• Wed, Sep 5 2012

‘Suri’s Burn Book’ Is Not A Critique On Tabloid Culture, It’s The Exploitation Of A Little Girl

Suri's Burn BookThe general press coverage of Suri Cruise is almost always over-the-top and inappropriate for a young child. Weekly tabloids are absolutely shameful when it comes to celeb kids coverage, with features like “Who Wore It Best?” for the pre-school set and analyzing their entire character based on one random paparazzi shot. Apparently, Allie Hagan is attempting to mock that horrible media culture with her blog and new book, “Suri’s Burn Book.”

The shtick has been going for over a year now with Hagan running pictures of random celeb tots and imagined commentary from a caricature of Suri Cruise. Recently, there was a picture of Harper and Victoria Beckham with the caption, “It won’t be long before Harper Beckham’s arms are thicker than her mom’s.” The blog constantly jokes about Violet Affleck‘s wardrobe, even throwing in some cruelty along with the announcement of the new book. “Proceeds will go to the ‘Help Violet Affleck Dress Better’ Charity Fund. Haha, just kidding. There’s not enough money in the world for that.” Generally, it’s the type of mean-spirited drivel that Perez Hilton would have drawn on pictures before his anti-bullying conversion.

But again, Hagan claims that it’s all meant to highlight our horrible obsession with celebrity kids. She tells The Daily Beast‘s Melissa Leon, “There are so many more celebrities now, and the obsession with the children is a part of that. My goal is to poke fun at that and how weird it is.” She wants to assure everyone that she has standards for where to draw the line. She only uses children whose parents “put them out there.” (Nevermind that she covers Nahla Aubry whose  mother Halle Berry is extremely outspoken about the overreach and exploitation of celebrity children’s media coverage.) She recently decided not to run a photo pointing out a young child’s “camel toe.” (But picking on a toddler like Harper Beckham’s weight is completely okay.)

Hagan wants to claim that she’s critiquing tabloid culture, but she’s really just representing the worst of it. Suri Cruise and Violet Affleck and Harper Beckham are all human beings. They’re kids. They might have been born to famous parents, but these are young girls who all have to grow up under constant surveillance and try to build their own identity, their own opinions. Imagining a cruel and snarky personality onto a 6-year-old doesn’t make edgy social commentary. It just makes it’s that much harder for the actual person behind the caricature to break out of a mold that has been set for her.

Hagan’s blog and weekly tabloids feed off of the same curiosity that makes regular people want to feel like they know celebrities. We want to be able to relate to them. But we aren’t supposed to know kids. They aren’t supposed to be playing characters for us to feel connected to, so we’ll see their next movie or buy their next album. These are children. Their personalities will grow and change over the course of time. Suri Cruise could grow up to be a kind and thoughtful girl, but we’ll all still be stuck with this image of a mean-spirited brat thanks to Allie Hagan.

The media culture surrounding celeb kids is horrible, but Suri’s Burn Book doesn’t create a valuable critique of that. It adds to the noise. It’s a despicable attempt to exploit a little girl who never had a choice in who her parents are. And no mother, or decent human being, should be supporting it.

(Photo: Amazon)

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  • Lawcat

    This article…just…ugh (facepalm). Somehow I think Harper Beckham and Suri Cruise are going to be just fine.

    • Julie

      Financially yes, probably so. But kids are not immune to nasty things people say. Who points out a camel toe on a toddler? Just because they will have money doesn’t mean they will survive psychologically or emotionally. Francis Cobain ring a bell? She’s a hot mess. Demi Moore’s daughters are a mess. And those kids actually were allowed to grow up without constant media scrutiny. I don’t always feel sorry for celebrities, but I do feel for their kids. They didn’t ask for that, they are just trying to go to school and be kids…and the media wants to pick them apart for it.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraDonovanUA Laura Donovan

    No, it’s not a “facepalm” article. I agree with you 100 percent, Lindsay. Suri Cruise is just a kid and doesn’t deserve this no matter how wealthy her parents may be. And when did it become OK for “adults” to make fun of children who are too young to even understand that the whole world is laughing at them?

  • katia

    she should thank you for the publicity! you are part of the problem when as you often mention this site! and talk about octomom, etc. you are no better ;)

  • Ash

    Her blog is hysterically funny and it seems you are incapable of realizing the tongue-in-cheek nature of her commentary. Maybe have a glass of wine and work on your sense of humor?

  • Another Steph

    “Hagan wants to claim that she’s critiquing tabloid culture, but she’s really just representing the worst of it.”

    Uh, yeah. That’s the whole point.

  • Jessie

    Oh for Pete’s sake, it’s a HUMOR book. Nobody is meant to take it seriously, and nobody will, with the obvious exception of uptight people like you who are so hell-bent on protecting the all little children from the nastiness of this world that they can’t take a joke.
    You seem to be of the mindset that human beings are so stupid that they will be unable to differentiate between a made-up persona from a humor book and the real person when the times comes for all these girls (including Suri) to be more active within their social circle and start showing their own personalities. Give the human race a little credit, here, geezus.

    Is it somewhat messed up humor? Yes.
    Will some people be dumb enough to think it represents the real Suri, despite what I assume will be clear disclaimers within the book to avoid legal action against Hagan? Yes.
    Well it positively destroy these kids’ lives if a ONE book in a figurative OCEAN of other books pokes fun at them via a made-up persona of one of them? No. No it will not.

  • Michelle

    While there are the standard go-to jokes on the blog that seen to criticize celebrity kids, the people that get the most attention are the celebrities themselves. for example, the comment about Harper’s arm soon being as big as her mother’s, is not commenting on Harper’s weight (as a baby), but Victoria Beckham’s often emaciated figure. It’s yet another celebrity blog, no worse than any in its cohort.

  • KW

    jesus christ. stop overreacting. don’t you think there are bigger issues affecting children than a sarcastic book? and stop pointing fingers… why don’t you reread your article about Beyonce’s baby, Blue Ivy, “defecates cold hard cash,” and you doubt their love for taking care of their child? Blue Ivy is picked on again with “Blue Ivy’s Nose ‘Suspiciously’ Changes, Which Has Clearly Never Happened To A Baby” Or… What about the article titled “Happy Birthday, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt — You Miniature Ellen DeGeneres, You!”? You’re inferring that a 6 year old is gay, when she probably doesn’t even know what sex is yet. Or the articles where Willow Smith is picked on? OR what about this article “If Katie Holmes Makes Suri Cruise Do One More Normal Kid Thing, She’s Going To File For Custody Of Herself.” It is EXACTLY the same sarcasm as Hagan’s except not written in Suri’s voice. Your company is making money off these kids the same way that Hagan is, so I don’t see where you get off freaking out and pointing fingers.

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