Us Weekly reported Monday, June 28, that actress Angelina Jolie confesses in the August issue of Vanity Fair magazine that her 4-year-old daughter, Shiloh, “wants to be a boy.” The fact that this statement from a wider-ranging interview is sparking headlines and such reader response on celebrity blogs is indicative of a growing trend in entertainment news.
From Shiloh and Suri to Zuma and Nahla, you can pick up any celebrity news magazine these days and find plenty of stories devoted not only to stars but also to their kids. Whether in Us Weekly, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style Weekly or Star, magazine articles offer more than a paparazzi photo or two from an extravagant birthday bash, a red carpet premiere or a shopping excursion with Mom or Dad. The stories actually delve into the lives of these tots: their emerging “style,” their budding personalities, their perks and privileges, and occasionally the pitfalls of having to share their celebrity parent (or two) with the rest of the world.
Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their brood of six are the subject of a large portion of these stories. From speculation on how they discipline their kids to why they never take their twins out in public, nearly every celebrity magazine in recent months has featured some kind of article on the unconventional family.
In fact, the cover of a spring issue of Life & Style Weekly magazine (pictured above) included a story about Shiloh (then age 3) and her transformation from blond locks and sundresses to a more masculine style of shirts, trousers and a pageboy haircut. With the headline posing the question, “Why Is Angelina Turning Shiloh Into a Boy?” the article explored Shiloh’s tomboy style and Brad and Angelina’s role in encouraging her transgender look. Though the consensus seemed to be that Brad and Angelina are simply trying to allow their little girl to express her individuality, psychologists debated how this might help or hurt Shiloh as she grows up and establishes her identity.
Though the issue was a head turner and the article was intriguing, I’m not sure that Shiloh’s style switcheroo warranted a cover story. It was a little too voyeuristic for my taste, and if I were buying a copy from the grocery store, I would feel a little creepy about picking it up.
Clearly the interest is there from readers, though, so don’t expect magazines to scale back such coverage. In fact, here are a few other creative, edgy ways celebrity magazines are covering stories about Hollywood’s little starlets:
- Hollywood’s Kids In 2020: With the help of age-progression computer technology, Life & Style magazine predicted what famous tots like Shiloh and Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Suri Cruise and Kingston Rossdale would look like as teens.
- Copycat Cuties: This feature was about kiddie stars and the clothing that inspires them. Us Weekly magazine’s Fashion Police cited Violet Affleck for mimicking Paris Hilton and Honor Warren for dressing like Björk.
- Fashion Formula–Suri vs. Shiloh: In Touch Weekly magazine’s side-by-side comparison of Suri’s girlie glamour and Shiloh’s tough tomboy look reveal big style differences.
- Little Lovefest: Us Weekly magazine follows Kingston Rossdale (whose mom is singer Gwen Stefani) and Ruby Maguire (whose dad is actor Tobey Maguire) on a play date.
I’m not sure where this trend of covering celebrity children got started, but I find it fascinating (though a little ridiculous at times). I wonder if it stems from family-oriented reality shows like “Tori & Dean” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” or simply from America’s growing interest in celebutantes. What do you think? Do you enjoy reading stories about celebrity kiddos, or are they too much? Share your opinion by posting your comment below.