Shameless. Absolutely shameless. And, OK, maybe a little hilarious.
The interest in Beyoncé and Jay-Z's newborn daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, cannot be understated—her baby bump debut last year caused a then all-time-high Twitter frenzy, Blue's name has been dissected, criticized, lauded and conspiracy-theorized to death. Heck, even the mayor of New York City has weighed in on Beyoncé's controversial birthing plan.
So it was only a matter of time before the braying for the first photo of baby Blue began. As it happens, the official wait promises to be a long one—a source told E! News that the new parents aren't even considering releasing (or selling) photos, but the public appetite needs to get fed somehow.
And obviously fake baby shots of mother and child are the way to satisfy it. Cue the birth of an Internet meme.
And if you thought the paparazzi were bad, just wait'll you get a load of what the public proved themselves capable of. Twitter, forums, fan pages and Photoshop programs the globe over have let their imaginations run away with them and steadily been churning out what-ifs (and oh-gods) of the superstars' baby.
Credit for the first fake shot (and winner of the most obvious and chuckle-inducing phony) goes to...well, Twitter. Who else?
Tweeter @BreakiingNews (yes, two "I"s—nothing says credible like a misspelling) floated the first fake viral shot on Dec. 29, back before Beyoncé had even given birth, and when people were still under the impression that "Tiana-May Carter" was a viable contender in the naming stakes.
The unborn child—aged up a good couple decades or so—bore an uncanny resemblance to her father. And the first viral sensation was born.
It only followed then that more would be loosed upon the ready and willing Internet, particularly after the baby had been born—with any luck, by some more seasoned Photoshop pros.
And the world wasn't disappointed.
Its origins may be unclear (though we'd bet that a little blue bird was involved somewhere down the line), but one picture far and away seemed to get the most play of all the shots so far.
Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
Despite its lack of Photoshop finessing, the crude mockup—which affixed Beyonce's head from an older, less circulated picture to the body of a woman holding a baby—gained an impressive amount of traction online…though mostly by people pointing out what a shoddy (but valiant) attempt it was. Bonus points for actually choosing a woman in a hospital setting. Nice eye for detail. Except when it came to joining the body parts together in a more fluid way.
The next, most unlikely contender to enter the ring? Brace yourselves—this entry comes from none other than amateur picture-editing enthusiast…50 Cent?!
"Yal play to much congratulations to JAYZ and Beyonce BABY #BlueIvyCarter IS GEORGOUS," he tweeted Monday, posting photos of two differently mocked-up babes…who, once again, unfortunately got a little too generous a helping of daddy's genes.
And potentially sensing that even a joking post about a fellow rapper's daughter might have been something of a no-go area, he quickly covered his tracks and distanced himself from being the originator of the 'shop job.
"I would never make a picture like that its all over my time line yal play to much I'm sure Jay is the happiest he's ever been in his life," he tweeted. "You bull sh*ting they will pay a million dollars for a picture of that baby lol trust me."
Well, not that baby. But the real one, maybe.
The final contender, which comes complete with a headless mama, gets credit for being the first fake baby to combine both the Knowles and Carter sides of the gene pool. We'll forgive the fake eyelashes and full head of hair and lapse of time that would have us believe this toddler is actually the four-day-old daughter of the music superstars.
Still, with her dad's nose and mouth and her mama's beautiful eyes, this might be the best effort yet.
Which just goes to prove…people have way too much time on their hands we can't wait to see the real baby Blue!