There is something weirdly intriguing and annoying addicting about celebrity gossip. Flipping through tabloids, I’ll see photos of Anne Hathaway on her way to the gym, or Amanda Seyfried toting a couple Trader Joe’s grocery bags. Maybe it’s a bizarre form of comfort knowing that famous people exercise without makeup and shop at the same places I do. Our interest in the lives of celebrities is understandable, right? What about our interest in their children’s lives?
When Kim Kardashian announced she was pregnant, when Gwyneth Paltrow named her baby Apple, when Britney Spears shaved her head in her struggle for child custody, the paparazzi was always there. Yup, celebrities have babies too, and there is a high demand for royal baby print.
It’s one thing to follow the lives of your favorite musician or actor, but it’s another to clamor for their children’s. They’re adorable and have more fashion sense than anyone you know, but it’s fundamentally messed up to treat children like they are celebrities. Because no, they didn’t ask for the fame and the attention. And yeah, it’s probably really damaging to have a kid’s photo being taken every time his or her parent is out in LA to grab lunch. Imagine yourself at six: would you really be okay with cameras all up in your business?
In 2013, Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner testified on behalf of Senate Bill 606, which established the definition of the harassment of a celebrity’s child and made it possible for paparazzi to face charges if a violation of privacy occurs. In January, actress and mom, Kristen Bell (along with her husband, Dax Shepard) started the movement and social media campaign against paparazzi who exploit and stalk children for the sake of their own monetary gain. Kristen Bell urged others to boycott the “pedorazzi”; other celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, and Amy Adams have also signed up to support this initiative and will no longer associate with media outlets that buy photos or video from paparazzo who harass celebrity families.
Kristen, who voiced her opinion to Entertainment Tonight co-host Nancy O’Dell stated, “Picture what it would be like walking down the street with your child, whether it’s trick or treating or just to school, and have 10 aggressive men taking their picture with a lens in your face, yelling, pushing other children outside of a school.”
E! Entertainment, Just Jared, and People Magazine ultimately agreed with Kristen and announced it would no longer feature photos of children without their parent’s consent. President Suzanne Kolb stated, “Here at E!, we share the concerns of all parents to protect children and are committed to heightening our efforts to ensure that we never support or encourage the targeting of children.”
Look, I know we all love little Blue Ivy and the gorgeous Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. It’s natural to ogle the rich and famous and their offspring because they tend to be the cutest little people in the world. But if you support the well being and privacy of these children, then you won’t buy any more tabloids that don’t respect their personal space. It’s really courageous that Kristen and Dax started this initiative and it’s extremely cool that entertainment sources like E! fully support it. Let’s let kids be kids.