Seems I’m at least five years too late to this celebrity party, probably because I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to Beyonce and Jay-Z, but this popped up as “news” today and when I read it, I couldn’t quite believe it.
I had no idea it was even possible to trademark a child’s name, but it seems this couple already did it for their firstborn, Blue Ivy—who was born in 2012—earlier this year.
So now, Sir Carter and Rumi Carter seem to have a similar mark attached to them.
Leaving aside the grandiose names, which seems to be the prerogative of celebrities, I am totally bemused at how these babies have essentially been commoditised before they’re even a month old.
I’m not suggesting the couple don’t love their children dearly, but this feels really bizarre.
We speak of royal children having no privacy and not being able to lead a normal life, but I wonder how these kids will grow up. Will they be told they have a label attached to them? Will they be encouraged to pose for photos to advertise brands their parents (or management companies) have decided to set up in their name?
Is this even fair?
Of course, no celebrity child has what any regular Joe Public would consider a ‘normal’ life, but trademarking your kids’ names does seem a step too far.
There’s even an apparent risk that, by trademarking the names now, if these celebrity babies grow into free-thinking individuals who want to start their own companies using their own names, will they legally be allowed to?
Then we have the moral issue of ownership and commoditisation of human beings.
It’s one thing for an adult to use their own name as a brand – many do – but quite another for it to be decided upon by those who have parental responsibly for a child.
Sure, Jay-Z and Beyonce have given birth to these children, have parental rights and duties, and I’m sure will do the best they can. However, they do not “own” their kids. Not now, and certainly not when they reach adulthood.
Maybe this isn’t the biggest issue but something niggles me about it. What do you think?