Or is professional surfing a perfect meritocracy?
Those, here, who indulge in more than simply surf news are certainly aware of the “Nepo Baby” controversy exploding throughout Hollywood. Long simmering, New York magazine’s Vulture released a cover featuring children of movie stars, who have become movie stars themselves. Children with a path to fame and fortune, connections and name recognition already pioneered for them.
Like psoriasis, the label was something you were born with, and those who had it found it equally irritating. Maude Apatow (daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann) told Porter magazine the term made her “sad.” It filled Zoë Kravitz (daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet) with “deep insecurity.” Gwyneth Paltrow (daughter of Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow) commiserated about it with Hailey Bieber (daughter of Stephen Baldwin and niece of Alec) on the latter’s YouTube channel: “People are ready to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there.’” Scratching the itch could only make it worse. At 16, the model and actress Lily-Rose Depp landed her first campaign with Chanel, the same house her mother, Vanessa Paradis, worked with; the year before, she’d made her film debut alongside her father, Johnny Depp. In a November Elle profile, she brushed off suggestions that her path had been cleared for her: “It just doesn’t make any sense.” The response was swift. On TikTok, floating heads begged Depp to “shut up and stop being delusional.” Her fellow models castigated her on Instagram. “i have many nepo baby friends whom i respect,” the top model Vittoria Ceretti wrote in an Instagram Story, “but i can’t stand listening to you compare yourself to me. i was not born on a comfy sexy pillow with a view.”
And erupts from there. A full historical analysis, current cultural ramifications, what it means, where it’s going.
In the aftermath, celebrity nepo babies are lashing out. Ice Cube’s baby saying he “gets his ass up and works everyday.” Kate Moss’s sister Lottie “so sick of others blaming nepotism for their lack of wealth.”
While many fingers are being pointed, professional surfers are busily patting themselves on the back. There are currently only two males on tour from professional surfing stock (I think): Kolohe Andino and Seth Moniz. Maybe none on the female side (unless I’m missing one).
Thus the question is begged, is surfing a paradise of meritocracy where hard work and devotion are the only things that matter and will bust down any door?
Should Hollywood turn its eye toward the beach and learn valuable lessons?
Currently more questions than answers.