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.

What are your thoughts on criticizing celebrity kids online, Clutchettes?

  • Laugh

    Some people just have no class and there’s nothing you can do about it. But she needs to stop reading online comments. I love their reality show and they have mentioned what was said online before. You can be the most perfect person and people are going to have something horrible to say about you ESPECIALLY online. You have a gorgeous son, husband, and home. You have to know this is a part of being a celebrity. Do yourself a favor and don’t read the blogs about yourself I guarantee as fabulous as you are some jealous nobody is going to try their best to knock you!

  • Crystal

    Any person reduced to bashing babies is NOT winning at being great in life.

  • Out of the Box

    I think they should start a website where you have to put a picture of yourself and more information out there because this is getting ridiculous. I would just love to see the people behind the screen commenting also their situations and I bet online bullying/trolling would go down drastically.

  • Nic

    That’s mean. Beauty is subjective but there is no need to put down a baby. Plus some people peak too early in my opinion. I’ve definitely seen people who weren’t so cute as babies who wound up being really good-looking as adults.

    But you know, the internet is like the wild west, so it’s also why I wouldn’t want to put my image on You Tube or a blog…I know someone wanted to put my hair on her blog and I really wasn’t comfortable with that b/c yeah, you could go look at it and find that you’ve been totally trashed. No thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/Maroonsista Shamontiel (@Maroonsista)

    I’d strongly recommend not posting photos of your children on public platforms, especially celebrities, because people are probably nice in person can be the biggest online bullies when they think there’s no response. I wouldn’t tell ANYBODY that their child is not attractive. What do I gain from it? Sometimes I just have to ask people that when they say something rude — okay, you said it, now what did you accomplish? Nothing besides looking really petty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjboles Crystal Boles

    OUR CHILDREN ARE GIFTS FROM GOD. AN’T NOBODY HERE ON EARTH ARE GOD SO BE QUITE AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN CHILDREN

  • The Taker

    Hey, some babies are homely looking. Some look old, some look alien, some look soppy and some just look…ugly. HOWEVER, those opinions really need to be kept to one selves. Everything doesn’t need to be voiced nor written. I don’t care for nor do I think it is smart for people to be posting pictures of their offspring on the trollternets. I mean you have every right to do that but you can’t trust random ass people on the www to make mature and sensitive comments, people are downright mean these days. What happen to the good ol’ days when you take pictures of your family and stick them in leather bound photo albums like my mama did.

  • Kimmi

    I think she was referring to herself though in response to the questions about her baby weight gain and the Hollywood need to lose it fast.

  • Penny

    I totally agree – she (and other celebrities) need to stop reading the comments. There is nothing anyone can do about people posting mean things, just as there is nothing a person can do about someone who says mean things. Many of the things people post about the way kids look are things that they’d quite likely say about the person behind their back in real life. Why are these celebrities so shocked when they read this type of stuff? I hear people call other people’s kids ugly and funny looking all of the time (in real life behind people’s backs), but it’s so shocking when it is seen in print? Please. People are jerks in real life and in print. Can’t change that, one can only change their response to it.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Those people are called haterzzzz.

  • Naffy

    I agree that it is totally disgusting and I’m 99% certain that if these anonymous a-holes’ identities were somehow revealed, they would be oh so ashamed and embarrassed.

  • http://designsdelight.com design

    That baby is lovely, why would people get off on her?

  • http://gravatar.com/teachermrw teachermrw

    Self-hate is pure evil, and too many Black folks suffer from it. That, of course, isn’t license to hate on a child. BTW: Cree is a cutie pie. :)

  • http://gravatar.com/worshipandpraise JN

    If I were one of these celebs, I would work on building the self-esteem of these kids rather than keeping them in a plastic bubble. People will ALWAYS say something about you and mothers will not always be around to defend whether or not the parent is a celebrity. The younger kids have appropriate ways of dealing with hating messages the better.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    children are off limits……

  • kai

    I donot see anything wrong with her son he is a beautiful baby boy I believe that persons think that because you are a celeb that your baby will or should come out the whome looking like celebs do on tv not realizing a lot of celebs simply put on extra make up and dress to impress because after all that i their proffession Tia’s baby is a cutie pie

  • African Mami

    I agree with The Takers viewpoint about keeping children off the net. Don’t post their pics!

