Vanessa Hudgens Has Called Out The Paparazzi, And It’s Reigniting A Conversation

Celebrities should have the right to privacy too, right?

via Vanessahudgens / Instagram

Last week, High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens gave birth to a healthy baby boy, her first child with spouse Cole Tucker. Unfortunately, the power of announcing the birth to the public was taken from her as paparazzi snapped some photos of the family the moment they walked out of the hospital. 

Hudgens wrote in a post on Instagram, “We’re disappointed that our family’s privacy was disrespected and exploited during this very special time due to the greed of a long lens camera feeding the media. Despite all of that, mom dad and baby are happy and healthy.” Although Hudgens left her remark on a positive note, she has sparked a conversation about the freedom the paparazzi still has to invade the privacy of celebs. 

She’s not the only one who’s expressed their feelings about this issue recently either. In April, Hannah Waddingham called out a male photographer at the Olivier Awards who demanded she “show some leg” for his photo. Waddingham quickly responded, “Oh my God, you’d never say that to a man, my friend.”

Celebrities have expressed their contempt for the paparazzi for decades now, and rightfully so. The lack of respect shown by many photographers for their privacy and safety has often done great damage to their mental and physical health, as well as their reputation. 

In fact, we’ve seen for ourselves the damage such images can do. In the early 2000s, Britney Spears’ nervous breakdown was partly caused by the incessant paparazzi that followed her everywhere. The infamous photographs of her shaved head, or her attacking a photographer’s car with an umbrella, destroyed her reputation at the time. But really these were understandable reactions to the stress and anxiety that the paparazzi had caused her.


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They have also been involved in the fatalities like that of Princess Diana, who died in a car accident after her chauffeur lost control of the car while trying to navigate through swarms of paparazzi. That was the moment that many realised that a juicy picture of their favourite celebrity was not worth the outcome. 

Some rules and regulations regarding what paparazzi are and are not allowed to do were put in place, to prevent anyone else falling victim to what Britney Spears and Princess Diana experienced. Following Diana’s fatal accident, the Press Complaints Commission altered its Editor’s Code of Practice, deeming the use of long lens photography “to take pictures of people in private places without their consent” as unacceptable.

It also provided a more specific definition of what a private space was, describing it as “public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Other changes included more responsibilities on editors when rules were breached, and more protection for children that may be targeted by paparazzi.

As a result of the torment that Britney went through, the LA City Council passed a bill called ‘Britney’s Law’, claiming that if a paparazzo crossed the 20-yard personal safety bubble without permission, the city could confiscate all profits from any resulting photograph. 

It is still very much arguable that more rules should be created to protect people’s privacy. Sure, celebrities share a lot of their lives with the public, You could say that constantly being in the public eye is what they signed up for, and it’s just part of the job. It’s also important to remember, however, that celebs are still people, and they still deserve to feel safe and have some privacy when they need it.

While they might not be fazed having hundreds of camera lights flashing at them on the red carpet, it’s a whole other ball game when they’ve just given birth, are probably exhausted, and having to deal with cameras the second they come out of the hospital. Everyone should be entitled to their privacy during intimate moments like that, even if they’re famous.

The very purpose of paparazzi is to snap photos of celebrities that will get a reaction from the public, and this is why they often target celebrities during their worst or most vulnerable moments.

Many celebrities have spoken out against the paps in recent years, including  Selena Gomez, who said that it felt “violating” being targeted by paparazzi as a teen star, and Camilla Cabello, who said how the constant photos taken of her in bikinis has made her feel self-conscious.

Perhaps Hudgens has given the final push for more rules and regulations that will protect the privacy and health of celebrities. At the end of the day they are entitled to those things just as much as anyone else.