Major key or majorly crazy?
By Alexis Morillo
I’ll admit that I have that shallow part of myself that cares about my Instagram followers to following ratio. Despite this, I still don’t second guess for a moment before clicking that bright blue follow button on the profile of my favorite celebrities’ children. I don’t know if it’s the mini designer clothes or the inevitable success these children will have in their lives. Or maybe it’s the fact that celebrities are so obsessed with their kids that they feel the need to create a separate account just for photos of them. No matter the cause, my Instagram feed is full of fashion photos, pictures of my friends from this past weekend’s pregame and many, many celebrity babies.
And as weird as it all sounds, I know that I’m not alone. Asahd Khaled, famous record producer DJ Khaled’s six month old son, has over 540,00 instagram followers, some of which include big name stars like Nicki Minaj and Drake. Asahd, in his short five months here on Earth, has more fans than I will ever have in my life. He’s also been the poster child for an array of memes, many of which his father instigates through his ridiculous instagram captions. For example, an April 4 post on DJ Khaled’s profile reads, “The executive producer for my 10th studio album ! @asahdkhaled !! My son!! #DJKHALED #GRATEFUL THE ALBUM COMIN !! It’s all IN GOD And ASAHD HANDS !!”
Did I forget to mention that he made his five month old the executive producer of his next album and the album’s cover is emblemized with Asahd’s face? Because he did, and he even went on Jimmy Kimmel to explain the logistics of having a baby produce an album.
“If he’s not in the studio while I’m recording, most of the time he is, I’ll facetime him you know what I’m saying, put him on the phone with the artist,” he said, even though Asahd can’t talk yet. Khaled said that Asahd communicates his supposed “approval” for songs in other ways.
“Believe it or not the poops and the throw-ups are super blessings so those are actually the real good ones. He actually threw up on me while I was mixing and working on ‘Shining.’” The first single of his album, ‘Shining,’ actually did hold the number one iTunes spot for quite sometime, although I’m not sure if Asahd’s bodily functions had anything to do with it.
I realize that Asahd Khaled is an extreme example. DJ Khaled himself is a social media persona that is unrivaled in his exaggerated, silly content, but I still can’t help but wonder why we are so invested in not only the lives of our favorite starlets, but also the lives of their children — even if they’re too young to talk. Along with Baby Khaled, I also follow the lives of Cassius Dwyer (the seven month old son of United States soccer stars Dom Dwyer and Sydney Leroux) and Kensli Bennett (Chance the Rapper’s 18 month old daughter) via my phone screen, and so do thousands of others.
In any other context, creating a separate profile just to share photos of your child is not just annoying to all of your friends and followers but also a potential safety threat. Yet when celebrities do it it’s normalized and sensationalized. I’m guilty of further perpetuating this by liking the photos and tagging my friends in the comments section.
It may just be that we are so invested in the lives of our favorite celebrities that being invested in their children as well is just part of the criteria for being a fan. In fact, I wasn’t too surprised to find out during my research for this piece that People magazine has an entire separate tab for news regarding celebrities and their babies: www.people.com/babies.
But being constantly in the spotlight can have some negative effects, typically because when you’re the child of people constantly under public scrutiny you can often be caught in the media crossfire. This was seen when Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were going through their split and Suri Cruise was often a hot topic regarding her parents’ divorce. Who would she stay with? How would custody be split up? These are all questions that are hard enough to deal with under any circumstances, but with celebrity status this becomes even more difficult. In a November 2013 Daily Mail article, Cruise claimed that the split happened because Holmes was protecting Suri from his scientology beliefs, but rumors sprung up regarding Holmes’ adherence to their custody agreement. Headlines surfaced saying that Cruise had been deprived of time with his daughter for up to a year. It’s not surprising that this news made headlines, but the fact that Suri was the center of the content crosses a sort of ethical line because she is underage.
A media frenzy also followed the parenting styles of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie prior to their 2017 split. In 2014, tabloids published article after article referencing the way that they chose to accept their eight-year-old daughter Shiloh’s decision to go by the name “John” and to wear gender-neutral clothing. This essential time of identity exploration was covered constantly by entertainment outlets because of the family name, which undoubtedly made it more difficult to navigate.
This narrative has become all too familiar. It’s as if once a celebrity couple makes a pregnancy announcement there is a nine month countdown until the first photo they share of their newborns. From there we are brought into the lives of our favorite celebrities and their children, whether it’s through instagram posts or the “babies” section of our favorite tabloids. We follow them as they grow up and eventually lead their own lives — usually remaining in the spotlight all the while. And although it would be creepy in any other context, because they are already in the public eye we see no problem with it. After all, if they wanted to keep the intricacies of their children’s lives a secret, maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t post all about it on social media.
Alexis Morillo is a second year journalism major who definitely doesn’t have a Pinterest board dedicated solely to cute babies. You can reach them at