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Who are these parents who take advantage of their child's success to build a career?

After the “nepo babies”, let’s make way for the “nepo parents”. In this case, the roles are reversed: they are no longer the children who benefit from the support of their parents, but rather the latter who take advantage of the success of their descendants. After the appearance of the term “nepo baby” in the New York Magazine in December 2022, it is the turn of the term “nepo parent” to be born in the Dallas Observer last August. The phenomenon has existed for a long time and Kris Jenner, mother and manager of Kim Kardashian, is a good example. More widespread in the United States where the celebrity of young children is less taboo, “nepo parents” also exist in France where parents seek to make a career thanks to the success of their children.

Parents of singer in search of light

Journeys like that of Jean-Pierre Armanet, Juliette Armanet’s father, correspond perfectly to the definition of “nepo parent”. At the age of 73, he unveiled his very first piano album entitled “Nuages” after being noticed on stage during a performance with his daughter at the 1001 Notes Festival. A former bookseller, documentarian and professor of literature, he seized the opportunity offered by the festival director, Albin de la Tour, to create this album. By collaborating with his daughter on “The Stranger” and “Save my life”, Jean-Pierre is taking advantage of the visibility offered by the notoriety of his daughter, who said she was “extremely moved” by the project released last January. “She helped me gain self-confidence, I owe it to her for having matured my own work,” admits the father on BFMTV.

This story recalls the journey of Joe Jackson, father of Michael and Janet Jackson, a true pioneer in the concept of the “nepo parent”. A locally renowned musician, he aspired to fame and thus created the Jackson Five with his sons. Success came quickly for Michael Jackson, who became one of the biggest record sellers of all time. A family success which delighted the singer, who benefited from the success of his son even after his death. Author of violence, Joe continued his affairs even after being denounced by Michael Jackson, in tears on the set ofOprah Winfrey in 1993. “I already hit him with a stick or a belt…” Joe himself confessed on CNN in 2013. Despite these acts of mistreatment, Joe Jackson found some success, to the point of being honored in the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2011 before passing away in 2018.

A tragic story, certainly, but which does not represent all the “nepo parents” who are not necessarily in search of visibility, as evidenced by the case of Amina Fruhauf, the mother of Bilal Hassani, who became famous in spite of herself. As the agent of her son, who excelled at Eurovision in 2019, Amina faced cyberbullying aimed at her son's appearance and sexual orientation.

She quickly found herself in the spotlight for publicly supporting her son, who is gay and genderfluid. Amina decided to share her experience in a testimony entitled “Being a mother – Taha, Bilal and me” (Ed. Michel Lafon). Presented as a model of open-mindedness in some media she reused the visibility brought by her son's celebrity to promote a feminist and LGBTQI+ friendly message.

Parents making their own cinema?

The phenomenon is not reserved for parents of singers; it permeates the entire cultural environment, affecting both cinema and influence, as demonstrated by George DiCaprio, the father of Leonardo DiCaprio. Writer and editor, he also benefited from his son's career. In 2021, far from the pages of books, it was on cinema screens that the father of the famous “Titanic” star made his debut, appearing in “Licorice Pizza” by Paul Thomas Anderson. A more concrete example is that of Karim Mahfouf, the father of the content creator Léna Situationswho also benefited from her daughter's visibility.

With around ten million subscribers and several pop-ups to her credit, Léna Mahfouf has highlighted the work of her designer father. In 2021, he even published a comic strip called “Daddy Situations” about his daughter’s profession. This collaboration was a springboard for the father, who was able to take advantage of his daughter's visibility, in particular by selling her comic strip in his pop-up stores. It was a way of highlighting the work of the father of “Situation” in the hope of matching the success of Léna, who sold more than 250,000 copies of her autobiography “Always more”.

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Written by ezzeddif

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