It must be weird to be born to famous parents. It must also be weird to be famous and have to figure out what role that plays in raising your children. Kids have no concept of fame when they're young—Mom and Dad are just Mom and Dad. At what point do they start to understand that Mom and Dad are household names for millions of people? When do they grasp the concept of fame and when does that reality of having famous parents impact them in their daily lives?
Those are questions actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski had hoped to postpone for as long as possible. As they raise their kids, the couple has tried to keep life as "normal" as possible for their daughters, Hazel (6) and Violet (4), which so far has meant keeping their fame and status under wraps.
"If they can remain oblivious for the longest time I'd be thrilled," Blunt told The Sunday Times in a recent interview.
However, the cat seems to be spilling out of the bag a bit, as Hazel is starting to hear things from other kids at school.
"It's a strange thing to navigate, you know," Blunt told the Times. "[Hazel] came home the other day and we were in the kitchen and she goes, 'Are you famous?'"
"We've never said that word in our house," Blunt said. "We don't talk about it. "Someone at school had clearly said it. I was like, 'Um...not really, I don't think I am. Did someone say that to you, Haze?'
"She said, 'Yeah', but then she wouldn't divulge much more, you know, but it's weird. It's weird."
Blunt explained that she doesn't want their daughters to think they are more special than other kids, nor does she want them to feel like they themselves are under the glare of the spotlight.
At some point, kids do figure it out, though. Giving them a solid foundation of "normality" as much as possible is healthy, and having famous parents certainly doesn't mean kids are going to end up more messed up than anyone else. But there are certain challenges that come along with raising kids as a celebrity.
Other famous parents have worked hard to keep their kids away from glitz and glam pitfalls as well. Kristen Bell once confronted the paparazzi who were taking photos of her and Dax Shepard's kids at their preschool. The couple even headed up a "No Kids Policy" campaign for media outlets to leave celebrities' children out of their coverage. Children didn't choose to have famous parents and they deserve to be able to live their lives without being subjected to voyeuristic opportunism.
But it's the normal, day-to-day life stuff that can be especially tricky to navigate when your kids' friends know you're famous. For instance, Dax Shepard revealed in a podcast with Justin Timberlake that he worries about how his and Kristen Bell's fame might affect his kids' friendships.
"I have a great fear that kids are gonna hang out with them solely because of that, or resent them because of that," Shepard said. "To me, the two options both seem terrible. Either they're gonna have fake friends or they're gonna have people hate them for no reason."
"It's just a lot to unpack," Timberlake agreed, speaking of his and wife Jessica Biel's attempts to navigate parenting as highly famous folks. "I try to be conscious of making sure we can live a life where we're not weirdly private, but we're conscious of making sure they can be kids for as long as possible and not have the way of somebody else treating them differently because of something that their parents do."
Celebrities may have enviable incomes and cush opportunities, but some aspects of living the famous life would be genuinely tricky to manage. Money can't buy a mentally and emotionally healthy existence for your children, so celebrities have to be conscientious about how they parent through fame.
While no parent is perfect and we all face different challenges, it's heartening to see celebrities who are doing their best to not let their career paths negatively influence their children's lives. They are just people at the end of the day, and no matter how many big roles they land, "parent" will undoubtedly be the most important role they'll ever play.
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