Today marks the 13th birthday of Willow Smith, a sassy rising star and the only person who has ever worn a bowler hat and not made me want to punch them in the face. Willow is the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, but I didn’t need to tell you that, right? You have eyes — you can clearly see that Willow was created on a Xerox machine when someone tried to photocopy a picture of Will Smith. Little Will(ow) really does seem to have inherited every one of her dad’s genes, including his expressive doe eyes and his ability to pull off abrasive ’90s neon.
She even has his indefinable star quality, which is why her parents had the sense to pull her out of school during the most crucial years of her mental development and make her perform for us! And hey, I get it. With lineage like that, it was Willow’s destiny to be a household name. Things were going pretty well for a while too. She scored a top-40 song, landed some high-profile acting gigs and even developed the kind of effortless style that makes me think I too should wear baggy overalls with black leather boots. (I should not. And I should be fitted with a shock collar just in case the thought infiltrates my brain again).
But under all the fame and fortune, Willow just wanted to learn Algebra and loiter outside the mall talking about how Bobby toootally likes Ashley. In other words, she wanted to be a regular 13-year-old and not an over-exposed teenybopper entertainer forced to navigate public scrutiny. So determined was Willow to experience the innocence of childhood that she said to her dad, “Uh, can you not turn me into the next E! Hollywood story?” and pulled out of her starring role in the up-coming Annie movie. Since then, she’s retreated from the spotlight a bit. Which means that I can finally sleep at night knowing she (probably) won’t end up going to rehab any time soon.
However, just because Willow’s doing well now, doesn’t mean that she’ll do well forever. She’s still recording songs about having sexual flings (at 13!), her parents are still separating on the reg, and she’s probably still never made her bed. Since, you know, the Smiths refuse to impose rules on their children. Basically, Willow’s life sets off red flags that anyone can see, unless of course they’re a movie star with 5 assistants and no grasp on reality.
Poor Willow isn’t the only child of a celeb that makes me want to call child services, so in honor of the creepiness that is Halloween, let’s talk about the top 5 celebrity spawn who scare me more than ghosts and public restrooms.
1. Suri Cruise
You knew Suri Cruise would be on this list, because she’s essentially the real-life Rosemary’s Baby. However Suri came into existence—whether it was from Tom Cruise’s carnal thrusting (yeah right), L. Ron Hubbard’s decrepit DNA (probably not), or a Craig’s List ad asking for the sperm of a Tom Cruise look-alike (most likely) — something was fishy. And it stayed fishy. Obviously, when your dad offers his soul to a cult because they promised him he could mind-control animals and humans, your childhood probably isn’t going to be the picture of stability. As a result, Suri’s quotient of celebrity-child-spookiness reaches a high that usually only Lindsay Lohan can achieve on a Saturday night.
Part of Suri’s unsettling aura stems from the fact that Tom, like the Smiths, subscribes to the parenting school of “just give her what she wants before she throws her poop at you.” I’m pretty sure Suri runs the show and when she doesn’t get what she want, her face morphs from a cherubic little angel into the spinning possessed demon head from The Exorcist. It’s probably going to be hard to break Suri of her bad habits, but now that Katie Holmes has her free will (and cute style!) back, I have faith that Suri’s life is taking a turn away from bat-shit-crazy town. Then again, we know Tom has his wily methods of getting Suri under his influence, and considering those methods consist of buying her 30 pounds of candy and all the ponies in the Western Hemisphere, we should stay vigilant. Let’s keep Suri in our thoughts today.
2. Kendall and Kylie Jenner
Ugh, I know Kris Jenner is past her reproductive window, but she’s spawned so many baby-voiced attention whores with shiny black hair that it’s seriously hard to keep track. I’m always like “Wait, is that a new one? Which one is that? GOD, PLEASE JUST DYE YOUR HAIR AND STOP WEARING LEATHER LEGGINGS SO I CAN TELL YOU APART.” I’d say Kim is the greatest affront to dignity (or the best representation of the American Dream, depending on your stance), but Kendall and Kylie didn’t even have to go through the back-breaking labor of having sex on camera to get where they are today. All they had to do was walk around their house apathetically texting while their sisters filmed a TV show, and bam, they were granted a multi-million dollar clothing line. It’s outrageously unfair to those of us who, you know, work our asses off and still sleep on a futon our dad gave us because it was taking up too much space in his garage. But I’m not picking a bone with Kendall and Kylie. Like all the kids on this list, they’re just products of their exploitative stage parents, so it’s not their fault they have no skills beyond shopping and smokey-eye makeup application. Kris Jenner is the real culprit here. All we can do is hope that Kris’ uterus doesn’t kick back into action and pop out more of these kreatures.
