Why we're worried about North West's future

As the firstborn child of music mogul Kanye West and reality TV icon Kim Kardashian, North "Nori" West has the entertainment world at her feet. Fame and fortune await this celebrity scion, but the path ahead isn't exactly straightforward. North celebrated her sixth birthday in 2019, and before long she'll be old enough to appreciate just what it means to grow up under the unforgiving glare of the media spotlight. Her name will be splashed across gossip magazines for years to come, and she'll have to get used to being hounded by the paparazzi every time she steps outside. Of course, there's a very simple solution to these first world problems — you keep your personal life as private as you possibly can. The trouble is, when you're being raised by the juggernaut that is Kimye, that's not really an option.

The paps and the press are just part of the problem when it comes to North West's future. Sure, they're going to make life tough for her at times, but what we're really worried about is what's going down behind closed doors. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have made some pretty out-there parenting choices since North arrived on the scene. The odd mistake is totally normal for first-time parents, but the troubling thing is, Kim and Kanye don't really seem to learn from those mistakes. Then again, are these mistakes, or just run-of-the-mill star parent moves? Here's why we're worried about North West's future.

Is North West's right to privacy really being ignored?

When North West was born in 2013, her parents initially avoided exposing her to the Kardashian media circus. Sources close to the family alleged that Kim Kardashian wasn't going to allow her daughter to appear on their hit show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but that didn't stick — North made her KUWTK debut in 2015. So what changed? "It was really prohibiting me from spending time with my friends and having my daughter grow up with my friends' kids, so I'm a lot less protective than I was," Kim told Insider (via The Daily Telegraph) in 2015.

Since then, Kim's position on Nori's privacy has slackened even further, especially when it comes to social media. When Kim posted a bath time photo of North and her little brother Saint in 2018, she caught some major heat. "Bath time shouldn't be on show on social media," one of the reality TV star's followers commented (via InStyle), while another said that it was "way wrong" to share this kind of image online.

Clearly, Kim posted this super-cute snap of her babies out of love, but according to experts, these kind of images can easily end up in the wrong hands. "It's very rare that parents are sharing maliciously, but they haven't considered the potential reach or longevity of what is happening with the information they're posting," Stacey Steinberg, a law professor at the University of Florida, told The Atlantic.

What if North West isn't into being famous for being famous?

To be fair, millions of parents around the world love showing off their offspring, so Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are not alone on this one. Social media is swamped with compromising photos of kids drooling, crying, and even potty training — babies don't get a vote. The internet knows them before they know themselves. But as the progeny of Kimye, North West's photos essentially belong to every interested person on the planet.

Kim's Instagram alone boasts over 146 million followers, as of this writing, and she used it in March 2016 to share a voice-manipulated video of her daughter saying, "I don't think you know who I is. My name is North West, and I'm about to run this [expletive] for the rest of my life."

Well, what if North doesn't want to run stuff? What if she aspires to live modestly and devote her time and energy to charity work? By the time she's old enough to make her own decisions, will she still have a choice?

North West's parents seem blissfully unaware of choking hazards

Everyone knows that kids put the most random things in their mouths, turning everyday objects into potential choking hazards. That's parenting 101, but it seems as though Kim Kardashian and Kanye West might have skipped that class. Back in 2014, Kim let North hold her huge engagement ring for an Instagram photo and the reality star was criticized as a result. "I can't help but wonder if it even occurred to her that her rock could end up in Nori's mouth," Celebrity Dirty Laundry pondered, adding, "I mean, we know this kid is all but raised by the nannies so simple things like choking hazards aren't exactly going to pop into Kimmie's head, right?"

In Kim's defense, that rock is so big that North would have probably struggled to get it inside her mouth, never mind lodged in her throat. It's a little harder to defend her over the next choking hazard scandal, however.

In 2015, Kim tweeted a picture of herself next to a sleeping North with the caption, "Reading books before bedtime!" Her followers were shocked to see that the child appeared to be wearing a pearl necklace. Experts, like Alison Edwards, a senior lecturer in midwifery at Birmingham City University, concurred. "In my opinion it probably wasn't the most sensible thing to do because that baby could have swallowed one of the beads or got herself entwined in the thread and caused her to choke," Edwards told RadarOnline.

