'Nepo Baby' Is Trending Everywhere, but What Does It Mean?

Find out why Gen Z is using this term and what it actually means.

In Generation Zoomer fashion (yes, that is the official name of the generation) we have another trending term that has quickly been shortened into slang: "nepo baby."

The hashtag #nepobaby has already attracted over 38 million views across the most popular social media sites.

But what exactly is the meaning of "nepo baby"? And why do so many in the younger generations care?

What does "nepo baby" mean?

When you hear someone use this term, they're shortening the word "nepotism." After all, "nepotism baby" has also been used online, but recently, it is being coined as "nepo baby."

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Related: Gwyneth Paltrow Explains Why She Thinks Celebrity Kids Have to Work 'Twice As Hard'

What does "nepotism" mean?

According to Dictionary.com, nepotism is "patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics," giving as an example: "She was accused of nepotism when she made her nephew an officer of the firm."

So what is nepotism? The basic concept of nepotism is privilege gaining privilege. 

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Just as there are wealthy and powerful families throughout history who have used their privilege to their offspring’s advantage, it is no different on the Hollywood scene.

Many celebrity children are making a name for themselves in the industry, following in their parent’s footsteps by modeling, singing and/or acting. The very opportunities granted to these kids, based on the favoring of their parents, is nepotism.

And the younger Gen Z, who are fundamentally activists in equality, are taking notice and calling "BS" on their seemingly easy rise to success.

Related: Social Media Responds to Gwyneth Paltrow's Controversial Comments on Celebrity Kids

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Celebrity nepo babies

Shorten nepotism baby down Gen Z style, and you have the rather animus term of endearment, "nepo baby."

It comes as no surprise that social media has taken hold of the term "nepo baby," and has expressed both obsession and loathing, after learning that their favorite stars (young and old) are the children of Hollywood starlets.

  • Kate Hudson is the daughter of Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn, and the renowned actor and musician Bill Hudson. As a bonus, her stepfather is none other than Kurt Russell.

  • Euphoria actress Maude Apatow is the daughter of director Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann

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Not all up-and-comers are receptive to being labeled a "nepo baby" as it's being popularized on social media platforms, however.

Lily-Rose Depp, the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, is trying to define her career on her own terms.

The 23-year-old model recently spoke out in an ELLE piece, “I just hear it a lot more about women, and I don’t think that it’s a coincidence.” 

She goes on to say, "It’s weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they’re only there because it’s a generational thing.”

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Willow Smith gave her unique thoughts on the term as well. “I don’t focus on how other people feel about me,” she said in response. “If you love me, amazing. If you hate me, fantastic. That’s none of my business... anyone can feel how they feel, and I don’t mind.”

Those are some very poignant words from such a young person. It's refreshing to hear a younger person being so self-aware, pushing aside the negativity, because this generation that is so keen on creating equality, sure is keen on labeling people too.

Next up, Pierce Brosnan's Sons Get Candid About Benefitting From Nepotism