3. Apple Martin
Let me preface this by saying Apple Martin has done nothing in her life to personally alarm or anger me, but she carries the genes of the most eye-stabbingly obnoxious woman on the planet, so it’s only a matter of time. Also, minor quibble: sometimes when I’m about to eat an apple, I’m reminded of Apple’s ridiculous name, and it makes me so irrationally annoyed, I lose my appetite. Oh god…that’s just what Gwyneth Paltrow wants, isn’t it? A world of hunger-denying waifs who deprive themselves of apples! We can’t let Gwyneth win, you guys, and we can’t let Apple inherit her mother’s I’m-so-much-better-than-you-because-I-avoid-Cheez-Whiz attitude. It’s my hope that Apple will fall really really far from the tree and blossom into a humble human being who doesn’t hate herself for eating a bagel. But is that possible for someone raised by a starving socialite? Considering Apple probably hasn’t been allowed to consume a proper caloried meal since she was obtaining nutrients from placenta, the future looks grim. I hope she’s allowed at least a piece of Stevia-sweetened raw cocoa candy this Halloween, but if not, I’ll be sure to gobble 37 Snickers in her honor.
4. Rumer Willis
(Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com)
Do you remember when Demi Moore was married to Bruce Willis and she and her kids were ensconced somewhere in Montana on a bazillion-acre ranch raising geese (I don’t know what happens on ranches; something with animals)? Those were the good ole days. Back then, the only thing we knew about Rumer Willis was that her parents had a tenuous command of vowel usage. Then Ashton Kutcher entered the picture, Demi unraveled, and before we knew it, Rumer and Demi were adopting the Lohan method of family bonding by partying together and swapping sex partners. Truth be told, Rumer doesn’t scare me as much as Demi in this twisted Greek tragedy that would make Jerry Springer’s producers damp in the panties. Demi’s the out of control one here. I can only assume that at some point Demi and Rumer switched bodies in some kind of Freaky Friday spell, because Rumer has been acting like the adult while Demi has been huffing whippets like a high schooler who can’t score booze but can score plenty of Reddi-Whip from his job as a supermarket bagger. I just hope Demi figures out her shit so Rumer can have a responsible mother in her life and not someone who steals her Forever 21 clothes.
5. Hopper Penn
I’m not entirely sure what it’s like to have Sean Penn as a father, but I would guess it’s akin to watching a gif of a pressure cooker explode over and over. Look, I know actors are prone to emotional volatility and keep their feelings at the surface in order to access them readily. But Sean, in his natural state, seems like he’s perpetually method acting in preparation for the role of The Hulk. I wouldn’t be surprised if he rages at the sky every few minutes for being blue. I’m no parenting expert, and I’m definitely not trying to be one of those judgey moms who sneers at other parents for letting their kids have a soda (I’m looking at you, Gwyneth Paltrow). But I’m going to go ahead and make an assumption that Sean’s angry bear temperament has affected his son. And I say this because Hopper Penn has, in fact, pulled a Sean Penn and attacked a paparrazo while proud papa Sean was 3 feet away. Oh, and there was a racial epithet thrown in there for good measure. Honestly, Sean and Hopper should probably both seek counseling for their anger issues, but if they’re unwilling to do that, these pictures of sleepy pandas should clear away that fury right straight. The internet is a panacea, I tell you.
In the end, there are countless more celebrity children whose exaggerated lifestyles scare me and make me thankful that my parents had boring real-world jobs. These kids might have wealth and access beyond my wildest dreams, but the thought of living in Suri Cruises’ shoes is so terrifying that it makes me want to buy out Costco’s entire supply of night lights and Chamomile tea just to calm myself, so I think I’ll pass. Good luck and Godspeed, celeb kids.