Nepo babies are all the internet can talk about. Here’s why.

This week New York Magazine declared 2022 the “Year of the Nepo Baby” and published an in-depth look at the taxonomy of famous descendants.

For those who haven’t gotten into the discourse, a “nepo baby” (short for “nepotism baby”) is the child of a celebrity — or someone who has power and influence in their field — who has their parents’ influence takes a step forward in her career. Some archetypal examples include Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, and Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

To clarify the term New York Magazine categorized Nepo babies into multiple tiers. The tallest are “classic Nepo babies” inheriting famous family names like Depp and Hawke. Then there are “industry babies,” or children of people who work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry who could also benefit from their parents’ connections. An example is Phoebe Bridgers, whose father is a set designer. Don’t forget the children of billionaires like Paris Hilton.


I’m sorry, but Jenna Ortega isn’t actually giving anything away

New York Magazine traces the origin of “nepo baby” to a tweet posted in February by a Canadian tech supporter named Meriem Derradji. She tweeted, “Wait I just found out the actress who plays Lexi is a nepotism babe omg 😭 her mum is Leslie Mann and her dad is a film director lol.” That tweet changed the lexicon of the internet forever .

Every time a new nepotism babe is introduced to the public, let it be Maude Apatow euphoria or Hawke in stranger things, the internet erupts in outrage and self-righteousness about who gets opportunities in the entertainment industry. But as Buzzfeed’s Izzy Ampil points out, the conversation about entertainment nepotism babies is often a superficial “pop class analysis” of an issue that permeates every industry that too often begins and ends with celebrities. Some readers requested New York Magazine analyze the reproduction of privileges in other industries, such as journalism, banks and politics.

New York MagazineThe study of Nepo babies brought the concept back to the forefront of Twitter’s Hive Mind, prompting almost everyone to chime in. But at least the memes were entertaining.

As is usual when something reaches the internet masses, Nepo Baby was quickly democratized by the people, with users sharing their definitions of Nepo Babys and discussing inequalities in their respective industries. For example, wrote a Twitter user“My only contribution to the Nepo Baby in academic discourse is this: I am the first and only person in my family to hold a PhD. I was rightly surprised when I started this job and learned how rare it was.”

Shortly after New York Magazine After the article was published, Twitter and TikTok users began satirizing the extremely specific and frankly picky nepo baby categorizations, sharing the benefits and qualities they inherited from their own families. The meme is a clever way of forcing us to question our own privileges or disadvantages. TikTokker @literalwhore posted: “I’m a Nepo Baby on a medium sized lake in Warsaw, Missouri (my dad sets the fishing limit and we don’t have to pay for parking.”)

Twitter user @literELLY wrote, “I hope no one ever finds out I’m a Nepo baby (inherited mental illness from not just one but both parents).”

May we take nepo baby as a starting point to further explore the implications of generational wealth and privilege across the board! Until then, the internet is doing what it does best. Nepo babies are all the internet can talk about. Here’s why.

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