Last week, I had the opportunity to talk on the phone with Kristen Bell. No compensation was received…unless you count the fact that I am a huge fan of Veronica Mars and I was dying (read: giddy) about the chance to talk to Kristen for the second time in just a few months. OK, on to the important stuff…
What are PEDORAZZI? “Pedorazzi” is a relatively new term that Kristen Bell and her husband, Dax Sheppard, came up with to refer to the practice of photographers taking non consensual photos of celebrities’ children. They have taken the words Paparazzi and Pedophile and combined them to make in a profound new word.
Honestly, before talking with Kristen last week, I had never given much thought to pictures of celebrities’ kids in magazines and newspapers. I have never been one to follow the celebrity gossip anyway. But hearing Kristen talk about what it is like for a mom – who happens to be an actress or a singer or some other famous person – to take her kids to the park or do any activity out of the house….the picture that she painted for me made me sick to my stomach.
Imagine walking out of your house to take your son or daughter to get some ice cream and having a dozen men and women stalking and photographing your every move. Yes, as adults these celebrities (for the most part) knew what they were getting into by choosing a profession that could lead to fame and celebrity status. But their children did not. Children, regardless of their parents’ employment, deserve a childhood free from pushy, harassing men and women following them everywhere to get a picture.
Kristen stressed that her concern is over non-consensual photos of children. A child should not have to be aggressively followed and made to be uncomfortable or afraid every time they leave the house. A consensual photo shoot during an interview or photos taken at a public event, like a movie premiere, are totally different.
As I was chatting with Kristen, I realized that celebrity moms and “regular” moms like me are more alike than I realized. At the heart of this issue, we are all parents who want the best for our children.
So why did Kristen choose to spend her Friday afternoon talking with a small group of bloggers? I actually spoke up during the call with Kristen and said to her,
“I have a feeling that a lot of people just haven’t thought about it before, and I think that’s where WE (as bloggers) can have some power because we have the eyes of so many people.
“I have 5 kids and I’ve been blogging for many years. My attitude about sharing certain things about their lives has changed over the years, especially as they’ve become teenagers and are more aware of what I’m writing on my blog. I tend to not share much about what’s actually going on, even though I started out blogging about my family. I’ve actually taken a lot of that personal side out because I feel like it’s not my story to share – it’s their’s.”
Kristen responded, “I couldn’t agree more! We are so righteous about the government not spying on us and yet we are spying on each other. I think that’s a great point and that’s why you guys hold so much power. It is your readers who are at the grocery store doing a lot of the shopping for their family, and they choose to buy that tabloid or not. The consumer has the maximum amount of power. So that’s where I am choosing to make this appeal.”
Naturally, Kristen isn’t stopping with us. She also spoke with ET on Friday and will continue to spread this message to any news outlet that will listen. This interview with Kristen and her husband Dax sums up their mission better than I could:
What can I do to fight against the Pedorazzi?
Like Kristen said in the video as well in her response to me above, we – as consumers – have a powerful voice in this situation. We can have the biggest impact by simply refusing to support magazines and newspapers that print “paparazzi”-style, non-consensual pictures of celebrities’ children. Celebrities like Ben Afleck and Jennifer Garner, Halle Berry, Bradley Cooper, and so many more are fighting for the same thing, and on their end they are refusing to give interviews to outlets that do not have a #NoKidsPolicy.
Luckily, many outlets are falling in line and agreeing that protecting the rights of children is more important than fans seeing what new outfit Kristen and Dax’s daughter is wearing this week. I especially loved this written statement by People Magazine
Jess Cagle, Editorial Director of PEOPLE said, “We have no interest in running kids’ photos taken under duress.” Cagel went on to say, “My colleagues and I are journalists, but we’re also mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles. I have close friends who are actors, and I’ve seen them struggle to protect their kids from photographers and reporters who cross the line.”
What are your thoughts on #Pedorazzi and news outlets adopting a #NoKidsPolicy?
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