“People are willing to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there,’ or ‘You’re only there for your dad or mom.'”
The concept of nepotism has always been tricky, especially in Hollywood country.
The term, which describes the form of privilege afforded to people born into wealthy and well-connected families, made a big talking point earlier this year, sparked by the discovery the euphoria‘s Maude Apatow – who many fans previously thought was a self-made “normal girl” – is the child of actor Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow.
Aside from the fact that her last name was a little giveaway, the discovery led to a slew of other nepotism-based insights, revealing that many of the internet’s favorite stars actually have fairly successful parents too.
From the fashion industry’s “nepotism babies” like the Hadid sisters and Kaia Gerber, to red-carpet regulars like Dakota Johnson, Maya Hawke and Lily-Rose Depp, the sheer number of celebrity relatives in showbiz certainly raises many questions about the privilege – and the fairness – of everything.
Now, Gwyneth Paltrow and Hailey Bieber, who are certified “Nepo Babies” themselves, have teamed up to add their bit to the cause.
Exploring the subject at a smoothie makeup on Hailey’s YouTube show, Who is in my bathroom?Gwyneth – daughter of filmmaker Bruce Paltrow and Oscar winner Blythe Danner – reflected on her journey to success.
“I went to college very briefly, but I had already started auditioning, and then it all happened pretty quickly,” she said, looking back on her decision to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “I had a lot of success very young.”
In response, Hailey – who is the child of Stephen Baldwin and niece of actors Alec, Daniel and William Baldwin – asked how Gwyneth’s parents’ fame might have affected her rise to stardom.
“I think it’s fair,” Gwyneth began, then explained her view of nepotism.
“Being someone’s kid gives you access that other people don’t have, so the playing field isn’t level in that regard,” she said. “But I really feel like once you get your foot in the door that you walked in wrongly, you have to work almost twice as hard and be twice as good.”
Expanding her argument, the Goop founder said that while nepotism kids have an easier start, they’re more likely to be scrutinized and therefore have to work harder to prove they’ve rightfully earned their place.
“People are willing to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there,’ or ‘You’re only there for your dad or mom,'” she said.
Gwyneth went on to offer some advice to aspiring nepotism kids, reminding them that the label “shouldn’t limit” what they hope to achieve in life.
“Nobody in the world, especially someone who doesn’t know you, should negatively influence your path or your decision,” she added.
The vibe clearly resonated with Hailey and her experience in the fashion and business worlds. “I agree, I need to hear that today,” she said.
Interestingly, Gwyneth isn’t the first “nepotism baby” to speak out about the downside of childbirth in the celebrity world.
Kendall Jenner — the Kardashians’ sister and the world’s highest-paid model as of 2018 — made a similar statement last year, revealing that she felt her family’s immense fame actually made it “harder” for her to succeed in fashion be.
During the Keeping up with the Kardashians Reunion special last June, Kendall was asked about her life as a supermodel and she gave Andy Cohen the lowdown on how she got on top.
“It was like – I know it’s a bit cheesy to say – but [it’s] almost like fate,” she said. “I got my mom the cutest little modeling book when I was about 14. And then she did her Kris Jenner thing and brought it all to life.”
In response, Andy asked what Kendall would say to people who accused her of “not paying her dues,” acknowledging her comparatively quick path to success, which prompted her to double down on her work ethic.
“Everyone around me, whether friends or family, knows how hard I’ve worked and still work,” she replied. “I’ve done everything I was supposed to and had to do to get to the position I’m in now as a model.”
Arguing that there are two sides to every story, Kendall went on to say that her family’s fame was actually a hindrance in her career path, claiming that designers were reluctant to hire her as a result.
“I went to every single audition and ran not just across New York City but across Europe to get a job and make my mark,” she said, briefly acknowledging her family’s rise to fame.
“Obviously I had a platform and I never took that for granted,” she continued. “I always knew that was there, but that almost made my job a little bit harder. Just because people probably didn’t want to hire me because I was on a reality TV show.”