The 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.