Earlier this week, Blake Lively revealed on her 35.7 million strong Instagram account that she and husband Ryan Reynolds are expecting their fourth child, with a beautiful carousel of pictures showing the actress lounging by the pool, hanging out with friends and family hugs and proudly bares her bump. However, the incredibly joyful event was marred somewhat by the men lurking outside Lively’s apartment, waving cameras while they waited backstage for the first paparazzi shot.
After stepping out in a gold sequin dress for the 10th annual Forbes Power Women’s Summit last week, Lively’s bump was quickly noticed and the dads made their way to her place of residence — en masse and uninvited. To prevent her ability to take away her power to announce her pregnancy, Lively took to social media to call attention to the reality of the situation.
“Here are photos of me pregnant in real life so the 11 boys are waiting outside my house for one [unicorn] sighting will leave me alone,” Lively wrote. “You freak me and my kids out.” She went on to thank those who have shown love and respect and addressed her praise to those who continue to unfollow accounts and posts that share photos of children.
“You have all power against them. And thanks to the media who have a no kids policy. You all make the difference,” she concluded. While she’s deservedly credited for stealing her shovel, it all feels so incredibly bizarre. If we haven’t done so before, now is definitely the time to reevaluate our claim to the private information of the rich and famous.
minors in the media
Blake Lively and her husband Ryan Reynolds have long taken a stand against paparazzi photographing children without permission. Last year, the actress exclaimed in the comments section of “fraudulent” reporting of dads “preying on children.” Daily Mail Australia.
Lively accused the media of co-editing photos to make it appear like she was keen on posing for the camera, but “the real story is, my kids have been stalked by a man all day. jump out. And then hidden. A stranger on the street struck up a conversation with them because it was so upsetting for them to see,” she wrote. “When I tried to calmly approach the photographer you hired to take these pictures to speak to him, he ran off. And jump out again on the next block.”
She questioned whether background checks were carried out on photographers, questioned the morality of the practice and branded the whole experience “fucking scary”. Lively understood that the outlet met the demand and urged the audience to clarify that “photos of children received by men who scare and stalk them” are not what they want to see when they’re online scroll.
Gigi Hadid is among many other celebrity moms who have spoken out against paparazzi photographing their children. The model made an impassioned plea to her online following, taking to paparazzi, press and fan accounts as she demanded that her privacy be rightfully respected.
The letter begins with the words: “As our baby grows, we must realize that we cannot protect him from everything as we wanted and could when he was little. She loves to see the world! And although she gets a lot of it close to the farm, she gets to know other places too – a real blessing.”
“I am writing all this to say: To the paparazzi, press and beloved fan accounts, you know that we have never intentionally shared our daughters face on social media. Our wish is that she can choose how she wants to share with the world when she grows up and have as normal a childhood as possible without worrying about a public image that she didn’t choose.
“It would mean the world to us taking our daughter to see and explore NYC and the world if you would PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE blur her face out of the pictures if and when she is caught on camera.”
From George Clooney’s open letter to the Daily mail Asking not to post photos of his children because his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, fights terrorist groups and therefore disseminating pictures of her children would effectively endanger their lives, forcing Jennifer Garner to remind the media that It’s children are private, parents have been voicing their grievances to paparazzi for years – but it seems like they’re shouting into the void.
Why is it so hard for publications to respect that I want my child’s identity to remain secret for security reasons? Please respect that.
— Ashton Kutscher (@aplusk) May 19, 2015
Let’s call a spade a spade here – paparazzi standing guard outside your house and waiting until you finally have to leave so they can take their picture is nothing short of surveillance. This somewhat dystopian fascination and parasocial relationship we have with the rich and famous is something we need to check back on regularly.
All too often, people write off these incidents as sheer deserts for living in the media glare — but when you do put yourself in the public eye, don’t put yourself and your family in the line of fire. We must keep reminding ourselves that a familiar face is not a known story and we are not privy to every detail of their personal lives.