Why North West’s Lion King performance has made me team nepo baby

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Jun 13, 2024 at 09:00 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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On Friday 24 May 2024, chief Kardashian representative North West made her musical debut at the Hollywood Bowl with her performance of ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ during a concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Lion King. As to be expected, the entire internet unleashed hell on a small 10-year-old whose apparent rusty vocal cords were reason enough to bring down the wrath of TikTok on a child. The whole ‘nepo baby’ conversation tends to leave people absolutely riled up, so I’m going to do my best to try and keep this article tame and unbiased… Just kidding babes, I’m team nepo baby and team North all the way, and so should you. Here’s why.

There are a couple of components to this week’s Explained By a Blonde. Firstly, I’d like to make it abundantly clear that I too have at one point or another indulged in some good old-fashioned nepo baby bashing. I’ve definitely come across videos of Brooklyn Beckham planking and had to fight the urge to report it to TikTok for violating community guidelines—aka, being too cringe.

@brooklynbeckham

♬ walking on a dream by empire of the sun - sophie

That being said, I do think that the discourse that currently exists surrounding nepotism babies is far too extreme, particularly when it’s regarding literal children.

For this article, I want to emphasise the fact that we, as the general public, have invested far too much hate and upset into complaining about a group of nepo babies that we are—let’s be real here—completely obsessed with.

Why do we waste so much energy directing hate towards famous kids?

Following Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter’s infamous Hollywood Bowl performance, the whole world witnessed a wave of vitriolic videos, comments and articles directed at North, as if her performance was causing these users legitimate hurt and upset:

@nariman.dein

#comedy #westernsydney #fyp #northwest #kimkardashian #kanyewest #lionking #funny

♬ original sound - nariman

Yes, there were countless other children who were perhaps more deserving of being in the production. Does this justify grown adults coming for a 10-year-old who realistically had very little say in the decision, and whose mother is a certified CEO boss who likely doesn’t take no for an answer? Absolutely not.

Does anyone remember the amount of hate Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy received when she first began performing with her mother on the Renaissance tour? Criticism surrounding the 12-year-old’s dancing was so severe on social media that Beyoncé almost barred her from continuing to come out on stage.

@evntcentral

Blue Ivy first show vs last show🥹 #blueivy #beyonce #blueivycarter #renaissance #renaissancetour #fyp

♬ original sound - EvntCentral

Stranger Things actor Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman and renowned nepo baby, recently did something older famous children don’t tend to do—she fully recognised her status and practically leaned into it. In an interview with The Times, the actor said: “There are so many people who deserve to have this kind of life who don’t, but I think I’m comfortable with not deserving it and doing it anyway. It’s okay to be made fun of when you’re in rarefied air. It’s a lucky place to be.”

In 2022, New York Magazine declared that it was “The Year of the Nepo Baby.” This prevalence in the media directly reflects social media’s obsession with both the term and what it represents. Our own infatuation is the exact reason nepotism babies continue to grasp hold of the spotlight.

North is still only a child, so we don’t know what her opinions on her famous parents and as such her own celebrity status will be when she grows up. For all we know, the Kardashian kid will take Hawke’s approach and be incredibly self-aware and straightforward about her financial privilege. Either way, let’s just wait until she’s an actual adult to make any judgments, okay?

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