Celebrities often understand what they’re getting into when they strive for fame. They open themselves up to the public by allowing their faces to be plastered across billboards, movie screens, and Best Buys across the country, and sometimes around the world. They’re supposed to know what they’re signing up for, right? Celebrities are frequently spurned when complaining about that lack of privacy. According to Daniel Solove, celebrity privacy boils down to people craving gossip. In addition, people also feel that since “society gives celebrities a wonderful life and vast riches and demands as part of the price that the celebrities be placed in a fishbowl and watched by ogling eyes for society’s amusement.”
It’s obvious that people desire to know anything and everything about their favorite celebrities. They follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. People crave to know what’s going on in the life of the people they watch on the big screen or whose music they’ve spent a hundred dollars on. Two examples of celebrities who frequently update their social media are Ellen Degeneres and Taylor Swift. Ellen Degeneres uses her Twitter account as a humorous source, but at the same time updating people on certain aspects of her personal life AND marketing herself and her show. She has figured out a good way to balance marketing herself as a professional and as a personable individual.
Taylor Swift also uses her social media accounts in a similar way. While not on tour, she reveals parts of her private life (mostly with her cats… sometimes with her human friends). During her World Tour these last few months, every night she performs, she posts photo updates after each show of who joined her on stage and how the night went (of course it’s always positive). With this, she gives a personal aspect to her social media so her fans feel close to her while also marketing and advertising herself. These celebrities have sacrificed part of their personal lives to the public in order to gain a bigger fan base. After all, consumers love feeling like close, personal friends with their fave celebs.
One actress who has publicly spoken out against the invasion of privacy that celebrities face is Jennifer Lawrence. She stated in an interview, “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 and gets my adrenaline going every day.” This was after her nude photos were hacked and leaked onto the Internet… You can say, `This (invasion of privacy) is part of my job and this is going to be a reality of my life,” but what you don’t expect is how your body and how your emotions are going to react to it.”
Solove states “celebrities don’t really consent to losing their privacy. That gives it a false sense of legitimacy. There’s no contract that says that in order to be famous one has to surrender privacy. Why should being harassed or gossiped about be considered a legitimate job requirement? The fact that some celebrities make a lot of money does not legitimize it either.” America has a law against trespassing on property, which prevents paparazzi from legally getting into the homes of celebrities, but there is no law against them following people around and getting photos of them doing everyday activities. There is also no law about gossiping about a celebrity or being oddly obsessed with their personal lives (until it becomes stalking, of course).
Unfortunately, the matter of privacy in public is a difficult subject. Even celebrities who market themselves through social media as personable people need their moments alone while they’re getting coffee or doing their grocery shopping. In my opinion, to be obsessed with someone so much that you crave to know their personal lives when you’ve never even met them in real life is absurd. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress. You loved her in The Hunger Games. I understand. Frankly, I follow Taylor Swift on Instagram and really enjoy seeing what she posts every night after her concerts. But I’m not going to go looking for information that a person doesn’t want to be public. Respect other peoples’ lives and their privacy. End of story.