JAN MOIR: Lucky Lourdes and the leg-up few celebrity children can resist
Such wonderful news that Madonna’s daughter Lourdes has become the face of ‘inclusion and diversity’ for Swarovski crystals!
For who could be more representative of inclusion and diversity than the daughter of a pop star multi-millionairess whose progress through life so far could arguably be represented by the hot knife of nepotism slicing through a pat of privilege butter over and over again.
Lourdes says this is not true, because she paid her own college tuition fees from the money she got modelling. Some might say she only got the lucrative modelling jobs because she was Madonna’s daughter but perhaps I am being harsh.
Such wonderful news that Madonna’s daughter Lourdes has become the face of ‘inclusion and diversity’ for Swarovski crystals!
Now 24, Lourdes has certainly inherited the best of genes from her mother and father Carlos Leon, along with developing a tattooed street style all of her own.
However even her greatest fans, of which I am sure there are many, must admit there is nothing obviously special about her; surely nothing that would attract the attention of global brands such as Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, for whom she has fronted advertising campaigns — except the lustre of her celebrity lineage.
‘People think I’m this talentless rich kid who’s had everything given to her, but I’m not,’ Lourdes told American Vogue magazine this month.
I hear you, Sis!
While it warms the very cockles of my heart to see this independent role model get out there in the world under her own fragrant steam, I prefer the more honest approach of someone like TV presenter and fitness expert Chloe Madeley, who admits that having famous parents — in this case the broadcasters Richard and Judy —boosted her career.
‘I was accused of nepotism,’ she said recently. ‘It was true, therefore it hurt.’
Now 24, Lourdes has certainly inherited the best of genes from her mother and father Carlos Leon, along with developing a tattooed street style all of her own
It is so rare for anyone who benefits from celebrity nepotism to actually admit their success might be due to others. It’s a touchy subject! Their egos can’t take it!
Yet one might have hoped that the kind of oily favouritism from which Lourdes Leon and her ilk so richly benefit would have little place in the post-Covid world; a world in which society might look less favourably upon the antics of the unjustly entitled who gobble up all the access and opportunity denied to others, and hopefully re-evaluates what is truly important, perhaps even bringing down the curtain on vapid celebrity endorsements once and for all.
But don’t hold your breath.
Lourdes is busy, busy, busy promoting the wares of Swarovski, a jewellery company which sells everything from £20 pineapple-shaped magnets to a £1,700 rhodium-plated necklace called the Hyperbola Choker.
There are payment plans in place for those young men and women who, unlike Lourdes, cannot afford the crystal cuffs or the stud earrings or the sparkly £900 evening bags and, really, nothing screams inclusivity like the words ‘four interest-free payments of £225’.
And judging by their announcement, Swarovski clearly think they have signed up some potential Nobel Prize winner onto their books.
‘Model, actress, linguist, academic and activist, Lourdes personifies the spirit of Swarovski,’ gushes the company, which is a hyperbola choker all of its own.
Actress? She was in one of her mum’s pop videos, but that hardly makes her Meryl Streep.
They could have added cosmetic-ologist (Lourdes launched her own make-up range when she was 14) and couturier (she designed a range of clothes a few years later).
Yet she failed to make much of an impact with either, despite them being the kind of golden chances which many far more talented young people can only dream about.
This month Lourdes is on the cover of American Vogue, even if it is no secret that she — like King Kong and Julia Roberts before her — is most famous for not shaving her armpits. ‘Yeah, come at me, Bro,’ is apparently what she says to anyone who criticises her intimate grooming choices. It’s the pits, it really is.
To me, hairy Lourdes sums up the very, very worst of celebrity nepotism — this lucrative knotweed that chokes the talent pool across all the glamour professions in particular, making it difficult for ordinary kids without connections or a famous name to stick even a crampon in the foothills of fame and fortune.
At a time when so many youngsters are struggling with pandemic-stunted lives and careers through no fault of their own, you would think that someone like Madonna’s daughter might be more tactful and discreet about her success.
But Lourdes clearly didn’t get the empathy memo, Bro.
Of course, she is not the only SAD (Sons And Daughters of famous people) to trade on her name. Look at the Jaggers. In no special order of merit we have Jade (jewellery designer), James (musician), Georgia (model), Gabriel (model) and Elizabeth (model).
For who could be more representative of inclusion and diversity than the daughter of a pop star multi-millionairess whose progress through life so far could arguably be represented by the hot knife of nepotism slicing through a pat of privilege butter over and over again
Meanwhile lacklustre photographer Brooklyn Beckham is the human embodiment of parental hope over prodigal no-talent expectation, while over in Hollywood, Destry Spielberg, daughter of director Steven, has hit back at claims she has benefited from nepotism.
‘I have literally been trying to get into the film industry for over seven years now. No matter who you are, it is hard,’ wailed Destry, who is shortly to direct a film starring Hopper Penn (son of Sean) with a script written by Owen King (son of Stephen). Elsewhere, Demi Moore appeared in a swimwear campaign with three of her daughters, while Spandau Ballet member Martin Kemp’s Marks & Spencer advertising campaign with son Roman has helped make his boy a millionaire at 28.
Bradley Walsh has been making television programmes with his son Barney, while Maya Hawke, daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, was cast in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Would they really have got there without their famous names or is each one an opportunity denied to someone else?
Next month 19-year-old Tilly Ramsay, daughter of chef Gordon, will appear as a contestant on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing after working her way up the hard way, via appearances on her dad’s television programmes.
