Are star kids and siblings judged more critically than most?
One often wonders what is it like to be related to the rich and famous. Is it as fabulous as we imagine it to be? Perhaps not. The world is not a kind place. And no matter how rich or powerful you are, it is not always easy to make a mark. Especially in the creative fields of art, writing, interior décor and fashion, a fancy surname won't take you far.
Recently, Shweta Bachchan Nanda released her book and copies didn’t exactly fly off the shelves. And before that, her fashion line and an ad for a bank alongside her father were panned on social media. Similarly, Gauri Khan’s décor brand and her fashion line with Satya Paul got more attention for her social status and than for her creative input. Another example is Salman Khan’s brother-in-law Aayush Sharma, whose debut movie Loveyatri didn’t get much love at the box office, despite its big theatrical launch.
There are many examples of people who come from already established families, but fail to leave a mark. Which makes us speculate if people are particularly harsh to famous individuals when they try to do something different?
For already famous men and women, the struggle is not of condemnation but of self-assurance, opines author Akanksha G Mittal. She says, “I believe having successful family members, puts a lot of pressure of performance, leading to the feeling of not being good enough. You always feel others are more deserving of appreciation than you. It leads to the guilt that unless you do something equally big, you are not worthy of calling yourself accomplished. Hence, you don’t speak about your success without the guilt of feeling like a fraud. This keeps most of us from trying, and most of us from re-trying.”
While Charu Singh of Zooki couldn’t agree more, she points out that when you’re from a family of successful people, you are held to higher standards and your failures are publicly highlighted. She says, “In today’s time, when social media is quite prominent, the fall may be amplified that much more. But let’s not forget that those celebrity kids also get launches and debuts on a platter. Another important fact is that despite failures, often children of famous families also get second or third chances which others may or may not get, especially in the fields of acting or politics. But there are enough examples of kids who have struck out in directions diverse from their famous parents and made a mark of their own, like Twinkle Khanna who is now a successful author. In the field of politics, there are many examples of second or third generation politicians who have not only managed to overcome adversities but perhaps also built upon the legacies of their fathers or grandfathers. From Rajasthan alone, both Vasundhara Raje and Sachin Pilot are cases in point.”
While the masses are not easy to impress, it gets more difficult for famous kids and spouses to reach the benchmark set by the celebrities in their family. Mallika Jain of Fashion Capsule remarks that the audience today is quite evolved and there is a lot of competition everywhere. She says, “When you are a celebrity, you certainly enjoy a huge following and with this, you also get to set trends and become more influential. But these days, people don’t follow everything blindly. With high status and influence, the expectations of you are multi-fold. It’s like if a Shah Rukh Khan movie fails to touch the 100-crore mark, it is declared a flop. People in high positions will always be challenged for their performance level.”
A celebrity endorsement cannot be an assurance for success, and that’s why despite powerful backing and promotions the desired result is often not achieved. Celebrity yoga trainer Mansi Gulati feels that when a famous person is pushed into an unfamiliar territory, no one can predict the result. She says, “Often brands with a celebrity endorsement forget that a gimmicky marketing strategy will not work for long because normal people want to experience a good product and service. This is where the disconnect lies because people pay less attention to the end product and give more importance to the celebrity name. This is true in most celeb-owned businesses because they forget to pay attention to what the audience really wants.”