    I wholeheartedly agree with JN’s comment!! Yes lawwwd!

    Takers off the net sentiments + JN’s comment=solution.

  • Crystal

    Uh….Huh? I take it you missed the message of my comment. It’s not cool to talk about children. Point. Blank. Period. Anyone who does it needs a self-evaluation.

  • isola

    I am not saying it is right but when you do a reality show you have to expect criticism. When you add your children to the mix you expose them to this kind of behavior.

  • Patience

    Children are not gifts from ‘God’.

  • Patience

    This isn’t ‘self-hate’, ‘hating’, or ‘self-esteem issues’. It’s just down right meanness. People are using the anonymity of the internet to say what they think really, because there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Personally, kids in general should be off limits whether it is celebrities’ kids or not. Now whether you feel like a kid is unattractive or not that is your opinion but that doesn’t mean you should voice it, some things are better left in the realms of your mind. I swear tact is lacking in a MAJOR way this day and age. Besides, babies are always developing and growing so their looks aren’t concrete give little man time to grow. But I agree that maybe we should try harder at protecting kids’ privacy from the net and things like that.

  • Jae Bee

    I agree that it was rude and insensitive for others to post their opinions so publicly about Tia’s baby’s looks; however, as many others have pointed out, she opened herself up to that type of criticism by making her life a public spectacle through a reality show. If you’re willing to take all the good that comes with that (money, fame), then you gotta be willing to take the bad (criticism, mean-spirited comments).

  • Jae Bee

    I don’t see how self-hate fits into the picture. It’s not as if the cruel comments were things like “his hair’s too nappy” or “he’s black as tar”.

  • Cree

    Lol @ Jae Bee’s comment. I agree. I didn’t see it as a race thing.

  • Cree

    I mean this baby looks A LOT like his momma did when she was a baby-and we allll know Tia and her sister grew up to be stunners.

    Most babies look funny-looking to me. But they are innocent and perfect and I would NEVER say that out loud. Pshhhh. Many, many people have no class and I have a feeling this does hurt Tia’s feelings. How could it not?

    I wonder how this will affect Tamera and her exposure of her baby…the baby will most likely look completely different and hopefully she either chooses to keep him/her private or Tia doesn’t become resentful if that baby doesn’t receive the same type of comments hers did.

  • Barbara

    But ummm he is ugly *SHRUGS* Not all babies are aesthetically pleasing and that’s okay! Like she said,”Looks are not everything”, no need to whine about people calling her ugly bay ugly, he’s healthy and that’s all that matters.

  • Blasè

    it bothers me just how people are mean. all just to feel better about their own little lives. how can you attack a baby’s looks? sick people have to stoop this low – they’re even lower than low.

    i just think we also need to protect our babies and not expose them to this.

  • Black China Doll

    People have always expressed their opinion on whether a child is cute or not since the beginning of time. In this day of time, expressions are made on the internet, which unfortunately are permanent. I believe that if a celebrity does not wish to have their children commented on by the public, then keep them out of the public eye. Yes, it is unkind to dis a child, but it is what it is. Search engine results can have harmful affects on ones life. She should be concerned about protecting her child’s online reputation. And, insuring his story, is his story

  • Mina

    I always thought her baby was autistic or maybe special. Idk if Cree is or not, but even if a baby was special or had a mental disability, I don’t think that’s any reason to call a baby ugly.

  • http://. Patience

    I think it is just the baby’s forehead…

  • tee

    LOL! You guys are just wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RyanTee82 Ryan Thompson

    Is this a doctored photo? :( Good lord…

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