Urgggh. Sometimes the jokes land just right at the VMAs and the audience dies (in a good way). Sometimes, the VMA jokes do the dying — they fall from the host’s mouth, drop to the stage and writhe horribly while everyone stares.
Host Katy Perry’s fake baby skit at the 2017 VMAs yesterday fell into the latter category. Perry — holding a scarily fake baby in a front carrier — said, “My management told me I should have a fake baby to increase the publicity and have more followers… This is Bella, sponsored by Fit Tea.”
Oof. Ellen DeGeneres’ face pretty much sums up the entire audience’s reaction, we think (as documented by one Twitter user):
— Melissa Nelson (@MellNelson) August 28, 2017
The fake-baby skit, thank God, was wrapped up quickly by DJ Khaled, who entered with his crazy-cute (and very real) son, Asahd, on his hip.
DJ Khaled is one seriously proud papa, and if you didn’t know, baby Asahd is with him nearly all the time. (DJ Khaled doesn’t even seem to mind that Asahd has a knack for stealing the show.)
Perry’s fake baby joke may have bombed, but we didn’t miss the point. It’s true that kids have become accessories on social media, as fashionable as a Prada clutch or a fab new coupe.
We love us some Baby Asahd, we ain’t gonna lie. But even Baby Asahd’s got his own Instagram account, where his parents post shots of him with, say, his brand new Gucci wardrobe.
It’s not just celebs, either, who are flaunting their babies online.
According to Today, a whopping 40 percent of millennial mothers made social media accounts in their kids’ names before their children even hit the age of 1.
Why? Well, like many of us, the moms reported that they just wanted an easy way to keep family and friends updated on their kids and the ridiculously cute things they do, like smearing butter in their hair or eating out of the dog bowl.
And the fact is, kittens, puppies and babies rake in the followers in a big way. Some babies get so popular online, their parents become “social media influencers” (we shudder at the term) who make money off the “brand” that is their child.
Many of us are guilty of oversharing our kids’ antics online — and though the Perry joke bombed, it still gives us pause when it comes to what we share in the future. We’re not so sure how we feel any more about our own popularity spiking at the expense of our children’s privacy.