I am having some trouble over here on Famecrawler. God, it feels so nice to say that here. It’s a relief to write in my own voice instead of some kind of contrived Perez Hilton wannnabe snark tone that seems to be all the rage when writing about celebrities but absolutely does not feel natural to me.
I’m relatively new here to Famecrawler, starting the gig about halfway through February. I figured it would be a snap hammering out a few lines about celebrities and children. It’s a lot harder than I thought. Not only am I struggling to find the right tone but I am conflicted about posting pictures of someone else’s children without their permission.
I tried to tell myself that this is part of the fame game and what celebrities sign up for when deciding to pursue careers in the public eye. And don’t half these stars have people alert the paparazzi as to where they’re going so they can appear in this week’s Us Weekly or In Touch magazines? This is the kind of stuff I’ve been telling myself when posting slideshows like this one or this one. But as the mother of two young children I’m having a hard time justifying my decision. After expressing my frustration on my personal blog a commenter had this to say:
Saying you should know what you’re gonna get if you get famous is a bit of a cop-out, a way of not taking personal responsibility for your own moral code. The bottom line, in my opinion, is you can justify it any which way to sunday but using any of those photographs is tantamount to actively contributing to not only the problem of a creepy stalky way of life but also to the mass mind numbing of our whole culture.
The comment is spot on. I’ve been trying to justify posting pictures of someone’s kid but deep in my heart I know it’s morally wrong. I’m exploiting someone’s child for personal gain. I’m not okay with that. And all the bizarre commentary about these innocent little children? It’s insane! I mean, we’re adults, people! Adults commenting about the “fashion choices” of Kingston and Suri and the tomboy behavior of Shiloh? Yet an alarmingly high number of entertainment writers all seem to adopt that Perez-y Hilton, Us Weekly, Star snark tone because it seems to be what dominates the entertainment world. But it’s really creepy. What the hell is wrong with society, man? It’s weird, is what it is. And I can justify using the photos of celeb children all I want but the reality — the stone cold reality of it all — is that it makes me feel like a crappy person. How can I be a good parent while simultaneously posting pictures of other people’s kids? Can I be considered a responsible parent or a good mother while posting photos that those parents, in all likelihood, would rather not be taken of their children?
The answer is no.
Another compelling argument as to why posting photos of celeb kids is wrong, as fellow mom blogger Katie Granju points out in the comments below, is that not only would I be considered an irresponsible parent but I would be a hypocrite. If some internet “troll,” as they’re generally called, took photos of me with my kid in public and then started a site wherein they discussed my kid’s appearance, behavior etc. I would go absolutely stark raving nuts and be completely justified in doing so. That there is all the answer I need to stop with the photos of celeb kids. It isn’t right.
If a celebrity tweets or Facebooks a photo, that’s one thing, maybe, but using shots from agencies that sell paparazzi photos … that just doesn’t sit well with me. What about you? Is it morally acceptable to post photos of a celebrity child when you’re 90% sure their parent probably didn’t want the photo taken, doesn’t want the photo out there? And what is our bizarre fascination with celebrity children? Thirty years ago the children of celebrities were pretty much off limits. It’s only in the past twenty-ish years that things have gotten really wacky.
So yeah, this is me telling you I’m changing it up. No more slideshows of celeb children unless the celebrity posted the photos themselves. I’m going to tread very, very lightly when writing about the children of celebrities. I hope to focus more on celebrity parents and their choices and maybe train the lens on us a few times as well in an attempt to understand our fascination with the lifestyles of the rich and famous and whether their parenting choices affect how we raise our kids. And maybe some behind the scenes stuff like this post but without the kid pics.
What are your thoughts? What kind of celebrity articles do you most enjoy reading? What stuff turns you off? Are you as sick of the snark (TMZ, Perez Hilton) as I am? I’m not saying I want to pander to celebrities either (E!, PEOPLE), but I think there is an intelligent, humorous way to write about entertainment without wandering too far down either path. Do I think taking this stand on my tiny internet platform here on Babble will make a difference? In the grand scheme of things, no. But it will make a huge difference in my own life and how I feel about myself and that’s all the difference I need. Plus, one less voice yammering with the crowd is still one less voice, right?
You can also find Monica Bielanko on her personal blog, The Girl Who.