There's been a lot of different responses to the news that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's 5-year-old daughter, North West, already has a 7-year-old boyfriend.
When I was 5-years-old I was still rocking a plastic proton pack and hell bent on protecting my family from ghosts to worry about the nuances of romantic relationships.
Not that kids don't have adorable head-over-heels relationships with classmates. We've all had crushes from a very young age or that special someone we loved being with at all hours of the day. We'd pull our chairs up next to them in class, run through the halls with them at school, walk back home together and get into all sorts of mischief, giggling ourselves silly as we planned our next day of adventures. It's a beautiful thing to have that innocent love where you just wanted to be with another person for no other reason than it made the both of you happy.
Which is probably why people are getting so skeeved out over these social media posts from North West's "man," Caiden Mills. This cute kid is an aspiring rapper, with parents who definitely know how to dress him. He's 7-year-old and has more swag than I, a bill-paying adult has. And judging from his Instagram account, he's got a more charmed life than most of us have. Look at him just chilling with NBA legend, Scottie Pippen.
He's also got the cash lying around to get his 5-year-old, unicorn loving girlfriend some nice gifts too: bling from Tiffany's. And while it's cute in a way that he's going and getting his "girlfriend" jewelry, people are unnerved at the fact that all of it is being broadcast on social media, and with captions that are clearly not written by a 7-year-old, but by his parents, or managers of his account.
Captions like, "Shout out to Northie, Babygirl I'll see you soon." and "Boo'd up" are making people feel uneasy online. That, coupled with the fact that he's taking photos that look like something that'd be on an adult's account, make it look like he's being forced to grow up way too fast and not enjoying his childhood.
On the other hand, there's an undeniable amount of adoration to be had at seeing just how darn cute these kids are. Kanye and Kim love to set up play dates with the little man and seem to be absolutely smitten with him.
Although there's definitely a clear reason why he's so active on social media: he's trying to get into the game from a very, very young age.
Caiden penned a song about a previous "crush" Nicki Minaj. His track "Dream about Nicki" earned him some love from the female rapper online and he even managed to meet her in real life and perform a couple of songs for her management team.
While his pics of hugging and getting kissed on the cheek by Minaj are feel good, there are still many who are skeeved out by how hard Caiden's being pushed as a child star, with some going so far as to call it "exploitation."
There was also a lot of condemnation about the way certain media outlets covered the relationship, namely the language that was used in discussing how they were "boyfriend" and "girlfriend"; that it teeter-tottered the line of being cute and stepped well into the territory of straight up creepy.
Excellent social media management and playing the publicity game is an undeniable way to make money - the Kardashians have proven to be experts at it, so why are so many people at this North West/Caiden Mills story?
I think it has to do with the fact that it's involving children, and potentially exploiting them for profit. It's pretty much a given that everyone understands when an adult is willing to "sell themselves" out and debase themselves in order to make a quick buck. Sure we hate them for it, but we still understand it because adults, often, are a lost cause.
But these are kids we're talking about.
Arguably, North West will never be out of the spotlight due to who her mother and father are, but by thrusting her, and Caiden, into the spotlight from a young age basically forces their hand into being this type of media darling, especially when they're too young to make that decision for themselves.
Once you're a public figure, you can't really take that back, and I think that's why people are so up in arms and generally creeped the heck out over this story.