Celebrities’ kids aren't just like us, but they still participate in social media trends like everyone else. Sure they can do synchronized dances with their former pop superstar or Academy Award-winning moms, but they can't exactly partake without inviting a ton of attention—which means, for instance, that Sasha Obama can't be in a TikTok lip syncing to City Girls' JT's verse on Moneybagg Yo’s “Said Sum” remix in peace without it blowing up online.
But an ongoing TikTok trend is designed to invite the attention: Users—mostly of the Gen Z variety because they're the mayors of TikTok—post photos of their parents followed by photos of themselves, displaying evidence of genetics at work and describing the challenge as "show your parents and what they created." The videos are usually set to a slowed down version of Rihanna's "Desperado," and I can't explain why. Maybe they haven't discovered MIMS' "This Is Why I'm Hot." Naturally, celebrity kids are getting in the mix, too.
It's a cute and fun trend that allows for participants to show off adorable vintage pics of their parents, who also happened to be hot as hell. As an elder millennial, I've posted photos on Instagram of my attractive mother, who through the act of sexual intercourse with my father gave me somewhat decent cheekbones. It's only natural to want to share, and fish for some compliments, especially when you get bored of baking bread or becoming a chess master and have been wearing the same sweats for a week. When celebrity spawn partakes in this challenge, however, it shows once again how uneven the playing field is for these monumentally blessed kids.
Sami Sheen, daughter of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, went viral recently by participating in the challenge, posting a video featuring some classic shots of her mom and dad followed by extremely glamorous photos of herself. Sy'rai Iman Smith, the only daughter of legendary singer Brandy, also went viral by taking part in the challenge, and someone named Dustin Harrelson tricked me into thinking he is the son of actor Woody Harrelson in his own TikTok, which rude (but he does look a lot like Woody Harrelson).
This is not too far off from another TikTok trend: the "famous relative check," which allows people to show off their celebrity kin, proving to whoever is interested in this information that they indeed hang in the same family tree as Ariana Grande, Sandra Bullock, or Shawn Mendes. Each video is dubbed with the voice of Greta Norris, granddaughter of Chuck Norris, who kicked off the meme, and is soundtracked by "Devil Eyes" by Hippie Sabotage. While some of these TikToks may be fake, the meme gained internet legend status when a young woman claiming to be serial killer Ted Bundy's granddaughter took part. She later said it was a joke.
In many ways TikTok is a great equalizer. Anyone can go viral at any point. But as in life, having a celebrity parent certainly helps.
Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dustin Harrelson is the son of Woody Harrelson. We regret the error, and shake a fist at TikTok.