For every baby in your life, you had to endure nine months of updates. We’re pregnant! We’re getting the room ready! It’s a boy, or whatever! We’re already so tired! We’re registered at Target, go buy the baby a bunch of stuff and participate in this pregnancy even though you weren’t part of the decision-making process! And then the baby is born and you don’t hear from the parents for six months because they’re too brain-dead to function as humans, and then finally, at a terrible brunch, because there’s maybe a 45-minute window each day when the baby isn’t being the worst, you finally meet the baby. And maybe it doesn’t poop on you. Maybe it looks pleasant for 11 seconds before it remembers how angry it is about being alive and its screams send the parents shooing you out of the house for another six months. As you scramble down the sidewalk, back to the relative safety of non-baby life, rarely do you ever think: Wow what an awesome baby, it has earned my love, and I believe it will accomplish important things in life.
And that’s just for regular babies. That’s for babies who aren’t even a symbolic vessel for the broken hopes and dreams of our sad and unfulfilling lives. Celebrity babies are a whole other deal. Celebrity babies are as terrible as ordinary babies, plus they get saddled with the additional baggage of our expectation that they be as interesting as we find their parents.
We have hopes and dreams for celebrity babies. They pop out and we already have all these opinions about them. My kids, in contrast, have it super easy. All they have to do is attend a real college and maybe just finish one project they start in their entire lives and they’ll be more successful and interesting than I am.
So even though Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby is only just announced, not even born yet, it already has an uphill battle ahead of it. Maybe it’s Kim and Kanye’s own fault, for announcing a baby at the end of Q4—essentially a post-holiday media blackout period when we’re all too exhausted from dealing with our own families to give a shit about anyone else’s. But even so, it feels like we’re not that excited about this baby. Like maybe, we’ve already given up on it. Like finally, we’re celebrity babied-out.
We did just get through the emotional roller coaster that was Beyoncé & Jay-Z’s baby, after all. We were very emotionally involved in that pregnancy. But since the baby arrived, Jay and Bey haven’t let us get to know the baby very well. If you want me to care about the pregnancy, you can’t cut me off once the baby arrives. How’s the baby doing? Is it showing any musical tendencies yet? Can it dance?
I mean would it kill Beyoncé to tweet more? Is she not struggling to balance the dual roles of her career and motherhood like every other woman on the planet? That’s a tweet right there. I have a lot of ideas about things Beyoncé could be tweeting. There hasn’t been a good return on our investment in that pregnancy, and in fact there hasn’t been a good return on our investment in any celebrity pregnancy.
Anyone heard from Gwen Stefani’s or Nicole Richie’s kids lately? Mariah Carey has twins; what’s their deal, are they creepy and telepathic? Not that I want more Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin in my life, but do we at least know if their kids roll their eyes whenever their mother mentions goop?
It might just be that we’re babied-out in general. We had a pretty good run of babies on the Internet. Mommyblogging, beyond giving parents a creative outlet when they were stuck at home with tiny monsters tearing at their nipples, humanized the daily struggle of parenting in ways most parents hadn’t felt comfortable sharing, admitting to, before. And it’s effectively enabled the Internet to roll its own celebrity babies now. My mom knows more about Dooce’s kids than she knows about mine.
So Kim and Kanye’s baby is going to have to be really amazing if they expect us to care about it. Otherwise they will have to come up with an incredibly grand gesture to win our attention back. Perhaps when Baby Kimye and Blue Ivy are both in elementary school, they can compete in some kind of mini-Hunger Games, high atop the Empire State Building. Weapons and armor will be released any time their parents’ tweets of support and encouragement reach a certain threshold of millions of retweets. Like I said, I have ideas for things Beyoncé could be tweeting about.