It may seem like Julia Fox spends the majority of her time baiting the paparazzi by stepping out in truly eye-catching ensembles, but in actuality, she’s mainly focused on being a mom. The 32-year-old Uncut Gems star gave birth to her son Valentino in January of 2021—a milestone that naturally occasioned an elaborate photo shoot—and now considers him her “masterpiece.” Two years into motherhood, she’s here to teach you how to make your child into someone you’ll treasure just as much. On Monday, she posted a TikTok that was equal parts parenting advice and history lesson.
“Hey guys, I’m just coming on here to remind you that childhood—the idea of childhood, the concept of childhood—was only invented in the 18th century. Prior to that, children were just regarded as little adults,” she begins. (It’s true—at least according to historians such as Philippe Ariès and Lawrence Stone.) “That’s why, in a lot of old paintings, the children don’t look the same way that we show them today—you know with all the angelic features and all that stuff. They didn’t do that back then.” (According to a number of historians, that’s also true. Churches tended to commission portraits of children, meaning they often depicted baby Jesus—a subject heavily influenced by the concept of homunculus, which is Latin for “little man.”)
So, that’s what historians think. As for what Fox thinks? “I think that the idea of childhood was invented as a way to just get parents to spend a lot of money on shit that kids don’t—it’s not really teaching your kid anything,” she goes on to assert with a small chuckle. “You just end up kind of raising a kid that’s, like, helpless and doesn’t know what to do.” In her experience, her son is less interested in toys and more curious about what she’s up to… which seems to mainly be chores? “I suggest everyone buy their kid a little mini mop, a little mini broom, and start teaching them those life skills really young,” she continues. “So that when they enter the real world, they don’t have to outsource for everything and they know how to do things for themselves.”
Fellow mom Emily Ratajkowski jumped into the comments to endorse miniature brooms, but most took the opportunity to take the mickey out of Fox. Among the most delightfully snarky responses: “Completely agree my son has been doing electric work in our home since he was 1.5 yrs” and “my baby carried his own bags home from the hospital after I gave birth.” Say what you will about Fox, but you can’t deny that she’s a source of endless entertainment.