Celebrities must accept that they live their lives in the public eye. It is the horse and buggy of the entertainment industry. However, when does this exposure cross the line and focuses on the children of celebrities? Many celebrities call for legislation that makes it illegal to harass and photograph their minor children without their permission. Some celebrities have even gone as far as hiring kiddie look a likes to take photogs off the trail of their children. Then there are celebs that share their entire life including parenthood and family with their fans and the world at large.
We all share intimate peaks into our daily lives via social networking. The difference between you and I sharing photos on Instagram and a celebrity like Beyoncé sharing is that she has thousands of viewers who have developed their own version of a “perfect” Beyoncé. This “perfect” Beyoncé is one that has been created and perpetuated by the showbiz machine as a surrogate of dreams for her fans. So naturally when Beyoncé produced an heir to the Roc-A-Fella throne the eclipse of “perfection” fell upon her infant daughter, Blue Ivy. The superstar parents Beyoncé and Jay Z share pictures of their everyday life including Blue Ivy. Just harmless, unphotoshoped candid family photos, right? NO! A flurry of disparaging remarks about the appearance of Blue Ivy’s ranging from “why isn’t her hair laid like her mama’s” to “her hair is nappy” littered social networking sites. Other black celeb kids like Brad Pitt and Angelina’s adopted African daughter and Christina Milian’s young daughter have been bashed for not having their hair coiffed to “perfection”.
Per Urban Dictionary, to have ones “hair laid” means “…someone’s hair looks really good because it is pressed or flat-ironed to the point of satisfaction to viewers of the hair.” This ideal is rooted in the European/Western aesthetic that African Americans have adopted into their appearance. The perpetrators of the attacks on these beautiful brown girls are adult black women who themselves were once beautiful brown girls. Have we been removed from childhood for so long that we forgot the rough and tumble nature of a day at school or on the playground?
I grew up with the myth that dark skin girls do not, cannot, and will not grow long natural hair. My grandparents pushed into my head to never cut my hair. I experienced hair pulling, gum in the hair sabotage, and being accused of lying about having a weave. These experiences’ surrounding my hair followed me in adulthood and has shaped my opinion of my physical image. The women who project their personal bias on what they perceive to be the preferred visage for young girls have to step back and look at why they find their true unfettered image unattractive. There is concern over children growing up too fast, but do we recognize that we are pushing them into premature adulthood through our attempts to tame and wrangle their childhood.