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The Knight Online

The Knight Online

The Knight Online

The Year of Nepo

Nepo Babies: Are we jealous or is this truly an unfair issue?
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Prime examples of nepotism in the 21st century, the Kardashians have made their name among other celebrities starting as stars of their own reality TV show.

The idea that the children of star celebrities are being born into many different industries can be defined in two words, Nepo Babies.

 The controversy surrounding them is that some believe that children have an unfair advantage because they did not work hard for this position. The opposing side argues that they are good at their jobs and their family’s last name is irrelevant to their success. 

According to the University of California, Riverside newspaper The Highlander, “President Donald Trump appointed his daughter Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, as his senior advisors despite having none of the typical experience or training requirements for these positions.” 

This is a perfect example of the argument that Nepo Babies do not have to work hard for what they have. Trump was willing to risk giving a job to his daughter and her husband who have had no training because they were born into the family. One might argue that because he is her father, he wanted to provide her with opportunities that presented themselves right then and there. However, others might argue that people who weren’t born into the industry have to work twice as hard.  Ellian Phillinganes ‘23 argues, “They have a quicker reach of opportunities.”

While it may be true that certain groups constantly find themselves in situations where they are putting in an excessive amount of work in comparison, some argue that Nepo Babies might also be in similar situations. Miabella Spica ‘24 says, “If they want to have a successful career, they still have to put work in. You still have to try for your ambitions and your goals, but it can be a little bit easier than someone else who is starting from nothing. 

Still, this brings up the question of if Nepo Babies truly have to work hard for their opportunities or if they use their family’s successes to their advantage. Taking a different approach, Jayden Harper ‘24 says, “I feel like everyone has to prove themselves at one point whether it’s living up to the expectation of a parent or another family member. So I definitely feel like there’s hard work involved.”

In an interview with “DailyMail” the famous actress, Jamie Lynn Spears, states that her being a Nepo Baby jump-started her career to get her into the famous slasher movie, Halloween. She says “I’m never going to pretend that I just got that on my own, like I’m just a little girl from nowhere getting it. Clearly, I had a leg up.”  

No matter where people come from, no matter what their opportunities are, they should own up to their lifestyle…or so one would think. However, understandably, some people might choose to remain silent about their upbringing as they worry about how and if the world might treat them differently. Why can’t everyone be treated equally like normal people? 

Equality plays a huge role in this dilemma specifically because it is not always guaranteed in this world. We must fight for equality within the industry as not everyone is fortunate enough to be born into a wealthy and successful family. Forget the last name. What needs to be looked at is the person as a whole. Harper ’24 says,  “It’s not really an equal opportunity. It’s more of a who will work the hardest at their craft. I definitely think that it is an advantage and it is a head start. But if somebody outworks you or somebody has better talent than you, then I feel like they will be the one that prevails.”

But can we blame them? Let’s all be real here, at some point in our lives we have wished or will wish that things can just get handed to us because we do not want to deal with the stress of putting our blood, sweat, and tears into something that is not guaranteed. Aaron Berry says “I would definitely feel better for working hard for what I have because there’s a sense of satisfaction, especially when you try hard to do something and you finish it or you accomplish a goal. I would feel weird if somebody just did something for me.” Similar to Spica ’24’s point of view, she adds, “It would be nice and easier if I was able to just have everything and all of the goals that I wanted to achieve. But in the long run, it wouldn’t feel like I accomplished my true passion and goal if I didn’t do it myself.”

Another thing to take into account is that some Nepo Babies do not have the same amount of fame as their family member because they have learned to make their name. For instance, Tracee Ellis Ross known for her role on the TV show Black-ish is the daughter of famous singer Diana Ross, yet most people have no idea they are mother and daughter. Through her talent in acting, she was able to pursue big roles and create a fan base that loves and supports her for her and not just her mother. Or Jennifer Aniston, daughter of John Aniston, famously known for her role as Rachel on the hit TV show Friends is also considered a Nepo Baby but no one has been able to point this out because again, she has made a name for herself.  

Nepotism can only really take you so far in life depending on the industry that individual is working in. For example, models might have an easier advantage in becoming more successful and well-known than athletes who have to take many things into account such as training, practices, good teams, and many other resources.

Nepotism is not necessarily a bad thing, but what matters most is how people choose to take advantage of this situation and their opportunities. It is important to remember that the opportunities that we all strive to have may not present themselves right away but that does not mean that we should just give up in the process and decide to play the waiting game. Working hard to get these opportunities matters just as much. 

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