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Look of the Week: Hailey Bieber weighs in on ‘nepo child’ controversy with slogan tee

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

That includes the great, the dangerous and the ugly, ‘Look of the Week’ is a daily sequence devoted to unpacking probably the most talked about outfit of the final seven days.
A punchy slogan t-shirt, papped on the proper second, can grow to be a permanent picture in our cultural historical past. In 2002, shortly after her public break up with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears’ stepped out sporting a child blue tee with the all caps mandate “DUMP HIM,” a glance which rapidly grew to become enshrined within the web’s clapback corridor of fame (Etsy is full of 1000’s of copy-cat t-shirts over 20 years later.) Paris Hilton, too, was lengthy immortalized as a meme after sporting an apparently-inflammatory black and white vest with the slogan “Cease being poor!” in 2005 — in 2021 Hilton proved the picture was doctored, nevertheless, with the precise textual content studying “Cease being determined!” Extra just lately, forward of the discharge of her fifth studio album “Crash,” musician Charli XCX pre-empted unfavorable critiques by sporting a pastel pink crop high that stated “They do not construct statues of critics.” Primarily a car for sassy responses to low-brow drama, the slogan tee is a mouthpiece for the wearer—saying the quiet half out loud in a method that avoids direct accountability.

On Friday January 6, Hailey Bieber grew to become the most recent celeb to try to harness the ability of the screen-printed phrase. Whereas strolling by way of a parking storage in Los Angeles, Bieber was photographed in a white crop high emblazoned with the phrases “Nepo Child.” Slang for “nepotism child,” which means the kid of well-known or well-connected mother and father, the phrase has been effervescent up throughout social media for the previous yr, used to spotlight the parable of meritocracy and the unsurprising fact that wealth and household connections can result in unfair benefits. Some A-listers, resembling Lily Rose Depp, have been criticized for denying the sting nepotism may give an early-career actor or performer — as she did in an interview with Elle final yr.

Hailey Bieber noticed in a “nepo child” crop high in LA. Credit score: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Photos

However the phrase boiled over after it grew to become the topic of a December cowl story from New York journal. The article, with the snarky subhed “She Has Her Mom’s Eyes. And Agent,” included a sequence of illustrated household timber “outing” celebrities with well-known mother and father and kinfolk. It despatched social media customers right into a tailspin, some leaping to the protection of their favourite stars and others declaring that nepotism is only one rung in a protracted ladder of particular person privileges many individuals profit from — from pores and skin coloration to gender to class, to call just some—and should not be overemphasized. It additionally led to many woeful responses from celebrities. “I am so sick of individuals blaming nepotism for why they don’t seem to be wealthy and well-known or profitable,” tweeted Kate Moss’ half sister, Lottie Moss. “Clearly it isn’t truthful that individuals who come from well-known households are getting a leg up due to that however guess what? Life is not truthful—in the event you put your thoughts to one thing you may accomplish.”

Bieber, who’s the daughter of Stephen Baldwin, niece to Alec Baldwin and spouse of Justin Bieber, appeared within the New York piece briefly. Her selection of her to deal with the controversy sartorially was dangerous, as engineering any viral second is when public opinion is so unpredictable. Whereas some have recommended Bieber for her humorousness, many voices on social media have brandished her “untalented” and unqualified to fly the flag for nepo infants all over the place. However does the act stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the brasen, devil-may-care vitality radiating from Spears and Hilton’s sarcastic crop tops? Properly, in just some hours, extra paparazzi photographs revealed Bieber had modified her shirt from her.

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