By Jack Turpen
Nepotism has become a hot-button issue, as of late. Many eyebrows have been raised in question of those who have success thanks to that of their rich and famous parents. Merrium-Webster’s dictionary defines nepotism as “favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship” (Merriam-Webster 2023). Nepotism, in relation to the law, is an easier thing to get away with than most would think. The actuality of nepotism is based on specific decisions being influenced by a relationship between the decision maker and the employee. The use of the verbiage is most often used in describing a career within entertainment or fashion.
People have become more aware of the ways in which celebrities have achieved their successful careers. One of the biggest field days for nepotism is within the world of fashion. With modeling in particular, there are a large number of very successful and well paid models that were only able to start that career thanks to their name. The first example that may come to one’s mind is Gigi and Bella Hadid. They have easily become some of the most successful supermodels of their generation, as they are two of the highest paid models today. Gigi and Bella’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, previously had a modeling career. Yolanda Hadid was also a housewife on the reality tv show: “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. From that platform, along with her previous work experience, Hadid was able to help her daughter, Gigi, to start with a modeling career. From that start, and because of her name, Gigi was able to create a very successful career within modeling. Following in her sister and mother’s foot-steps, Bella also started a career in modeling. Gigi and Bella Hadid are two models, amongst the nepotism baby pool, that people believe have earned their titles. Since getting their starts at early ages, Gigi and Bella have earned the respect of the general public, as the people feel as though the Hadid’s have logged enough hours to warrant their modeling success.
Amelia Gray, daughter of Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, also started a modeling career from her fame on reality TV. Lisa Rinna is also a former housewife from the show “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. Amelia’s modeling career has more recently sky-rocketed, as she was featured walking for several big brands during the most recent fashion month, such as Burberry, Diesel and Vivienne Westwood. Though she has also been the subject of criticism, there are a great deal of people who feel as though she has also earned her place. Gray’s walk has been praised across the board. Most recently, Amelia Gray was featured in the Dsquared2 Fall 2023 Menswear show.
Kendall Jenner is yet another example of a celebrity who rose to fame as a result of reality television. She is the daughter of Kris Jenner and former Olympic athlete, Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner, who gained fame from the reality television series "Keeping up with the Kardashians," began her modeling career when she was fifteen years old. She quickly started showing up in fashion shows and magazines everywhere. Jenner has been previously criticized by supermodel, Naomi Campbell, for not experiencing the hardships that many other models have faced throughout their startups. In response to Andy Cohen asking Campbell’s opinion surrounding Jenner’s ability to “cherry-pick her jobs”, Campbell responded with “...no comment”. Per usual, that pretty much says it all.
In the end, nepotism within the fashion and entertainment industry is not going anywhere. However, as audiences become more aware of how easily these industries get away with it, people are more willing to call out this behavior. Famous people are consistently, for lack of better terms, inbreeding. Famous people are creating famous people with other famous people. To make a name for oneself, from scratch, is a very challenging thing to do. Even those within the industry who have created their own names, have only been able to do so because of some kind of connection and/or some form of privilege. The only other option for someone starting from scratch would be pure luck. It can happen for anyone, but the call is most-likely coming from inside the house.