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Cara Delevingne and the Paparazzi: Have We Learned Nothing?

I’m not about to re-enact the infamous “Leave Britney alone!” video (although I do a wonderful impression, and honestly, that video is correct and accurate), but on the heels of Cara Delevingne’s latest shout-out to the paparazzi, I can’t help but feel like we have learned nothing as a people and/or civilization.

Here’s what happened. While in Milan promoting her collaboration with Kate Moss for Mango, the model-turned-actress was hounded by the paparazzi. Again. Like, majorly. But this time, she took to Twitter to say how it makes her feel.

“The paparazzi only get worse!” she tweeted late Tuesday night. “I am not complaining, but I just find it sad that I can’t live in my own city for that reason. Also to the guys in Milan! I only cover my face when you are rude to me, please do not make me feel like a zoo animal. I was excited to be in Milan but now I have a feeling you are going to ruin my trip.”

She continued:

“If only I could make you feel the way you make me feel, I just hope that outside all of this, you are able to feel empathy for others. If not then I truly feel sorry for you. One day when I have the time, I will find out where you live and camp outside your house with my friends armed with cameras, then let’s see who is laughing. Sorry guys, rant over. I hope you all had a great day. If I wasn’t able to vent to you guys, these situations would probably end in violence.”

Even better, when a Twitter user replied by “reminding” Cara that her career is based on her position in the public eye, Delevingne responded with, “I know and I accept that. It’s part of my job but there should be a line. No one should be made to feel like that. The silly thing is this will probably only make it worse, oopsie! I think they push me so far cause they want me to be violent. Well f**k it, what will be, will be. You just have to laugh sometimes. The world is a crazy place, I wish I could pore molten cheese on them.”

The thing is, we’ve all seen paparazzi footage — like, where a person cannot physically move because a bunch of photogs want to take pictures of them looking upset. And you know what? In this, the age of selfies and Instagram and staged photo ops, we should be beyond this now. We, as consumers of media, should know that a photo of somebody walking to their car a) was captured under upsetting circumstances, and b) is totally unnecessary. Who cares about a famous person walking from their building to a car? Why do we need proof of that? I walk to my car every day. Do you know who cares? Like, my loved ones for sure (because if I fell down or something I would text them to say, “help”), but literally no other person on earth. Which is how it should be.

And I get how rich that sounds coming from a person who l-i-v-e-s for popular culture. But that being said, there’s a difference between us caring about people whose work we like and condoning the oppressive nature of the paparazzi. Stars, after all, really are just like us: a.k.a. they’re human beings. And if a crew of photographers got all up in my grill and camped outside my house, I’d be less succinct than Cara Delevingne on Twitter, I’ll tell you that much for free. (I mean, hi, I’m from Cambridge, Ontario: on good days, most of us are like the angry sisters in The Fighter.)

It’s upsetting that a 23-year-old woman had to go on the Internet and ask grown men/women to stop harassing her. And it’s upsetting that many of us still consume the products of their harassment, as if we’ve got a right to. Transparency is a very cool thing when everybody involved in said transparency has consented. But I don’t think anyone consents to being followed or harassed, which is why I think it’s pretty cool that Cara stepped up to say, “This actually sucks a lot.”

Why? Because it really does suck a lot. It’s shitty. It’s beneath us all. And when we’ve already got celebrities offering us glimpses into their lives via social media, why do we need anything else? Especially since we’ve all been afforded the luxury of curating our feeds and making our lives look the way we want them to. There’s a reason we post photos of our cute outfits and not, say, the pyjamas we wore through the drive-thru: because we’d like the world to think we have it together and look super-great constantly, and also wear better PJs than free shirts from bars and Christmas tree pyjama pants. And fortunately, there are no paparazzi who are following us to expose us to the world.

I say we afford famous people and/or people who work hard (which is what they are) the same luxury. Also, because nobody here wants to see a photo of a person walking to their car, looking upset.

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