As I browse the shelves of grocery stores and look at all the different celebrity magazines, I often wonder do celebrities deserve the right to privacy? Sure, they chose to star in movies and television shows, but did they also sign up to have every moment of their personal and public life to be documented to the rest of the world?
Privacy “can be invaded through extensive or exhausting monitoring and cataloging of acts normally disconnected and anonymous. We often engage in our daily activities in public expecting to be just a face in the crowd…we run into hundreds of strangers everyday and don’t expect them to know who we are or to care about what we do” (Solove, 2007, p. 165).
How much privacy do public figures deserve?
Countless magazine covers and stories have exploited celebrities on their weddings and birth of their children. As much as celebrities complain about the news coverage of their personal lives, should we feel sorry for them for letting them not lead a normal life? When celebrities such as the Kardashians, Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson sell their wedding and baby photos to the magazines for a ridiculous amount of money, they are exploiting themselves to the press. Why should we feel sorry for them when they are knowingly letting the world into their personal lives?
“As our expectations of privacy decrease, our expectations for receiving more information—our expectations about what is public—increase. Everything becomes fair game for our voyeuristic viewing pleasure” (McNamara, 2009, p. 9). Once the celebrities have opened their lives to the public, we expect to know more about them.
McNamara makes a good point in which high-profile couples have had private weddings under private homes or venues where security is tight. Some choose to have their weddings at a “publicly accessible space” (Staeheli and Mitchell, 2008). “Celebrities can secure various public and semi-public locations such as hotels, as controlled stages for events to play out. These stages are important for the construction and exposure of the celebrity image” (McNamara, 2009, p. 20).
In conclusion, we want to feel bad for the celebrities that cannot lead a normal, private life because of the constant paparazzi, although most of them do it to themselves. These celebrities do not have to sell themselves out whenever they have a child or get married. They have enough money and fame to hire security for their personal lives. I cannot help but to not feel bad when they made the public interested in them.
McNamara, K. (2009). Publicising private lives: Celebrities, image control and the reconfiguration of public space. Social & Cultural Geography, 10(1), 9-23. doi:10.1080/14649360802553178
Solove, D. (2007). The future of reputation: Gossip, rumor, and privacy on the Internet. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Staeheli, L. & Mitchell, D. (2007). The people’s property?: Power, politics, and the public. New York: Routledge.