Let’s walk a hypothetical mile in the beautiful Italian flats of the rich and famous: Imagine, if you will, that you take your kids out to grab ice cream, to ballet class, or to a Saturday morning soccer game. All of a sudden a throng of grown men start to aggressively scream your child’s name. They invade their personal space. They thrust cameras with powerful flashes in their faces. Your kids? They’re freaked. Then, within hours, photos are distributed to online celebrity news sources around the globe, who post them online or print them in magazines so that complete strangers can form opinions about your children, whose only newsworthy merit is the DNA they share with you.
Sounds pretty awful, to tell you the truth.
Before we start the “first world problems” eye-roll, let’s admit for a second that the plight of a celebrity child is not an easy fate to inherit. And some star parents like Dax Shepard of Parenthood fame— are joining stars like Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry to fight for the privacy rights of their kids. And you know who they need to support them? You and me. Dax Shepard says that it is up to us to make sure these kids aren’t stalked and used for tabloid fodder.
In his hilarious, yet poignant, essay for Huffington Post, “Why Our Children Should Be Off Limits to the Paparazzi,” Dax Shepard points out that although there are big names from both the entertainment and political worlds campaigning to get legislation approved to make it illegal to prey on celebrity children (California Senate Bill 606), the only way it will probably change is if we the public stop wanting these photos. “The consumer is the only one who can put an end to this,” Dax Shepard writes. “They are the only ones with real power.” Yes, that’s right. Dax, Halle, and Jen need our help.
But this is easier said than done because some people, present company included, are conflicted about this subject. As a parent we sometimes love those “they ARE just like us” moments when we see a celebrity parent with their kid. It humanizes them and makes our lives feel equal in some way. We also like to see what cute dress Suri Cruise is wearing, how much Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox look like Brad Pitt, and if North West resembles Kim Kardashian or if she looks more her daddy, Kanye West. It’s hard to turn away, to not ooh and ahh over celebrity kids. They may be better dressed and have more notable pedigrees, but they are still kids and kids are ADORABLE. Who doesn’t want to look at cute kids? But here’s the thing, these kids — as Dax says “did not sign up for this.”
“I personally believe, and I understand a lot of people differ on this point, that protecting her includes keeping her life private until the moment she decides otherwise,” Dax Shepard wrote. “I think she is entitled to that. I think every minor is entitled to that. My wife and I, ever the approval-junkies, made a decision to get into show business and become public figures, but she has not. She hasn’t even decided if she prefers pureed carrots to peanut butter.”
These kids were born into the fanfare and hype that surround their parents, and they have no choice in the matter. Unfortunately though, until laws protect them, I doubt we are ready to stop looking at their photos. We feel like we know them, even though we don’t. In all honesty, if we actually did know these kids and saw the torment the paparazzi inflicts on them, we probably would look at the pictures in a completely different way.
Photo Source: PacificCoastNews.com