Celebs Should Not Be Allowed To Have Children!

And if they do, at least pay the kids scale

Celebrities shouldn't be allowed to have children. For safety's sake, they shouldn't even be allowed to have sex!

Too many stars end up torturing their kids with a combination of press ops, absenteeism, resentment, and impossible expectations. It's no wonder most celebrity offspring have suicide hotlines on speed dial.

The kids' gnawing feeling that they're being used is accompanied by the sense that even if they succeed, it's because their family name opened the doors for them, and besides, they aren't succeeding anywhere near as much as their folks did. What's more, catching up with the parents' surgery so they can actually look like them proves to be a wearying game at which they'll always lose by a nose.

And they don't get enough real love. Celebrities always say in interviews, "I desperately want to have kids and take a long time off, so I can devote myself to them," but they never seem to end up doing that. When push comes to SAG, they'd rather just keep on working, usually far, far away from the horror of diapers and squeals. They're terrified to lose their public luster even for a moment, so they stay married to their careers while having kids anyway and dredging them up like makeup wands whenever they suit their needs.

The kids are everything to them—until a call comes in for a cameo on a Japanese game show, and then they're on the next plane. But during a dry spell, the prized progeny get readied for their close-ups again, and suddenly family comes first, and it's all about Junior. The spectacle of these wannabe Joan Crawfords parading their spawn around becomes just another performance, a look-at-me-I'm-normal routine that doesn't convince any more than their Botoxed turn as Queen Elizabeth in that VOD-only biopic.

More than once, I've seen newspaper spreads featuring closety hunks striking pseudo-candid fatherly poses with their kids for a photo op, as I prayed the young ones were at least getting scale. The only bright side is that such behavior paves the way for the inevitable tell-all—a cathartic means for the kids to eventually feast off the parents' awfulness while raking in the coins and some sympathy. It beats killing yourself.

Suri With The Cringe On Top

Some famous Scientology children have certainly seen their share of blinding flashes. Would you want to be them? Would you want to be gussied up like Rosemary's baby and devoured by the tabloids as the public tries to read your face for signs of glamorous awkwardness? Even if you became a big star in your own right—as some have—might you not start feeling like a pawn in some larger scheme, a machination designed to keep the family and religion going into the next ka-chinging decade?

Trust me, "fame" is the worst possible twist on the word "family." Our parents might have fucked up big time, but at least they did it out of basic ignorance, not because they're driven by publicity and applause. They didn't know how to communicate, but at least they were usually available to sit there and show you their ineptitude. And though they might not have passed Judy Garland's brilliance on to us, at least they didn't pass on her problems either.

Celebs are torn between affection and condescension as they wish their kids well but only to a point. In a business based on ego gratification and intense competition for hoopla, an absurd number of famous folk create a domestic pit of rivalry that becomes a living hell for everyone involved. As Meryl Streep tells Mama in the priceless movie of Carrie Fisher's Postcards From The Edge, "You want me to do well, just not better than you!"

Madonna clearly wants Lourdes to do well, though so far it's mainly been in connection with herself. This mother-daughter pairing could easily be perceived as the latest example of Madonna's penchant for duetting with younger stars in order to both pass the torch and stay contemporary. Lourdes has been trotted out to do a design line with ma, play young ma in ma's video, and make high-profile public appearances with ma. Who exactly is Lourdes's rising fame helping? (Although I must say that as a Ciccone, she's clearly way comfier in the spotlight than practically anyone else her age—and she does go to school!)

But it's when a young star surpasses her parents' fame that the real problems begin. As the rough-and-ready teen sensation Miley Cyrus continues to soar, dad gives interviews saying he wishes she'd never landed her star-making role in the first place, so they could have a normal family like in the old days. Sounds like Miley's gotten too big for daddy—and by the way, he's working all that out in magazines.

Thank God for the exceptions to all my rules, the ones that prove some actors can actually play human roles. Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts are as fiercely protective of their kids as other celebrities are willing to exploit and oppress theirs. I once caught Sarah Jessica Parker talking to her son in a measured way that showed real respect and caring—and she hadn't even sent out a media alert. And Maddox, Shiloh, and the gang had a lot of fun bowling and giggling earlier this year. (And boy, are they chic!)

Even the ever-yearning Chaz has been getting lots of very public maternal support—although, of course, there were those dark years.

But what I mainly thank God for is that my parents were never the least bit famous. If they were, I'd surely be deader than their forehead muscles.

musto@villagevoice.com

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7 comments
anonymous
anonymous

- Miley Cyrus is over, Michael. She is over, no matter what 'adult' roles she strives for. She isn't that cute or talented, her time has come and gone, and Billy Ray's natterings are old news.- Looking at Suri Cruise inspires nothing short of sheer horror. What are those two doing to that child?? What is with the homeless bag lady looking mother? Why hasn't some social services stepped in, or at least made some kind of statement? It's horrifying. Well,enough money and you can easily commit murder, right?- Really, thanks for this article. There have been SO many suicides among the children of celebrities. Those that live are often maimed and scarred by life, pathetic failures rolling in their parents dough. - Jennifer Anniston really really should pop one out. Her fervent fans are always watching her like the last panda in the zoo, hoping hoping hoping....I do think the tabloid world would explode if she really did get pregnant. All those sad fat Walmart shoppers who talk about "Jen" and her beaus, as if they actually knew her, would be in heaven. And there "Jen" is, playing coy, dumb, walking around with that "derpy derp" look on her face - playing her fan base, is she or isn't she? WILL she find true love? Derpy derp.

Anonymous Anonymous
Anonymous Anonymous

h@ll yeah! all this nonsense about babybumps is nauseating. it's a freakin child, morons, it's not a d@mned bump! and the idiotic names they come up with. no jane, sam, adam, jason. noooooooo! the innocent lambs get monikers as ridiculous as apple, moses, nahla, can't WAIT to see what beyonce names hers...not. at least the latter had the good taste to get married before producing offspring with a guy. sheesh!

Songbyrd76
Songbyrd76

Using your kids as honey to attract the papparrazzi flies is shameful...perhaps celebrities would be less likely to use their kids for photo ops if people stopped buying the tabloid mags by the bucket load to lookit the adorable celebabies faces on the cover!

Iraiah
Iraiah

No one should be allowed to have kids!!!

Cinzia
Cinzia

We don't need anymore cloned narcissists running around. We already met our quota!

Lara
Lara

I like how you have compassion for the kids. they didn't ask for this. And I'm glad you can see through what others would feel is a wonderful lifestyle. The kids go through hell at the whims of their parents' egos.

Jeffrey
Jeffrey

Hilarious and true. I'm glad my folks were plumbers.

 
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