LOS ANGELES—With more and more celebrities sprouting exact genetic copies of themselves through a process of cellular division, the hot new trend of asexual budding has rapidly become the most popular method of reproduction in baby-crazed Tinseltown, sources said Thursday.
In recent weeks, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Aniston, and Justin Timberlake have all been seen in public with a protruding outgrowth of cells that, upon becoming mature, will reportedly detach from each A-lister’s body and become a separate individual biologically identical to its parent.
“The hottest thing to be spotted with in L.A. right now is a pulsating, membranous sac containing your own budding offspring,” said Hollywood trend spotter Rachel Florio-Urso, noting that stars such as Kerry Washington, January Jones, and Shakira have fearlessly donned tight dresses that show off the incubating nodes bulging beneath the skin of their backs, arms, or necks. “It’s how all the top celebs are procreating these days.”
“And it’s not just for the ladies, either,” she added. “Jared Leto, Channing Tatum, and Robert Pattinson have also been seen sporting buds recently.”
In addition, Florio-Urso said, Daniel Craig was spotted last week at a cozy trattoria in West Hollywood with a miniaturized clone of himself presumed to be his budded progeny.
While Angelina Jolie is rumored to have grown a daughter by asexual budding as far back as 2006, sources in the know said duplicating oneself by spontaneously generating a pod of one’s own cells didn’t really take off until recently, with the current award season marking the first time members of the Hollywood elite have openly flaunted their buds on the red carpet.
“When a bud ripped itself out of a mucus-covered node on Leonardo DiCaprio’s chest right there at the Golden Globes, and a tiny nude, shivering replica of Leo started scampering around the Beverly Hilton, boom, that was it: instant gotta-have-it trend,” entertainment news editor Bonnie Fuller said. “His bump had been the subject of tabloid speculation for weeks, and when it turned translucent and burst right there on Ryan Seacrest’s shoes, everyone’s question was answered.”
“Was he the first star to reproduce without the fusion of gametes?” she continued. “No, but still, Leo was huge.”
Fuller went on to speculate that displaying the scar tissue that forms once a bud falls off may soon become popular too: She said to “forget Birkin bags and Louboutins” and “start looking for the pocked, dented area where fibrous tissue has replaced the cells on a celebrity’s shoulder or cheekbone.”
With high-profile buddings now dominating the coverage of talk shows and celebrity magazines, reports confirmed the trend of asexual reproduction has started spreading far beyond Hollywood.
“As soon as I saw that Amy Adams was budding, I wanted to bud too,” said Maryland resident Erica Katz, who since last month has sprouted three polyps that will soon generate three independent beings that share her exact DNA. “She’s such a class act, and I’ve always admired her style.”
Some critics have expressed worry over the trend, however. Noting that Jake Gyllenhaal currently has five blossoming nodes lining his torso, many have asked what will happen when each of those five buds detaches and grows five buds of its own. According to estimates, this exponential replication of buds from other buds could result in more than 14,000 Jake Gyllenhaals coming into existence by 2016.
But Hollywood insiders have claimed these concerns are overblown, arguing that budding won’t be around any longer than sporogenesis, the fad of releasing a unicellular body from open-capped puffballs or spore-bearing gills that stars like Drew Barrymore, Chris O’Donnell, and Gwen Stefani glamorized in the 1990s.