In a world ruled by social media, celebrities have become our Gods. We track their every movement, follow carefully along with their social media persona and copy their style. So in an age where our favourite celebrities are a click away, how can they keep their privacy? Or are they even entitled to privacy? Celebrities have their private life played out for the masses to see in tabloids across the globe but sometimes we need to remind ourselves that celebrities are people as well.
Justin Bieber is one of those celebrities who has been demonised for wanting privacy. He has repeatedly said he does not want to take pictures with fans, he has asked to be respected as an artist and even deleted his Instagram when “fans” left hateful comments about his new girlfriend at the time. He may not go about getting privacy the right way – lashing out at fans and storming off stage is not doing him favours. But as a twenty-two year old, he deserves to have privacy like any other person. Being thrust into the limelight at such a young age does not help matters either. Look at any child star, from Britney Spears to Lindsay Lohan. Having paparazzi constantly follow you as a tender age does no good for your mental health.
We see Kanye West’s struggle with mental health being brushed aside for a good tabloid headline conforming to Kanye’s “crazy artist” narrative. His 911 call during his breakdown was even leaked online. Fortunately, several decent news outlets refused to share the audio and encouraged their readers not to seek it out. Yes, Kanye is a celebrity and has said some outrageous things, but that does not give anyone the right to hear private calls. Celebrities have the right to pick and choose what they want to share with their fans. And of course they owe their fans so much for getting them where they are. But they cannot put their fan’s curiosity and demands before their health and own needs as people.
Of course, we have celebrities who are notorious for over sharing and letting their fans into their lives completely. But do they really? They show their fans enough to keep them involved but of course they have private lives away from cameras and social media. Even social media queen Kim Kardashian has taken a break from the public eye since her robbery and her husband’s hospitalisation. Still, her life is laid out bare in magazines from “close sources” to the family, a phrase that makes me roll my eyes every time I read it.
The argument that “public figures should not have private lives” is so irritating. I feel everyone deserves their own privacy for their own mental health. Yes, they signed up to be an actor, singer, reality TV star but whatever job they have does not mean anyone is entitled to know their every movement. Could you imagine if people followed you everywhere and demanded to know your every movement?
Recently, we have seen the hysteria surrounding Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne and whether she is pregnant or not. Paparazzi have snapped pictures of her from hundreds of angles, showing “proof” of a baby bump or claiming she’s pregnant because of the roundness of her face or the way she dresses. If she is pregnant then congratulations but it is no one’s business other than her and her family.
Celebrities, like everyone else, deserve to have their private lives. If they choose to share copious amounts with their fans then that is their choice. If certain celebrities like Beyoncé do not share
much on social media other than fashion or promotional posts then that too is their choice. Celebrities do not owe their fans an all access look into their lives. In this world where social media rules all, it would be wise to remember that.