Kristen Bell on That Time She Went All Mama Bear on a Paparazzo to Protect Her Kids

Kristen Bell smiles while appearing on an episode of ABC's 'The View'.
Image Source: ABC Television Networks

Kristen Bell just showed all of us what a force her inner mama bear can be when it comes to the safety of her two kids. The Good Place star was recently on stage at the Mom 2.0 Summit, talking to TODAY’s Natalie Morales about how vulnerability brings us all together, when she opened up about a recent run-in she had with a paparazzo.

Bell said was picking up her two daughters, 3-year-old Delta and 5-year-old Lincoln, at preschool when she noticed something kind of weird out of the corner of her eye. Across the street, she saw a parked car — with a telephoto lens sticking out of one window. Bell, who has campaigned with other celebs about keeping the paparazzi away from celebrity children, might have been livid, but she did her best not to show it in front of her kids.

“I said, ‘Kristen, you can handle this,’” Bell recalled to Morales.

And she totally did.

Bell said she shuffled her kids into the car, drove across the street, and parked it so that she blocked the paparazzo who was attempting to take photos of her kids.

And here’s where her stealth mama bear came out to play.

Bell told Morales that she got out of her car, walked right up to the paparazzo, and knocked on his window.

“Hi,” she said calmly. “My name’s Kristen. Do you realize how much you are putting my kids at risk?”

And she couldn’t be more right. If sold, the images wouldn’t have just showed the public what her kids look like, but also would have indicated where they go to school, which would open them up to a host of safety risks if seen by someone with criminal intent. What mother wouldn’t get her hackles up over that? I know I would.

“I have confidence your mom raised you better,” Bell continued, before insisting that the photographer delete the images.

And guess what? HE TOTALLY DID.

The term “mama bear” can sometimes get a bad rap, depending on how it’s thrown around. It can conjure up images of a mom wild with emotion, or thrown into an overprotective rage. But I tend think of it as something much sweeter than that. And as Bell proves, sometimes our efforts to protect our kids happen in smaller, quieter ways that are every bit as meaningful and effective.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve stood up and applauded Bell’s honest take on parenting. There was that time she told Babble how she deals with her kids’ public meltdowns, by not letting them get to her.

“If my child is acting a fool in the grocery store, the embarrassment is on her,” Bell shared. “In truth, that shouldn’t make me feel a certain way.”

She’s also shared some of her favorite parenting hacks — including the “hands on the circle” game for keeping her kids safe when they’re out in public. According to an Instagram post the star shared last year, she tells her kids to put their “hands on the circle” (AKA the gas cap) whenever she’s unloading something from the car, in order to keep them close by.

One thing’s for sure: Bell is my new mom shero — in more ways than one.

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