For the children of celebrities, the spotlight can burn

Children who can’t consent should be off limits to paparazzi

More stories from Stephanie Smith


Photo by submitted

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively debut their children for the first time at Reynold’s Hollywood Walk Of Fame ceremony in December of 2016.

Blue Ivy Carter, North West, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and James Reynolds are just a few of those children who were born into outrageous wealth and placed in the spotlight as soon as they left the womb—whether they want it or not.

With the convergence of modern celebrity and technology, the littlest stars, who are famous only by proxy, are being picked apart by haters, spied on by the paparazzi and having their daily lives intruded upon constantly.

It is unfair for any child to be photographed and bombarded without his or her own consent or their parents’, for that matter.

Any sane person would see that taking pictures of their neighbor’s baby through their window without them knowing, for an example, is downright wrong and stalker-like. However, society tends to forget that celebrities and their children face this issue on a day-to-day basis.

Exposing the private lives of children is still wrong, even if they are famous.

These children are too young to be aware of what is actually happening, and the world often picks them apart piece by piece before they are able to figure out who they are as an individual.

The Internet, as a prime example, can’t stop talking about the recent announcement of Beyoncé’s pregnancy and the fact that she is having twins. Beyoncé herself revealed her pregnancy to the public, and while these these babies are not even born yet, they are already recieving a ridiculous amount of attention.

The viral photo that Beyoncé used as her pregnancy announcement is even being turned into a five-story mural in Australia thanks to street artist Lushsux.

It is ultimately the decision of the parents whether they want to expose their children to the world, and many celebrity parents try to hide their kids from the paparazzi.

In September 2013, Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner supported a California bill signed into law that aimed to keep paparazzi away from the children of celebrities.

The penalties for harassment increased from $1,000 to  a maximum of $10,000 and up to one year in jail. Harassment includes conduct that “seriously alarms, annoys, torments or terrorizes” the child and can include recording a child’s image or voice without express consent.

Although the bill was passed, there are still issues of child invasion coming from the paparazzi. Because of this, actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively had chosen to go the route of hiding their first child from the public for as long as they could.

It wasn’t until December 2016 that Reynolds and Lively debuted their family to the public at Reynold’s Hollywood Walk Of Fame ceremony.

The couple revealed their 2-year-old daughter, James, and their newborn daughter, whose name they’ve yet to disclose. And as hungry as the public is for gossip, that’s just too bad.

Nobody is owed any information about those children, no matter what their parents do for a living, which is exactly why it’s so great that Reynolds and Lively waited to “debut” their children.

I like that the Reynolds family try to keep their family life as private as possible. It is already such a shock for their children to be born into fame when they have no control over it, so of course they should try to normalize their children’s lives as much as they possibly can.

“I didn’t want to be the first guy screaming it out to the media. Because as we know, little girls turn into teenage girls and little teenage girls sometimes scan through the archives and go, ‘Why did you do that?’” Reynolds said to Today’s Willie Geist.

While Reynolds and Lively tacitly agreed to be stalked by paparazzi when they became actors (and really, that’s up for debate), James and her sister are not actors. They’re not extensions of their parents; they’re private citizens who deserve as normal a childhood as they can manage.

Movie stars have long complained that photographers invade their privacy, but it’s always open season on celebrities in Hollywood. Ambushing the children of the rich and famous is another matter, and it needs to stop.