A steaming-hot celebrity couple just had a baby! Wow! What incredible people they must be. Not only can they act, but they can make a baby, too! Everyone knows how hard it is to make a baby. It’s not like any two people can do it the very first time they try, no matter what high school they’re in. And even if they do, isn’t a celebrity baby better than all other babies because her parents are famous?
It’s a well-known fact that the children of the rich and famous are happier than other children and that they always turn out to be the most giving, sincere, wonderful grownups. That’s why we buy magazines with their pictures on the covers.
Thank goodness Us Weekly and People pay top dollar to feature those baby pictures, or we might not even know the celebrity had a baby. It’s sad to think that before Us and People started making big-money deals for the pictures of celebrity spawn that there must have been thousands of celebrity babies who never received the recognition they deserved.
And let’s face it, having a celebrity baby is a good career move. By having a baby, mom and dad get the kind of publicity they would get only by checking into Betty Ford or by having a domestic dispute – or by suddenly appearing on “The View” looking 20 years younger than they did last week.
Make a bad movie? No problem, have a baby. Last CD flop? Have a baby. TV series about to be canceled? Have a baby. Twins could get you an Academy Award, triplets could mean script approval and a percentage of the gross. Celebrity quintuplets? You just won a five-picture deal and your own production company.
Give the new baby a strange name and there’s an extra three weeks of publicity money can’t buy.
A couple of years after the hoopla dies down and your career starts sagging again, there’s nothing better than a long, drawn-out divorce with a huge custody battle over little Kuweegee or little Granola to get that phone ringing again.
A friend from another country asked me what the odd name of one celebrity baby meant in English. I told her it’s our word for “she who’ll be in rehab by 14.” Remember, naming your kid something they will get teased about at school will pay publicity dividends for years to come. When the other children find out that your kid’s name means “I come in peace” in Klingon, every one of their schoolyard scraps will be covered by Us and People.
Personally, I’m immune to baby-picture mania. When somebody at the office shows me a picture of their brand new grandchild, I give it a long, serious look and pretend that I’m committing the child’s face to memory. Now, if I ever run into the kid, say, when he’s 18, I’ll be able to say, “Hey, aren’t you Kathy’s grandson? I recognize you from your picture.” But, in truth, Kathy’s new grandson looks exactly like Bob’s new son, Pete’s new daughter and Sally and Rhonda’s newborn grandchildren. It’s like trying to tell the difference between Us and People.
I wonder whether celebrities would buy a magazine with my family’s picture on the cover. Would they want to see my brother’s new grandson’s pictures? Would they be curious to learn more about people they don’t know, aren’t related to and have never met? Just a guess, but I’d say “No.”
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at email@example.com
Copyright 2008, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.