I have so many thoughts on this entire thing. I just… okay. First, apparently Town & Country does a whole Modern Swans thing which reads to me like a magazine’s version of a debutante situation, and it seems grasping and weird, like Carys is being served up on a platter for mass consumption. Second, the opening paragraph of the story is odious:
Carys Zeta Douglas certainly looks the part of celebrity daughter, in a lipstick-red Réalisation Par dress, black suede ankle boots, and delicate gold jewelry. She’s all dark eyelashes and long limbs, daintily sipping English breakfast tea as she talks about where she wants to travel (Bali), her dream prom date (Timothée Chalamet), and why she prefers a bound book to an e-book (“I like to mess it up and mark it”). She mentions her ardor for Häagen-Dazs, which, judging from her attenuate frame, it’s hard to imagine she ever, ever eats.
That’s practically parody. And please note that it wasn’t enough merely to note that she’s too slender for an ice cream addiction to be believed; no, the writer had to add not one but TWO evers for emphasis. It’s gross. I’m almost stunned we didn’t get the lowdown on whether she doctored her tea with skim milk or full cream.
Overall, this feels like CZJ took one look at Kaia Gerber and thought, “We can do that,” while hiding behind the pretense that she is doing the opposite. Carys tepidly claims she isn’t into that label and wants to Do All The Work Herself:
“When I was younger I didn’t like the idea of having this name attached to me, this kind of ‘Douglas dynasty’ stuff,” she says, taking a casual sip of her tea.
“I think what bothers me the most is that people think I don’t work hard for it, that I don’t need to work hard for it. That anything I do gets handed to me. When, honestly, I feel like it’s the opposite. I feel I need to constantly prove myself to people—that I am not just my parents’ daughter.”
First, I have trouble believing that they’re shrinking delicately from the dynastic connection, when everything framing this — it is, indeed, the ENTIRE POINT of the article — is saying, “Hey look! This is the child of two Oscar-winners and the grandchild of another, and guess what, she wants to be an actress.” The headline is even, “Show Business Royalty Carys Zeta Douglas Is Ready For Her Close-Up,” and the second paragraph repeats the conceit.
But I don’t put any of that on Carys. She’s 15. I doubt she’s pulling the puppet strings, although I do suspect she’s not all that upset about her ready access to magazine covers and possibly casting agents. Nor should she be, frankly. That’s an honest blessing. It’s okay to be excited that you can skip a few rungs of the ladder. And while I understand feeling like people will side-eye how she gets her roles, again, she’s only 15, so she may not realize that reading her views on the relative hardness of her work will make many struggling actors vomit with pained laughter. The fact is that Carys WILL at least get in the door, and quickly, and that’s more than many people can do on their own. The way you parry those punches is by being good in stuff. Period. Just do the work and do it well. It’s why Tori Spelling never truly silenced the nepotism critics, but Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow largely did. (Say what you will about Kate, but How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days is watchable as hell and she’s charming in it.)
Beyond that, I am rolling my eyes at CZJ here a bit. It’s just ooky to be, essentially, raising the curtain on your mid-teens daughter and saying, “TA-DA!” If she doesn’t want to get into acting yet, as the story claims (naturally, it’s written that she is flirting with Ivy League dreams, and oh, whatever, maybe being a doctor), then why not just let her go back to living in peace for a few years until she grows into herself? Let her actually GO to an Ivy and grow and mature. Dual magazine covers will always be there for her; relative anonymity, and a chance to find herself quietly, may not. Then again, social media fame might not, either, and that may be the rush, and the rub.