Malia Obama got her first job.
She was a production assistant for one day on the set of Steven Spielberg’s new TV series called Extant starring Halle Berry.
My first job was at a Presbyterian church’s summer camp, dealing with snot-nosed 6 and 7 year olds. But my parents weren’t the President and the First Lady of the United States. If they were, you better believe I’d be working as a professional side-eye giver at the Oprah Winfrey show. MAKE THAT CALL, IMPORTANT MOM!
I am not mad at the fact that Malia’s first gig is way doper than most of ours, but some people are crying “nepotism” and criticizing the way she probably got the job. I’m here to say a hearty “AND SO WHAT?!”
HELL YEAH, NEPOTISM (aka family hookups)! I am here for it, especially in this instance.
Why shouldn’t POTUS and FLOTUS help their daughter get a cool job? Surely we don’t think Malia’s going to have that last name and still have to apply for stuff via LinkedIn like the rest of us regular people whose parents don’t rule the free world, right?
Let’s talk about how white folks have been prospering for centuries off of family hookups You want to be upset at nepotism getting people into positions they might not have, then you better be pissed at the legacies of powerful families like the Kennedys and Bushes. You’re mad at Malia getting some one-day gig, but you’re not that upset at someone handing their brother a governorship or senator seat or whole companies. Ralph Lauren’s granddaughter is one of the faces of his brand as a model, Chelsea Clinton is running her family’s foundation (and getting paid $600,000 by MSNBC), and Jenna Bush Hager has no formal journalism training but has a job on the Today Show.
The 1% is mostly full of old money because they kept the connections going. We need to stop thinking having to struggle does us any favors.
It is time that we start elevating our children and placing them in positions that make excellence easier to achieve. It is not about handing our kids life on a silver platter and spoiling them. We can still teach them the value of hard work while making their paths easier than ours was. What is the point of me working to the bone if my kids have to start at the point I did? Part of the reason I work so hard is so that my inheritance to my coming kinfolk is a life that isn’t so full of bumps in the road.
There’s nothing sexy or fun about this working twice as hard to get half as far life. Does it teach you hard lessons that are really important? Yes. Does it make you an incredibly hard worker walking around with an invisible “persistence” boy and girls scout badge? Absolutely. But it also makes you tired.
Hookups make the world go round. Who you know is often more important with how talented you are. You could be the best singer this side of the Equator, but if you don’t know someone who knows a music executive, you might end up singing tunes in the subway for years.
Many of us got internships and jobs that weren’t even COOL because someone we know placed a phone call to give an extra bump to our applications. If my children want to write and I think they are good at it, don’t think I won’t place a call to some of my editor friends. I don’t care if Malia gets a job as a White House PR assistant to the Executive Assistant. It is time we use our connects to put our people in places they might not otherwise be in.
Let me repeat: it is not about spoiling our children, but it is about lifting them up. The Obama girls seem like really well-adjusted and grounded children. In interviews, their parents even say they make it a point to make sure they don’t become brats and that they have chores. I think they will be productive members of society, even with their extra powerful parents. I am not worried.
Nepotism is a tale as old as time, and it should not just be for people who are melanin-deficient or incredibly wealthy to take advantage of.
Go forth and prosper, Malia Obama. And let that last name work for you.
Luvvie is a serial ranter and blogger who talks pop culture at Awesomely Luvvie, technology at Awesomely Techie and is the head behind DumbestTweets.com. She can also be found on Twitter (@Luvvie), Facebook and Instagram.