Where does the line for a celebrity’s personal life stop and where does their public life begin? Does the media and the public really have the right to intrude on people’s lives when it has nothing to do with their music or film work? Some may say that if they’re celebrities they should expect it- but should they? Entertainment reporters who write stories on these celebrities are rarely ever supportive or nice; it seems all they care about is getting hits online. With recent information innovations like Twitter, it seems as if there is no line and everything is free game.
What may have started out as a way to connect with friends and fans turned into a way that reporters can write stories mocking and making fun of celebrities.
With Twitter, magazines don’t even need paparazzi to follow the famous elite. Some celebs may use Twitter to promote their TV shows and tell the world how much they love Gossip Girl. Others use it to laughingly interact with their fans in a fun way, as Misha Collins (Supernatural) and his ‘minions'( but that’s a topic for another article) do, or they may use it to communicate with their friends and fans, such as Miley Cyrus, a former member of Twitter, did. They all started Twitter out of their own free will and have the constitutional right to keep that free will. Everyone also has the right to pursue happiness. I have a feeling that does not include making fun of others for your own pleasure.
After Miley Cyrus apparently abruptly stopped using Twitter, many sites had a headline similar to ‘Miley stops using Twitter because Boyfriend said so.’ People then went on to criticize her because of her last tweet, ‘FYI Liam doesn’t have a Twitter and he wants ME to delete mine with good reason.’ At first glance, it may seem as if she’s letting her boyfriend control her, when that may not be the case at all. Maybe he thought that she deserved to have her privacy, without news organizations checking in on her every day to see what news story they can concoct or how they can make fun of her. Miley herself said in her Youtube video why she quit Twitter ‘ Everything that I type and everything that I do, all those lame gossip sites take it and they make it news. I want my private life private. ‘
Celebrities are normal human beings who are talented, got lucky and now share their talents with other people. They make mistakes, they live their lives whether they are good or bad; they have their own opinions- opinions that should be respected as much as any other person. What if you were in Katie Holmes’s place? Would you really want people following you everywhere, calling your daughter’s name so she’ll turn around? What if you were Kelly Clarkson and you faced constant comments on your weight and your choice of outfits? Maybe Kelly Clarkson likes the way she looks. I’m trying not to sound like an after school special, but everyone has their own comfort zone. Certain people feel comfortable wearing short skirts and heels all the time, others love wearing jeans and a t-shirt . Some always want to weigh less; others don’t care about the latest fad-diet and are happy with themselves. Every person has a right to have their own comfort zone and live their life without other people trying to impose their opinions.
Criticisms aren’t just pointed towards the celebrity in question, they’re also indirectly or sometimes directly pointed at the consumers, who may take the criticisms to heart and apply them to their own life style. Many bloggers and ‘style’ reporters for magazines such as People and US Weekly have affiliations with apparel, makeup and accessory companies. While the writers may not disclose their affiliations, it is sometimes evident that they ‘favor’ one company ,style or even shape over another. Even if companies are paying one writer per magazine to promote certain clothing or a certain shape, it can affect people greatly. If you say something once, it’s an opinion. If it’s repeated continuously in multiple outlets, it eventually becomes true. The next time you read an article talking about someone’s outfit or weight, look at the person. Look at the whole person. Look at their outfit. Do THEY look happy in it? Do THEY look comfortable? Each person is an individual and should be treated as such.
Some celebrities have a good way of dealing with criticisms and letting them roll off their backs. They additionally serve as good role models for youths who are being bombarded with these articles. Other celebrities don’t handle the criticisms quite as well. Stepping back and seeing celebrities as human reminds us that they do have a right to privacy and happiness.’ People in general should not have to worry about being followed by paparazzi. While you and I may not have to worry about it, Miley Cyrus and her peers deal with their lives being over analyzed by writers or bloggers such as Perez Hilton every single day.
Perez Hilton, E! news, The Enquirer and others may not care about who or how they offend and why. However, I challenge you, before you circulate the latest gossip or blog on the latest weight on a celebrity, think about how you would if you were that celebrity. If it’s not acceptable to make fun of someone in kindergarten or high school, why should it be acceptable in the real world?’ Besides, with Youtube and blogs rising in popularity, you never know who’ll be the next internet star- you just might find yourself on the wrong side of Perez Hilton’s non-existent conscience.