Should the Private Lives of Celebrities be Kept Private?

If you want to be famous, you can say goodbye to your privacy!

In a 2014 Hollywood interview, Jennifer Lawrence said; I knew the paparazzi were going to be a reality in my life. But I didn’t know that I would feel anxiety every time I open my front door, or that being chased by 10 men you don’t know, or being surrounded, feels invasive and makes me feel scared every day.

A 2016 interview with Marie Claire, reported on a conversation Emma Watson had with actor Forest Whitaker at her HeForShe Arts Week in New York, where the actress opened up about one particularly horrific incident, on her 18thbirthday, where photographers pursued her to take pictures up her skirt. She said, I remember on my 18th birthday I came out of my birthday party and photographers laid down on the pavement and took photographs up my skirt, which were then published on the front of the English tabloid next morning. If they had published the photographs 24 hours earlier, they would have been illegal.”

These are just two instances where the paparazzi has disgustingly invaded celebrities’ right to privacy and has harassed them in a traumatising way. Although these are two extremes, this has prompted me into thinking whether fame guarantees that celebrities will have their privacy stripped away. 

The question of celebrities’ private lives have been brought up numerous times; do they have a right to have a private life or is the paparazzi something they sign up for? By choosing a career in the spotlight, celebrities have their full lives put on display, from who they are dating to where they are living –  everyone wants to know. 

Revealing personal details is important for branding. For example, Gwenyth Paltrow, who is a famous actress, revealed details about her life, such as her diet and exercise regimen and her parenting techniques. She benefited from the public interest about her life to further her lifestyle brand. 

Furthermore, celebrities such as the Kardashians have made a fortune from sharing private details of their lives to a public audience. Arguably, when one becomes famous due to platforms like reality shows and social media, they cannot suddenly expect their lives to be kept private when they make a name from sharing those aspects. 

Whilst many of us tend to share information online, such as through our instagram or snapchat stories, celebrities can have it to a new extreme, from fans stalking them through the streets or attempting to break into their houses. Furthermore, they can be cornered on streets and bombarded with sensitive questions when they clearly are not in the right mind or place to answer these questions. 

Nevertheless, there have been numerous cases where innocent fans have seen a celebrity in the city or out for a walk and attempted to politely ask for a photograph or autograph, only to be rudely shut down. The question is, should celebrities be expected to take photos or give autographs to their fans when they are out, or is this a time where they should not be disturbed. Do they have the right to rudely shut down fans, or are the fans in the wrong by asking them for an autograph in the first place?

To a certain extent, fame does not entail loss of privacy, as it is a basic human right to be entitled to your ronw time and keep your life out of the public eye. It is not everyone’s business to know every aspect of someone else’s life, especially when it is something that they do not want to share. In certain instances, celebrities may be going through a personal struggle or issue in their personal life that they don’t want the public to know about. However, this is not accepted by some fans who push and push and use other methods to find out what is going on in that celebrity’s life. 

Many celebrities feel the need to share their lives on social media in order to maintain their status in the world. However, this is not necessary as there are countless examples of celebrities who are famous and have managed to keep their private life out of the public eye. For example, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are two famous actors who everyone seems to know about, however they manage to keep their personal life private, such as protecting their children’s privacy. Furthermore, many famous couples chose to keep their relationship status private in order to enjoy the relationship without being under the watchful and judgmental eye of the public. 

Ultimately, the question comes down to the extent of which celebrities should keep their lives private and the boundaries between fans and celebrities.