Our pervasive celebrity culture, combined with the anonymity of the online community, seems to be a recipe for disaster. Commenters publicly berate celebrities with no pushback or filter, and such criticism even extends to their children.
We examined online backlash surrounding a picture of 6 month-old Blue Ivy, daughter to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Tia Mowry faced similar judgment about her son, Cree. In response to the hurtful comments, Tia posted on her Facebook page: “It’s disgusting that some focus on looks. I brought a beautiful child into this world.”
Demetria Lucas addresses baby criticism on Essence.com, in her article “Real Talk: Do You Criticize Celebrity Kids?”:
He’s a baby, which means he’s off limits. I know celebs willingly step into the spotlight, and unfortunately personal attacks against them have become par for the course. But their kids don’t ask for that criticism. [...] there’s no way around it: It’s just wrong, wrong, wrong.
She suggests we enact the “Apollo Kids Rule” when addressing celebrity children, and I have to agree. You don’t have to like every child’s appearance but it seems particularly heartless and cruel to attack them, especially on a public platform.
It’s true that in many cases, celebrities make the decision to share their children with the public, knowing they could be criticized. But that doesn’t mean we should eschew tact and social responsibility when talking about somebody’s kids.