The cute hat might change, but most babies look like all the rest.
Updated: June 16, 2012 8:10AM
What’s the over/under on the number of baby pictures you can gush over before the acting instincts kick in? Two? Three?
Be honest. It doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate the miracle of birth and you aren’t happy for your friend or co-worker or even a relative. It’s just that there are only so many looks an infant can pull off. There’s Cute in the Hat; Cute Out of the Hat; Cute in the New Outfit From Grammy; Cute Sleeping; and Cute Awake.
That’s about it.
Here’s what we all do when someone takes out the phone and starts scrolling through the baby photos:
First, unless you’re 1,000 percent certain of the child’s gender, you stay away from specific references such as, “He’s a little bruiser,” or “She’s so precious!” Better to go with, “Yep, most adorable baby ever!” or, “That’s God’s greatest miracle right there.”
For two or three photos or even a half-dozen photos, you’re happy to share in your friend’s joy. It’s fun to point out how the baby has her mother’s eyes and to see the love shining in the new parent’s eyes as they proudly offer verbal captions for each pic.
But if we’re going to be brutally honest, there’s a certain sameness to the photos of our friends’ babies. After all, they’re babies. They’re not going to be on “America’s Got Talent” any time soon.
Given that reality, can somebody — anybody — explain to me the national obsession with the babies of celebrities? If you duck down another hallway to avoid the cooing co-workers clustering around the woman who’s just back from maternity leave and is scrolling through pics of her kid, why would you have the least bit of interest in pics of Jessica Simpson’s kid?
Celebrity babies — just like babies!
Women’s Wear Daily reports People magazine will pay Jessica Simpson and her fiance Eric Johnson some $800,000 for exclusive publishing rights to photos of their 2-week-old daughter, Maxwell Drew Johnson.
So if you work your ass off and you make $40,000 a year, you’d have to work 20 years to make what this baby will get for being in a magazine. Apocalypse Now.
You can’t fault People for forking over the dough. Little doubt they’ll realize that investment and then some with increased newsstand sales.
And even though eight hundred grand is a breathtaking figure, it’s nowhere near the $6 million the magazine reportedly paid for photos of J. Lo’s twins in 2008.
Simpson, whose pregnancy weight gain was a source of constant tabloid attention and mainstream media jabbering, is also set to receive a reported $3 million from a deal with Weight Watchers.
Not that I have any more interest in the baby of true superstars such as Beyonce and Jay-Z, but let’s remember we’re talking about Jessica Simpson here. Mediocre actress, second-tier pop singer, reality TV train wreck. It should be something of an upset if she got a celebrity discount from Weight Watchers, let alone a $3 million deal. (Question: do they ask for the money back if any of their celeb endorses puts the weight back on a year or two down the road?)
When People unveils the baby photos, complete with cover shot quoting Ms. Simpson saying something like, “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” or “I was born to be a mommy!” here’s what we’ll discover, once again:
The babies of celebrities look just like ALL OTHER BABIES.
What a world. Famous kids such as Suri Cruise and Willow Smith have been photographed literally thousands of times, their every trip into the world captured by the paparazzi and chronicled by the ever-growing celebrity press. Their childhoods have been more thoroughly chronicled than the early years of Jesus, Alexander the Great or Abraham Lincoln.