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Blake Lively is railing against invasive paparazzi culture after a photo of her children was posted online without her consent.
Lively called out the Instagram account that posted the photo of herself and husband Ryan Reynolds walking with their three daughters – James, 6, Inez, 5, and Betty, 2, – this week.
“This is so disturbing,” Lively wrote this week in the comments of the since-deleted post. "I've personally shared with you that these men stalk and harass my children – and you are still posting. You said you would stop; you personally promised me.
“This is not casual appreciation: This is you also exploiting very young children. Please delete, please."
While some parents take no issue with “sharenting” – sharing uncensored photos, videos and anecdotes about their children on social media – Lively made it clear she and Reynolds are not part of this camp.
“Some parents are ok with this,” Lively concluded her comment. “We are not.”
Lively and Reynolds are not alone in their stance on paparazzi photos of their children. Stars such as Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik and Mindy Kaling go to great lengths to keep their kids out of the public eye.
Hadid issued a plea to paparazzi, media and fan social media accounts in July, asking that they not share any photos of her and Malik's 1-year-old daughter, Kai, citing the family's decision to keep her childhood private.
“You know we have never intentionally shared our daughter's face on social media," Hadid wrote on her Instagram story at the time. "Our wish is that she can choose how to share herself with the world when she comes of age and that she can live as normal of a childhood as possible, without worrying about a public image that she has not chosen.”
Vanessa Díaz, a cultural anthropologist at Loyola Marymount University and the author of “Manufacturing Celebrity: Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood,” previously told USA TODAY that our extensive knowledge of celebrities’ personal lives makes it feel like they are friends or family, which helps create a sense of intimacy. Díaz said a craving for intimacy has only been exacerbated by the isolation of the coronavirus pandemic, eliciting a stronger interest in photos of celebrities and their families.
“Most people during the pandemic have been in some form of isolation now for a-year-and-a-half, Díaz said. “And so of course, we want that intimacy with our known ones or our loved ones. (Celebrity couples) have a familiarity and this intimacy that, frankly, we’re all craving because many people can’t see their family and friends the way they used to.”
Crisis communications consultant Holly Baird said stars being vocal about their opposition to having their children photographed can help draw a clearer boundary between the professional and the personal.
“The more celebrities that stick together and fight the powers that be – the paparazzi or whomever is trying to procure images of their private lives and their children – I'm all for it,” Baird previously told USA TODAY. “Obviously, if you become a celebrity, you're going to be thrust into the public eye, but you do at least have some sort of shield of anonymity and a normal sense of life to raise your children in privacy.”
Lively said the public also plays an important role in changing the dialogue surrounding this issue.
“Thank you to everyone unfollowing accounts who exploit children,” Lively wrote on her Instagram story Wednesday. “You make all the difference. Thank you for your integrity: thank you.”
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Blake Lively slams 'disturbing' paparazzi photo of kids posted online