North West's killer style comes at a price

When Kim Kardashian was accused of waxing baby North West's eyebrows in 2013, she quickly shot the rumors down. "Its pretty sick for people to insinuate that I would wax my daughters eyebrows," she tweeted. "They are thick, natural and amazing!" Accusations of photoshop usage followed, but there wasn't any proof to back up these claims, and the rumors eventually went away. Fast forward to 2018, and another hair-related controversy erupted.

The internet came after Kimye once again when pictures of North rocking straightened hair surfaced. Kim admitted she allows North to have her hair straightened twice a year as a treat, which most people deemed totally acceptable. "The Kardashians know about every beauty secret known to man, so we wouldn't think for a second that she'd allow her daughter to do something to her hair that would permanently damage it," CafeMom wrote in Kim's defense. The thing is, that twice-a-year rule wasn't strictly true.

According to Metro, North actually had her hair straightened several more times before the year was out. "North seems to have worn her hair straight for the majority of December," the tabloid claimed, providing photographic evidence. Many of us are willing to accept that straightening our hair damages it, but North is far too young to understand the true price of style. Hair straighteners can "wreak havoc on the condition of your hair if they are used too often," certified dermatologist Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips told Life.

Does Kimye cut corners when it comes to discipline?

The Kardashians don't have the best track record when it comes to family pets, but that didn't stop Kimye from getting North her very own Pomeranian in 2017. The adorably-named Sushi went to North, while the tiny dog's sister, Honey, found a home with North's cousin, Penelope Disick. The trouble was, Honey was super-well behaved, while Sushi was not. The Pomeranian's incessant barking quickly began to grate on Kim, and instead of attempting to train Sushi, she tried to pull a switcheroo. Her sister, Kourtney, noticed the dogs had been swapped almost immediately, and quickly retrieved Honey. "I mean, whatever I guess," a frustrated Kim said. "She can have her dog back and I will just have to deal with Sushi's barking forever."

With Sushi back at camp Kimye, things went from bad to worse. Before long, Kim begged for help from the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan. It didn't take long for the canine expert to come up with a list of things that Kim needed to fix. Per ET, Cesar informed the superstar that Sushi's yapping and naughty behavior stemmed from a lack of structure and boundaries. This, combined with the fact that they were letting her have free rein of the house and rewarding her when she should have been disciplined, was why Sushi was acting out. Let's hope the lax dog parents take a slightly more involved approach when it comes to raising a human.

North West may inherit delusions of grandeur

There's confidence, and then there's delusions of grandeur, and Kimye often falls into the latter category. As we all know, North's dad's got a particularly high opinion of himself. Kanye West has a long history of self-serving rants ("I am Picasso, I'm Walt Disney, I'm Steve Jobs," he declared at a Paris concert back in 2013, per NME) and we're hoping that this attitude doesn't rub off on North West too much. Growing up in the spotlight is going to be hard enough, and being self-entitled certainly won't help North navigate the myriad pitfalls of fame. Of course, it's impossible to say just how humble she'll turn out to be in adulthood, but it seems as though North is already getting a taste for attention, despite her young age. 

In 2017, she got a little excited and blew out the candles on her friend's cake before the birthday girl got the chance, prompting one unimpressed social media user to comment (via HollywoodLife), "When your parents make you think the world revolves around you." Then, in 2019 she outshone the biggest ego of them all — her dad's. Nori made a big impression at Kanye's Sunday service when she dragged one of the microphones to the front of the stage so everyone could see her sing, much to the amusement of her mother. While it's all hilarious and super-cute right now, at some point upstaging becomes less charming.

When will North West's wardrobe be scandal-free?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have always been fashion forward, but some of their sartorial choices for North West are pretty dated, according to critics. Kimye came under fire when North was seen wearing what appeared to be a waist-training corset, though Kim later clarified that it wasn't an actual corset, it was just meant to look like one. So that's okay, we guess? Maybe, maybe not, but what isn't okay (at least according to PETA) is North wearing fur. 

In 2015, the toddler attended her dad's fashion show, wearing what appeared to be a fur coat. "Kids are naturally drawn to animals and sympathetic to their plight, and there's no reason to think that North is any different," PETA's Senior Vice President Lisa Lange told Page Six. "If the fur coat that she's been dressed in is real, animals have suffered for vanity, something that we're sure neither North nor any little girl her age would support."

