It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the birth of a celebrity child. In scientific terms, it is the moment at which the celebrity subdivides as an ethereal entity, and the newly hatched star-child is automatically invested with 63% of its famous parent’s wattage, as well as an air of mystery not cultivated by a nappy-wearer since Howard Hughes’s “hidden years”.
If that child has two celebrity parents, the force generated by its birth is such that it can cause a disturbance in the very curvature of space-time.
And so to the birth of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue – a nativity that took place at the weekend, but has already been the subject of so much myth-making it is likely to become the springboard for a new world religion by next Tuesday.
Before we lose ourselves in a fantasy land of solid-gold rocking horses and security entourages, however, it is vital that you understand the three sacred principles of celebrity birth reporting. So know this: the only criteria for evaluating showbiz births are the following:
• How much hassle the event caused for civilians.
• How much stuff the little mite has already been bought – or rather, how much stuff is claimed to have been bought for it.
• How badly most online commenters already judge the celebrity to be doing with their child-rearing.
This is the holy trinity of celebrity birth reporting, and if you’re a star who just has a baby without fuss and without involving 36 ex-Navy Seals working on a “shoot nurse first, ask questions later” basis, then you are basically offering the first draft of your resignation from fame. It’s almost as if you don’t want to give your child the chance to attend one of the more prestigious rehabs by their 13th birthday, allowing those aforementioned online commenters to post 486 versions of the words “I told you so”, even as their own children play with matches and run with scissors, wondering why Mummy is lavishing another three hours of “me time” on the Daily Mail website.
All that having been established, we return to Blue Ivy Carter, whose arrival has been covered in strict accordance with those three immutable principles. Reports have claimed variously that the couple spent .3m renting and redecorating an entire floor of New York’s Lenox Hill hospital; that their private security team was over-zealous; and that other parents were barred from entering the neo-natal intensive care unit in which their premature babies lay. Asset-wise, .5m of nursery furniture has already been assigned to young Blue, from a ,000 cot to a solid-gold rocking horse.
Is any of it even remotely true? Lenox Hill confirmed that the family had their own security detail, but has deemed complaints about restricted access for other parents “not credible”. Meanwhile, the golden rocking horse has already been debunked, with the Japanese jeweller said to have been paid 0,000 for the burnished beast releasing a statement regretting that no such order had been placed. I can’t help feeling the ,000 crystal-encrusted high chair will go the same way, but the lies have gone round the world before the truth has even got its reasonably priced bootees on, and Blue is already being deemed Earth’s “smallest diva”.
So perhaps you’ll be wondering where her delivery fits into the all-time rankings of Lunatic Celebrity Births. The answer is: it’s never going to come within a hundred miles of displacing the daddy of them all. That spot is held – surely in perpetuity – by Angelina and Brad Pitt, for the birth of their daughter Shiloh.
Allow Lost in Showbiz to refresh your memory of this 2006 event. For reasons best summarised as “affectation”, the couple decided to give birth to their child in Namibia, to where they decamped a couple of months before the big day, taking over an entire luxury resort, and flying over a prestigious LA obstetrician.
Thus it began. Within days, Namibia’s tourism minister had claimed Brad and Angelina’s gracious decision to stay in their country to be “of major marketing value for us”. And so it was that government-backed security teams ran draconian house-to- house searches of the areas near the resort, apparently to see if local people were harbouring any journalists.
Next? Well, “spiralling out of control” is a phrase overused in print, but I can’t help feeling the Namibian government lost their handle on the situation when they decided to put a no-fly zone in place over the entire coast on which the Hollywood couple were staying. They had basically ceded control of their airspace to the stars of Mr & Mrs Smith. Yet even that was not enough. Shortly thereafter, the Namibian government banned any journalist who did not have written permission from the Jolie-Pitts from entering the country, causing the Washington Post to wonder: “Surely Hollywood stars can’t dictate who enters and leaves a sovereign state?”
“Imagine if a celebrity couple controlled England’s borders,” Namibia’s foremost human rights campaigner fumed to the New Statesman, while other locals raged that extraordinary measures were undermining the country’s fledgling democracy.
Unfortunately, their concern was not shared by Namibia’s president, who took the beyond-satirical step of issuing a formal thank you to the couple for putting his struggling country to such vast expense. “You didn’t just birth a child,” he gushed, “but a new era for our country.” Or as the human rights leader put it: “Ms Jolie is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, yet she seemed to tolerate the removal of human rights that are guaranteed by the UN.” So until another couple manage to turn an entire developing-world country into a VIP room, Brange retain the top spot.
As for what’s next for Blue, she’ll already be being considered for one of the rapidly proliferating lists ranking the best dressed or most powerful celebrity offspring, now run by everyone from gossip mags to Forbes. Last year’s most eye-catching one was Daily Beast’s Most Influential Celebrity Child, in which Suri Cruise just pipped Harper Beckham to No 1. Some of Angelina’s children made the list but others didn’t – Lost in Showbiz can’t help noticing only the white, biological ones hit the Top 10, while those adopted from Cambodia and Ethiopia and so on had to content themselves with lower finishes.
Still, that’s kiddie showbiz for you, and we can only wish little Blue all the best in this “gilded” existence.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010