Jayne Dawson: Family fortunes

Now at last we know the reason why Victoria Beckham has been scowling so much of late, she was trying to distract us from spotting any extra ounces of flesh.

By exaggerating her trademark pout so much that it looked perilously similar to that of a toddler in a tantrum, Mrs B was hoping to keep our mystified eyes fixed firmly on her face.

Indeed, on photographs recently Victoria has looked more Scary Spice than Posh Spice, such was the intensity of her sultriness.

But now the secret is out, Victoria is expecting a baby in the summer and there is much speculation as to whether the Beckhams, already parents to three boys, will have a girl this time.

Victoria has made it clear in the past that she is longing for a girl and, on a charitable day, I can believe this is because it would help her feel less outnumbered in a family of males and mean there would be an occasional change from the daily round of football talk.

There are only so many times a girl can say that, yes, she does know what a football is - it's a round thing that makes millions of pounds.

On an uncharitable day I can believe that there are also only so many great handbags in the world, and a little daughter dressed in the Beckham designer line would be a much more interesting accessory than any one of them.

The Beckhams are now joining a band of wealthy celebrity parents who have the ultimate status symbol - a large family.

While the rest of us worry about how we are going to manage to afford to raise two children, these couples produce large broods of photogenic babies.

They have no worries about whether they can manage on one salary, they do not have panic attacks about university fees, or faint at the thought of nursery fees as large as a second mortgage.

Similarly, they do not need to work out, with precision timing, at just what point and for how long the mother, or occasionally the father, can afford to stay home and they don't have to fret about whether they will be able to go back to work part-time, or whether they can persuade their own mum to retire and look after the kids instead.

None of these are considerations, and so they produce lots of lovely children and go around with their brood, between film and television appearances and personal maintenance sessions, looking like they are a family eternally bathed in sunshine, always ready to drop everything and have a fun time.

The Jolie/Pitts are probably the most famous celebrity family on the planet, with their exotic gang of six children gathered together from both natural sources and various corners of the globe.

The Jamie Olivers are also busy creating a whole new tribe with their four children, and the Gordon Ramsays are matching them child for child.

Veteran rockers Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart have seven children and eight children respectively but probably no celebrity can beat actress Mia Farrow, star of Rosemary's Baby and many a Woody Allen film, who gathered 14 children, four of them biologically hers and the rest adopted.

No wonder the woman has stayed thin, because, even with a team of nan-nies, a family that large cannot be easy, and it clearly wasn't since one of Mia's adopted children went on to marry her own ex-husband Woody Allen, which is a situation just guaranteed to make Christmas gatherings difficult.

And then there is Elton John and partner David Furnish who now have a son, Zachary, courtesy of a surrogate mother.

Victoria can say that she has produced all four of her youngsters the traditional way, though there was some bemusement the day she announced that she loved giving birth since Victoria has had three Caesarean sections so far and will have to have a fourth since the alternative is out of the question after several C-sections. Indeed it was in her honour that the phrase "too posh to push" was coined.

But while we, the squeezed, hard-working middle, may only be able to enviously watch the rich breed at will while not having to worry about the difficult stuff like, in some cases, actually giving birth, we can at least be grateful to them for keeping us entertained with their baby names which are chosen to underline the marvellous uniqueness of celebrity genes.

Victoria famously named one of her children Brooklyn, reportedly after the city of his conception. Luckily, the Variety Club in Batley wasn't still a big venue in the Spice Girls' day or it could all have sounded so much less romantic.

Her younger son's name, Cruz, is actually a girl's name in its native Spain, and was greeted with consternation all round.

But others have done worse. Back in the 1960s, musician and father of four Frank Zappa named his children Moon Unit, Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen, Dweezil and Ahmet.

In the 1980s, Bob Geldof and Paula Yates went for Peaches, Fifi Trixibelle and Pixie, all of which sound a lot less cute when attached to a flawed adult rather than a perfect baby.

But good luck to the Beckhams and their fourth baby. We at least have a new name to look forward to and, on that front, anything could happen.

In a bid to be helpful, I'd like to suggest the name Priceless because it's quite pretty, but it wouldn't really be accurate because celebrities and their broods prove, if nothing else, that money actually can buy you anything.

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