Celebrities Tell Magazines: "Stop Looking at My Baby Unless You Pay Me!"
I just finished reading Alec Baldwin's piece in New York Magazine in regards to his dismay over public life. After reading all about the massive cross he has to bear by being a celebrity that makes millions of dollars, I still don't feel bad for him. His new baby, on the other hand, is another story.
Celebrities and their children. This country has a lot of odd obsessions: reality television that is not based in any reality, shopping for Christmas gifts at absurd hours on national holidays, extreme skiing, doing 20 minutes of abdomen workouts in less than 10 minutes and expecting the same results and, even more than all of those things, we love celebrity children.
Our intense love of Hollywood's spawn starts early; we watch for slightly significant baby bumps, we fixate on growing bellies, we laugh over how "like us" celebs' high-calorie cravings are, we both criticize and laud post-baby bodies, we mock the weird names they call their children, and we love love love to look at pictures of their kids. We love it!
Why do we love ogling over pictures of celebrity whippersnappers? Who the hell knows, but we do and because of that fact, magazines that focus on the intimate lives of famous folk feed our addiction with highly publicized exclusive photos, daily updates on how these children's lives are better than our own and comparison pics of which baby wore it best.
But lately, our worship of the recognized rug rats has gotten a lot of heat from none other than their attention-loving parents.
"Stop taking pictures of our kids!" the famous have decried. Well, no, they actually decried to stop taking pictures of their kids when they don't want us to; when they are OK with it, that's cool and please pay them for those opportunities. So, in other words pay them or put the camera away.
A group of concerned parents including Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner recently testified in court to push forward Senate Bill 606, which may heavily fine paparazzi from taking photos of and harassing celebrity children, reports E online in an article embedded with a photo of Halle Berry's daughter.
Much of the effort to get this issue on society's radar was put in play by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd due to the continual persecution the couple received in regards to their own daughter (who I have never seen a photo of... just sayin'.)
Being the pillar of the media rag community that it is, People magazine has taken the moral high ground on this issue and decided that they will no longer publish any unauthorized photos of babies, leaving very little content for their "celebrity baby blog." In an editorial statement from the magazine's Editorial Director Jess Cagle, the magazine says:
Of course, we still run a lot of sanctioned photos - like exclusive baby pictures taken with the cooperation of celebrity parents, and photos of stars posing with their kids at events (like a red carpet) where they're expecting and willing to be photographed. But we have no interest in running kids' photos taken under duress. Of course, there may be rare exceptions based on the newsworthiness of photos. And there's always the tough balancing act we face when dealing with stars who exploit their children one day, and complain about loss of privacy the next.
Gotta love that little dig at the end of this paragraph.