TikTok’s Fascination With Baby Names

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

The term “cult of celebrity” is nothing new. Understanding the term is key to the public’s fascination with everything celebrity — from their lifestyles to their baby’s name.

In 2021, the term celebrity has become broader. It no longer just rests on A-list actors or famous musicians. As evidenced by their inclusion in this year’s Met Gala, internet “influencers” have started to transition from prominent figures to full-blown celebrities.

Internet celebrities garner millions of followers, views, and likes. It is not unreasonable to understand why the public becomes infatuated with every detail of their life like they do with more traditional celebrities. Perhaps this is why TikTok user @emdoodlesandstuff has begun to reach a new audience with her cheeky guesses of what influencers will name their babies.

The three-minute videos produced by @emdoodlesandstuff have covered baby list names for prominent figures, like Jenna Kutcher and Colleen Ballinger. Her videos about this subject have ranged in views from sixty-seven thousand views to two million views. But why is her audience so captivated by the baby name discussion?

One could trace this interest back to the term “cult of celebrity” and its definition. According to Merriam-Webster, the cult of celebrity is defined as “the tendency of people to care too much about famous people.” New media sources, like TikTok, perpetuate the public’s idealization of these famous figures.

An article by Psychology Today suggests that the public’s obsession with all things celebrity stems from the human’s desire to be just like them. Their followers compulsively stalk headlines for updates about their lives. In the case of celebrity pregnancies, the child’s birth is an opportunity for fans to make theories about the unborn baby’s name.

Current internet culture allows for these fans to feel more involved with these celebrities' lives. In comparison to earlier decades, these celebrities are able to share more on social media. In turn, their followers learn much more details about the celebrities’ lives, driving their tendency of obsession to be that much higher.

What does this say about internet culture? Is it harmless fun? A way to escape?

The article by Psychology Today claims that it has to do with an obsession with status. People want to emulate their favorite stars who are high-status individuals. Humans desire to reach these points of status. Even more so, people want to be included in the gossip surrounding these famous individuals.

With more access to stars’ lives, it seems only natural for their fans to watch their every move.

For now, it seems like harmless fun. But will it become detrimental in the future? Only time will tell.

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Journalism student at the University of Kansas | Ghosted in America Podcast Host

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Abby Peeler

Abby Peeler

Journalism student at the University of Kansas | Ghosted in America Podcast Host

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