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Blue Ivy and the demand for beauty from birth

Self-esteem issues start early, especially for the children of celebrities.


April Siese


Posted on Sep 2, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 2:45 am CDT

Back in the mid-aughts, gossip rags took hold of one small fashionista and decided to pit her against full grown women with stylists and an aesthetic crafted from years of paying attention to such things. The cries of “Who wore it better?” emblazoned on magazines concerned celebrities and Suri Cruise, the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who turned 10 just a few months ago.

The match-ups were absurd. And, though casting Suri’s fashion choices in a positive light, their very existence reflects the pressure women face to present a certain way. This is perhaps one of the kindest examples of a public ready to dissect women’s appearances. The recent scrutiny of Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, is the other side of that discriminatory coin.

The Huffington Post highlights this phenomenon, specifically grown women’s participation in throwing shade at the children of celebrities. Citing copious sources, contributor Jia Wentz dissects women’s incessant need to compete be it in the workplace or in appearance:

“These resources indicate that the cattiness directed at Blue Ivy, most likely comes from personal feelings of inadequacy. At just four years old, Blue Ivy is set up for a life of privilege and wealth that many covet.”

In Suri’s case, she was pitted by magazine editors and writers against grown women actresses, adding a different flavor of cattiness to the mix. Blue Ivy is instead facing the wrath of the internet based off nothing more than her Video Music Awards appearance.

The 4-year-old joined her mother at the VMAs, donning a Mischka Aoki gown and walking the red carpet with pizzazz. Her appearance was captured in quite a few Instagram shots, which soon filled with disparaging comments from trolls.

Others have gone on to defend Blue Ivy, criticizing anyone who would deign to speak that way about a child. This isn’t the first time a little girl born from famous parents has faced such harsh words. TV personalities like Katie Hopkins in the U.K. and Joan Rivers in the U.S. both came out against North West’s appearance, calling her an ugly baby.

North is the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Seeing a mixed-race girl and an African-American girl get the same negative treatment calls an even larger issue into question, however.

Where Suri was celebrated for her appearance, Blue Ivy and North have been disparaged. It’s shocking that such implicit bias extends all the way to such young bodies. Imagine what all three think of the way they’ve been treated by the social media masses, to say nothing of other celebrities.

Let this be a wakeup call to the way we treat women at any age and with any background. To put it in the hater’s terms: bullying isn’t cute no matter how old you are.

H/T Huffington Post

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*First Published: Sep 2, 2016, 9:54 pm CDT