I know you are all probably thinking why a book review blog has a post on this new No Kids Policy and for those who tune in for my reviews I will get back to them soon but this is a serious issue that I feel just cannot be ignored.
As many of you will know from previous reviews, Veronica Mars is probably one of my favourite TV shows and excitingly, the movie is released this Friday. This has obviously lead to a lot of interviews for the cast, notably Kristen Bell, the actress behind the title character. Through her interviews (and twitter feed @IMKristenBell) I’ve learned about her #NoKidsPolicy which is aimed at getting magazines to stop publishing pictures of children against the consent of their parents and the child themselves. To me this seems like a strange policy, not because I think it is a wrong policy but because I cannot believe that we have to need it. In an age where consent forms for a school picture is needed, why do paparazzi (now nicknamed pedorazzi) think that harassing young children is fine?
We live in a world with a celebrity culture and it seems that being good at your job via music, sport and cinema/tv has meant a journey into this realm. Personally, I do feel that many new and upcoming people within these areas are in them purely for the fame. People who ring the paparazzi, telling them which restaurant they are going to be dinning at are obviously there for the fame. However, not all of them do these jobs for the celebrity status that seemingly comes with it. Cue Kristen Bell and hubby Dax Shepherd who have a young daughter. Their belief is that although they chose the path of actor and have to deal with their choice to be in the limelight, their daughter did not choose this lifestyle. Until their baby girl is old enough to choose for herself, they do not want her pictures to be public.
To me this seems fairly reasonable. In my magazine experience, those selling pictures of their babies tend to be the ‘Z’ list celebs trying to make a quick buck. Yet big companies relying on celebrity gossip feel it is fine to exploit children to sell magazines.
Being English, my earliest memories of the paparazzi was through Princess Diana. She was so hounded by them that as she hurried her driver to escape their flashes, her car crashed and as we all know, she died. Obviously this is an extreme case but if a woman who had experienced the paparazzi for numerous years is so anxious to escape them that it results in her death how should a child react?
These men are attacking children on their way to school, home and parks. Even after parents and children have said no, these animals keep attacking. I ask you a question. Why are ‘regular’ children’s faces blurred by the media when consent has not been given yet celebrity’s children aren’t? Why do they have to get injunctions for this to occur when the common man can take it for granted?
People argue that celebrities exploit their own children, not the magazines and I refer to an interview with Kristen Bell where she states “if the parents want to take a picture or bring a kid to the premier or don’t mind that the photo is taken then post it”. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd’s argument surrounds the idea of consent and actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner are taking this idea further by asking a law to be put into place in the state of California where if someone “seriously alarms, annoys, torments or terrorizes” children then fines and possible jail time should be considered.
For me this all sounds reasonable and the magazines will still get their baby photos by celebrities who are willing to allow their child to be photographed safely. I agree with this law but what do you think?
(Side Note: for me this issue is akin with child abuse so therefore my linked book is “A Child Called It” by David Pelzer. Great book, horrific read!)