By Darcey Haynes
With the Rise of Reality Stars Using Social Media to Promote their Social Lives, are they Justified in Seeking a Right to Privacy?
“Some celebrities are so desperate for publicity, they’ll take the lows as long as they get more highs- and coverage”– Jeremy King (Editor of industry paper Media Week).
The Kardashian Klan’s momentous fame is built upon their willingness to share their private lives; including the bountiful supply of laughs, dramatics and scandals that they so cleverly weave together. Collectively, and surprisingly intelligently, they have constructed an empire of limitless wealth- simply from asking an audience to observe and gain entertainment from their lives.
With a combination of 373.5 million followers on social media, each family member individually shares almost every aspect of their day-to-day life; from an event they are attending, to the time and even their location; they ferociously grow in popularity with each ‘post’. Yet by sharing these precise and personal details- is it any wonder that with an increasingly infatuated audience, grows the public’s need for more intimate details?
Since it’s pilot in 2007, Keeping Up With the Kardashians has offered its audience a sweet taste of excessive wealth and fortune; ultimately an escape from the average civilian’s reality . The reality stars allow the viewer into their lives at the expense of their right to privacy and in exchange for being extraordinarily well paid- therefore should all elements of their life be made public?
Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria recently spoke out against Khloe Kardashian‘s refusal to respond to an interviewer on the Australian TV show Sunrise, after claiming that the question she was being asked was too personal. The Kardashian later tweeted “You are so f**king desperate” and “stop reaching for a story”. In a later response to Khloe’s abruptly ending interview, Longoria said: “they’re (the Kardashians) famous because of the reality of their lives”, continuing that “she (Khloe) gave up her right to privacy when she agreed to live her life on camera”.
In particular, Kim’s career is established by the fact that she has no private life. Posting to her 60 million Instagram followers to publicize her brand- herself- devout fans frequently swarm to attend her public appearances, queue for hours to purchase her clothing designs and stampede in the minute chance of snatching an autograph. Yet after willingly allowing the broadcast of her wedding to Kris Humphries to 4.4 million people (and making $2 million), something that the majority of people would consider an intimately private event- Kim then banned the E! network from filming the aftermath leading up to her divorce.
Why is it, that after sharing such significantly personal aspects of her life- such as her sister Kourtney giving birth, does she feel that she is deserving of privacy?
In reality, it’s near-impossible to walk by a news stand without the tabloids plastering Kim’s social life left right and centre- even though these intimate interviews reveal a significant amount of detail about her personal life, the publicity was evidently not satisfactory enough for the reality star; in November 2014 Papermag’s Kim Kardashian: Break the Internet was published online. This publicity stunt seems thoroughly hypocritical; after her sex tape with ex-boyfriend Ray-J was leaked in 2007 a devastated Kim stressed her embarrassment at being seen naked by millions of people- yet later willingly did so in the name of social media. Does this not strike you as ‘desperate’ attempt at gaining more followers, shares and likes?
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe sensibly owns no public social media accounts in effort to separate his personal and professional life; recently voicing that: “If you go on Twitter and tell everybody what you’re doing moment to moment, then you claim you want a private life- then no one is going to take that request seriously”. I whole-heartedly agree with this statement- in all honesty, I could not care less about where or what the Kardashian’s are eating for lunch, I can assure you that that information will not bring me satisfaction or enrich yours or my life in significant any way.
Personally, I am exhausted and quite frankly bored of seeing celebrities social lives being presented as ‘news’- both shared through social media and broadcast- I strongly feel that it defers attention away from fact- I simply do not see the importance or relevance in these self-elected ‘celebrities’ lives. The worst part for me is our generation of ‘computer zombies’ have an unbreakable dependence on social media- the circulation of celebrity narcissism is only going to increase. Why are they deemed more valuable and newsworthy than the rest of society? What we are presented with by celebrities on social media is in almost every circumstance not reality at all- be it Photoshop manipulation or a self-constructed device for attention or publicity. I view the majority of celebrity social media use as a narcissistic mechanism to for self-promotion and ultimately a distraction the from literal reality.