Anyone who stands in line at the supermarket, turns on a TV or keeps up with social media can see the obsession that Americans have with celebrities. Tabloids offer gritty details of the personal lives of celebrities that often catch the attention of the public, whether the information provided is true or not. With the rise of social media, celebrities have the chance to share personal information about themselves that the public can get straight from the source. This has caused a greater demand for private details from fans, private details that celebrities don’t always wish to share. But for people who get their living from existing in the public eye, how much privacy are they entitled to? Does having a public career mean that your right to a private life is void?
Kylie Jenner has brought this debate to the forefront of society with her decision to hide her pregnancy from the world. Jenner recently made an announcement about the birth of her daughter and apologized to fans for keeping the pregnancy a secret, citing her desire to prepare for her role as a mother in the most stress-free way possible. However, many still felt that the whole thing was a publicity stunt, or that Jenner should have revealed this significant moment in her life.
The truth is that privacy is a human right. Freedom from the scrutiny of others is essential for individuals to navigate their personal world and relationships. The pressure of a million eyes on one’s every move prevents people from freely making decisions that could truly benefit their own happiness and well-being. Privacy allows for sanity, peace and personal growth. Anyone who has the details of their personal life on display loses their ability to reflect on their lives, grow from their mistakes and truly thrive in their individual world.
The passage of the USA Patriot Act called into question the government’s right to violate the privacy of everyday Americans, with many arguing that government surveillance intrudes upon our human rights. Yet, the same people who argue for their own freedom to privacy are often the ones who dismiss this right when discussing celebrities.
The notion that fame should naturally strip a person of their privacy is illogical. There are plenty of famous people who are spared by the media and live their whole lives peacefully avoiding tabloid covers and gossip mills. There are hundreds of people in the country that have the social standing to be considered famous, yet the media seems to focus on the same 20 celebrities, whose private lives are continuously targeted and put on blast. Even a large portion of A-list celebrities, such as Keanu Reeves, have avoided major privacy violations. There are many examples of celebrities whose private lives have remained somewhat private, proving that it is possible for famous people to maintain success even if they are not being violated by the press.
The public needs to make an effort to change the way our society treats celebrities. Fame should be based on talent and hard work rather than how juicy the details of people’s personal lives are. It is our choice to allow celebrity gossip to occupy space in public discussions, and therefore our fault that the gossip mill has become such a profitable industry. Every individual deserves privacy. They deserve the choice to filter which personal details are provided to the masses, and they deserve the ability to have their talent serve the public, rather than the faults and specifics of their personal lives.
Photo courtesy of Kylie Jenner’s Instagram