October 25, 2020
I am a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado. I keep up with the latest TikTok drama, I follow the lives of movie stars and politicians closely and I shamelessly “Keep Up” with the Kardashians.
When following the lives of often-allusive celebrities, there is nothing more exciting than catching glimpses of their children. I live for Chrissy Tiegen’s instagram stories chronicling her daughter, Luna’s, stuffed animal wedding. I excitedly text my friend whenever Kanye shares a photo of his son, Saint. Even more so, watching celebrities’ children burst into the spotlight in their own right is my favorite. While I knew Miley as Hannah Montana, rather than Billy Ray’s daughter, the concept of children of stars has always been something that I’ve been aware of.
Recently, I’ve watched a new generation of these kids gain notoriety. Fascinated, I’ve watched Claudia Conway, the daughter of President Trump’s former advisor, Kellyanne Conway, shoot into the spotlight. While it’s inevitable that a notable name can easily lead to fame, the problem is this: when these kids gain unchecked influence, it’s hard to decipher what’s true and what isn’t.
Sometimes, the release of this information is harmless. Even though he’s only 10 years old, I looked on in awe as Kourtney Kardashian’s son, Mason, shared secret details of his aunt Kylie Jenner’s relationship on a livestream. Although this account was almost immediately shut down by Kourtney soon after, I felt like I had gotten an important scoop from a reliable insider. Who would know better about the lives of celebrities than the children who are witnessing them firsthand? And, furthermore, who’s better to leak it than kids who haven’t yet developed a filter?
However, my eagerness to listen to these spilled secrets grinds to a halt when they pertain to serious issues, rather than just the relationship status of a makeup mogul. This is exemplified by the recent actions of and controversies surrounding fifteen-year-old Conway, who has amassed over 1.5 million followers on TikTok after gaining attention for her outspoken criticism of Trump. I admire Conway’s ability to be able to speak out against not only her mother’s views on such a large stage, but to handle criticism with grace from all sides of the internet, as well as major news outlets.
I find it to be extremely important how Conway has been chronicling her life, especially after being diagnosed with COVID-19 after her mother was in attendance at the “superspreader” event in Washington, D.C. However, we must remember that Conway is a child. As a teenager myself, I couldn’t imagine the pressure of having the entire country looking at what you’re saying, knowing that it could seriously impact our political climate.
“[Trump] is so ridiculous. [A]pparently he is doing badly lol and they are doing what they can to stabilize him,” Conway wrote in a TikTok comment.
Because we are given such little information from the White House (which is an issue within itself), the seemingly next best source of information is a teenage girl who has an admittedly strained relationship with her mother, an adamant and prominent Trump supporter. While I’m not saying that everything Conway shares is unreliable, as students and consumers of media, it’s important that we’re aware of the biases of our sources. And while I will keep looking up to Conway as someone who is my age and is making strides to change the world, I am also aware that the information she’s sharing isn’t automatically the truth.
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