The paparazzi stalk and harass celebrities
March 31, 2023
Paparazzi. In today’s society, that word has a rather negative connotation. Paparazzi are photographers who make a living by capturing images and videos of celebrities. The overall concept of the paparazzi may seem innocent as it provides a way for fans to see their favorite celebrities living their lives. However, it has become much too invasive–and on occasion dangerous–as tabloid culture has steadily increased over the years.
When paparazzi culture first began in the 1950s, it was a source for magazines and other media outlets to obtain candid photographs of celebrities. Unlike today with social media, there were few opportunities for people to peek into the daily lives of celebrities during this time. The paparazzi would capture photos of celebrities at unexpecting moments to expose their personal lives to their fans..
Ron Galella, otherwise known as the “Paparazzo Extraordinaire” is considered the pioneer paparazzo. As an American photographer, Galella launched his career in the 1960s and earned large sums of money through his highly coveted celebrity photographs. He was best known for photographing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and she later accused him of stalking. Galella was the first known “in your face” paparazzo, which is all too common today.
Paparazzi culture was incredibly prevalent during the 2000s. While many look back on this period of time with sheer nostalgia, it is important to take note of the extreme exploitation of celebrities that was occurring. During the paparazzi “gold rush,” exclusive celebrity photographs could be sold for a price ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 apiece.
In order to prosper from the paparazzi gold rush, photographers took on the pushy, harassive mentality that is still frequently seen today. Since the price of a photograph depended largely on exactly what a celebrity was doing, paparazzi became ready to snap a photograph at any given moment. During this time, it was not uncommon for celebrities to find paparazzi waiting outside their home or personal vehicles. Many of these aggressive paparazzi were even willing to break the law if it meant they could snag an exclusive, “never-seen-before” photo.
During the prime time of paparazzi culture, celebrities like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were at the height of their respective careers. Spears and Lohan were followed almost everywhere, and their every move was captured on camera. The tabloids completely invaded their privacy and found ways to capture and highlight the stars while they were struggling from the pressures of fame. Spears and Lohan are prime cases of the adverse effect that paparazzi have on celebrities’ lives.
As most people are aware, Princess Diana’s death was undoubtedly linked to the paparazzi. On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi al Fayed, were in a limousine in Paris as their driver attempted to outrun the paparazzi. Unfortunately, the automobile chase caused their driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in the deaths of Princess Diana, al Fayed, and their driver. The tragic loss of Princess Diana’s life is a quintessential example of the ruthlessness of the paparazzi.
There are also numerous instances of celebrities taking legal action against the paparazzi due to their invasive behavior. In 2013, Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner joined forces to pass new California legislation that would increase the possible punishment for the harassment of celebrity children. The iconic British artist Adele took legal measures when paparazzi shot photographs of her son and published them worldwide after she explicitly expressed that she wanted to keep his life private. Countless other celebrities have also taken action in order to prevent the harassment and stalking of their families and themselves.
While it is always exciting to see a new photograph of one’s favorite celebrity, paparazzi have a pernicious effect on their personal lives. It is apparent that fame comes at the price of an invasion of privacy. Although the paparazzi are not as significant figures today as they were during the early 2000s, many still manage to harass celebrities and break laws in order to capture exclusive photographs. Paparazzi culture needs to come to an end in order to preserve the mental health and safety of celebrities.