It wasn't just PETA who spoke out against the controversial garb, either. "[Fur] makes me physically sick, and wearing it is a very dated way of showing everyone how rich you are," TV personality Sharon Osborne told Closer magazine (via HuffPost). North has been known to raid her mom's wardrobe for the luxe outerwear, but hopefully the next time she does so in future it'll be faux fur — Kim reportedly stopped buying the real stuff in 2018 after Pamela Anderson told her enough was enough.

Is North West being spoiled?

The (alleged) fur coat that North West wore to her dad's show is apparently worth more than the average person's entire wardrobe. "Jody Wolfe and Marc Kaufman, of Kaufman Furs, identified the tot's coat as being made from crystal fox fur and estimated it to cost about $3,500 if real," Page Six reported. The coat was a gift, according to Kim's publicist, but that doesn't mean she and Kanye haven't dipped into their own pockets to deck North out in designer threads — her wardrobe was said to be worth over a million dollars before she was even 2.

"They are addicted to spoiling her," an insider told Star magazine (via Female First). "She's got tons of Givenchy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton — she even has a fur coat designed especially for her by Karl Lagerfeld that cost $20,000." At least she'll get some good use out of these top quality garments, right? Not according to one HollywoodLife insider. "Nori rarely, if ever, wears the same thing twice," the source revealed. "Kim pays top dollar for her baby's wardrobe and most of Nori's outfits are custom-made with only the best fabrics."

Is North in danger of growing up without ever really appreciating the true value of money? If so, that's not fair to her, or the people desperately trying to keep up with Kim Kardashian. "She's such a key figure in the celebrity world that people will try and emulate what she does," Birmingham City University's Alison Edwards told RadarOnline.

Did Kim and Kanye invent 'detachment' parenting?

We're familiar with the controversial philosophy of attachment parenting, but Kimye appears to be taking the opposite approach with North, regularly spending time away from her instead. In 2014, the famous couple caught public flack after it transpired that North flew parentless from New York to Los Angeles. The child was accompanied by nannies, assistants, and security guards, but that didn't stop the torrent of abuse on social media, where the Kimye baby was swiftly dubbed "Ignori" and "Norphan" (via RadarOnline).

This wasn't the first time Kim was accused of dumping North on the help. The previous year, she went on a Twitter rant when one user criticized her and Kanye for traveling to Miami without North. "Parents are allowed 2 work & support each other, maybe even have fun too," Kim tweeted (via the Mirror). It's a fair point, but now that there's even more kids in the mix, does Kimye get any quality time with North?

Turns out it's pretty difficult, especially with Kanye for a husband. "My husband needs a lot of attention, each kid needs a lot of attention, I work a lot, [and] I want to be able to give everyone just the same amount of attention," the reality star admitted on On Air With Ryan Seacrest (via Cosmopolitan). She deserves kudos for being honest about it, but it still doesn't bode well for North. At least her "super nannies" will always be there for her.

Does North West get treated like an accessory?

Numerous people have accused Kimye of treating North West like a living, breathing fashion accessory, Sharon Osborne included. "[North] isn't an accessory, she shouldn't be wearing ugly couture clothes," the TV personality told Closer magazine (via HuffPost) after the fur coat furor. Eyebrows were also raised when North sat front row for a Givenchy show when she was just a year old. Naturally, she bawled her eyes out, and can you really blame her? "Something makes us think that a toddler would rather be hanging out at a playground than in the front row of the Givenchy show at Paris Fashion Week," Yahoo! quipped.

Alison Edwards of Birmingham City University questioned Kim's motive when it came to dressing North like some kind of mini me. She told RadarOnline that you need to have a "genuine reason" for having a child. "They are more than just an accessory because a baby is a lifetime commitment," the senior lecturer in midwifery said. "A baby is going to require your help and support for the rest of her life."

Of course, it's clear that Kim and Kanye love little Nori with all their hearts, and making her look good is part of how they express that. The question is, does North enjoy dressing grown-up when her hero JoJo Siwa preaches the opposite? It's like one disgruntled social media user said after the corset-but-not-a-corset incident: "Poor girl, why don't [they] let her be a kid?"