a writer, higher education professional and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences  to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young women of color. Follow her on Twitter: @ashleylatruly and check out her musings on her ever-evolving website: www.hersoulinc.com.

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