All these showbiz liberals, these darlings of democracy who are so keen on equality, fraternity and individual rights — except when it comes to prioritising and pushing their own kids down the flume of fame.
Nepotism gets you through the door, say the SADS, but it rarely allows you to stay if you don’t prove yourself.
What they don’t understand is that getting through the door in the first place is everything. It is all that matters.
What you do on the other side is up to you, but how sad if all you can do is flog a lot of overpriced diamante brooches.
A holo gesture by Abba
Can it really be true that ABBA are to go on tour again? Only with digitalised holograms onstage instead of the real thing?
Why bother? Last year I went to see the Whitney Houston hologram tour when it had its world premiere in Sheffield.
Whitney once hoped that no matter what people took from her, they couldn’t take away her dignity. Some hope.
Due to the mawkish wonders of technology, the long dead star was dug up and reborn as an unconvincing effigy shuffling about onstage like a silvery ghost.
I’d hate to see ABBA degrade themselves in a similar manner.
Wouldn’t it be better to remember them in their glory, not as a soulless, money- spinning mirage?
Who could live without it, I ask in all honesty? I know that I can.
The death of Charlie Watts seems oddly shocking, for it always felt like The Rolling Stones would go on for ever. And even if they didn’t, then rock solid Charlie would.
He was always the most virtuous Stone, the clean-living one with the happy marriage, the folded shirts in the leather suitcases he took on tour, the impeccable suits, the well-ordered life.
It feels like a pillar of society has come crashing down — and that even the Stones might roll no more. Not so fast. We hear that the Stones will resume their tour next month as planned with a replacement drummer. The show must go on! Is that admirable — or just lucrative? You never know with Mick.
Troglodyte news. Women’s feet have spread out because they have been wearing flat shoes during the pandemic. Now thousands of us are finding it painful to squeeze our tootsies back into the tyranny of high heels — and are refusing to return to the hell of the totter.
Perhaps we should throw the shoes away and wear the shoe boxes instead? Meanwhile, Elle Seline will become the first woman to compete in the Ms Great Britain pageant without wearing make-up.
Who says we are not making strides — but backwards or forwards? It is hard to say.
Another week, and another serving of Sussex syrup…
Oh no! Not the Sussexes again. Each week I hope and pray that Meghan and Harry will somehow manage to stay out of the headlines, cleave to the shadows, enjoy the sacred privacy they claim to love so much — instead of invading it themselves with such startling regularity.
Why? Because I don’t want to keep writing about this pair of prestige-soaked, perma-peeved eco-smugs; this couple dishing it out while lapping it up in their luxury Californian mansion.
I don’t want them inside my head, bleating about climate change and poverty, while taking private jets to play polo. Still!
Or complaining about how hard done by they are; this poor pair of ragamuffins having to scratch out a living on the millions Mummy Diana left in her will.
Without that inheritance, H&M ‘wouldn’t have survived’ they claim. That is rather like saying a squid wouldn’t have survived without water, a bird couldn’t fly without the wind beneath its wings, or a Prince couldn’t bounce without a lovely trampoline of cash beneath his feet.
You mean Harry had to dip into his inheritance? Please God, no! Anything but that.
Within their fortress of privilege, Harry and Meghan have yet to scrape an acquaintance with the economics of the real world, no matter how much we all wish they would.
We also learn this week that they considered naming the royal who made the allegedly racist remark before Archie’s birth.
However, Meghan told Oprah (keep up) that revealing it would be ‘damaging to them’.
If the couple were so upset by this event — which they have turned into an international incident — why wouldn’t they stand by their principles and get the whole thing out in the open?
Instead, they chose the sneaky way, like they always do.
Theirs is the route of the unauthorised biography and the unofficial spokesman, they prefer to leave it to others to pump out their propaganda while they get to maintain a discreet silence. It’s utterly shameless.
And all of it aimed at rocking the monarchy they say they love, but seem to want to destroy.
Say a prayer for those left behind
Afghans who worked for the West fear retribution and let us hope that those who wish are given safe passage to the UK.
Yet as the situation deteriorates into unthinkable scenes, I am admiring of those who are staying behind — like Mahbooba Seraj, founder of the Afghan Women’s Network. She says she has responsibilities to hundreds of young women in her care, and no one is going to force her to leave her country.
There are other equally worried but resolute women who have little choice but to stay, including a head teacher who says she has 700 girls to take care of and that this is not the time to leave the country, it’s the time to stay.
Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
It’s infuriating that the police and the Government do so little to stop Extinction Rebellion protesters bringing London to a standstill.
Where are the vats of hot oil and the tumbrils when you need them? Not to mention the refreshing draughts of tear gas and some good old fashioned kettling. I jest!
But perhaps the more pertinent question is this — why did protester Laura Amherst feel she had to take her bra off?
The 31-year-old student danced topless near Oxford Circus this week to ‘draw attention to climate change’. Well she was certainly drawing attention to something, and it wasn’t the greater refinement of womankind. Many males who until that moment had very little interest in climate change issues hugely appreciated Laura’s efforts — while many expert bystanders seemed to be of the opinion that Laura was showing off a new boob job.
Can this be true? Can a woman with cosmetically enhanced curves really call herself a vegan eco-warrior, as Laura does? Breast implants are made of medical grade silicone which is tested on animals, is not biodegradable and takes up to 500 years to decompose, longer if left in a landfill.
Perhaps the truth is that lovely Laura has been blessed by nature and simply wants to give something back.
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