Beyoncé did it. #TeamBreezy is doing it. Many before have done it. What is it? Well, a documentary that lets us regular folk in on their “real” life, in the raw. Now, some would argue that these documentaries are merely promotional bits and pieces to show the artists hard work and discipline and sprinkle in moments of “celebrities are just like us” to get you to become an instant fan, while others will argue it’s their way of telling the truth behind it all.
But the truth is, these documentaries are not necessarily enough for people watching this fame and fortune from the outside. People want more, and they want it more personal than ever. That’s where (I guess) the paparazzi come in.
Recently, Evan Rachel Wood went all “I am Mama bear, hear me roar” on Twitter when it came to her attention that a paparazzo went onto the roof of her hospital and photographed a very intimate shot of her holding her ultrasound photo as she was leaving her appointment. Of course it was posted. And, of course, it went viral and instantly the argument began: “Well, she’s a celebrity. That’s part of the job.”
A friend at HelloGiggles made a great point: “If she didn’t have it in her hand, it would’ve looked like any of those ‘celebs running errands’ photos. But it’s definitely interesting because this felt like an invasion of privacy.” Which brings me to discuss a documentary I just recently saw called $ellebrity (get it? “sell, sell, sell!”). In this, you will see obsession, compulsion and a total lack of privacy at a click of a paparazzi or regular fan’s button. Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston and Sheryl Crow are some of the many interviewed on the idea of celebrity photographers and the lack of ethics involved on their end solely based on the argument, “Well, you’re famous. It’s part of the job.” But, truthfully, it isn’t. Right?
A celebrity working the red carpet is working. A celebrity getting coffee in week-old pajamas is living their life. But, for some reason there is money to be made in the avenue of a crappy looking celebrity walking around in their neighborhood on their down time. It wasn’t like this before. Before celebrity starlets in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s had class, style and mystery. But in the mid ’80s, magazines began to surface, like The National Enquirer, to show the world the absurd obsessions of lies people are willing to endure for a little entertainment value. And there spawned the many thousands of other publications dedicated to (for lack of a better term) invasive/crap reporting for a buck.
An incredible line from the documentary is: “Anyone can get a camera. There is no way they are a journalist.” And, I have to agree. Anyone from, my 10-year-old niece to a man climbing over J.Lo’s wall to get a intimate shot of her laying out by the pool on her own property, can claim this is their job as a “journalist.” But, the abuse of the term “journalist” won’t end so long as it’s being fed to the masses the way it is, and working. “We build someone up in order to tear them down.” And, that couldn’t be more true when laid out in this doc. Think of all the times you have seen comments on YouTube videos posted anonymously that are degrading and mean, for no reason other than the fact that person that put up the video ‘asked for it” by posting it to the internet. Man, what an insane culture we are apart of nowadays.
Truth be told, fame comes with a price, but those celebrities fighting back in court or moving out of LA to live normal lives are on the right path. But Lord help us all when the rest of America gets paparazzi in their town.
No one is safe. Fact.
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