Paparazzi Essay

Paparazzi What Limitations Should Apply to Them?

Paparazzi, is the term refers to the annoying and persistent photographers who take embarrassing pictures of celebrities to earn some money. These people, not only target these celebrities, but also their other family members including their minor children who are often harassed as well. This madness should come to be considered a criminal activity as well and regulations should be enacted to place limits on their activities. The purpose of writing this research paper is to analyse the term Paparazzi, why they should be their behaviour should be considered wrong, and what should be done to limit their improper activities.

The term paparazzi was introduced into the public lexicon by the globally admired film ‘La Dolce Vita,’ which was directed by Federico Fellini, it concentrates on the life of a washed-up journalist, Marcello and his colleague who is a photographer, whose name is Paparazzo (Celant, 1994). As described by Fellini in his interview with Time magazine Paparazzo is an Italian word that refers to the irritating noise made by a buzzing insect, darting, stinging, and hovering. This character in the film is given a human-like bone structure, and somehow looks like a “vampirish insectile” (Celant, 1994). This image of the paparazzi in the film looks like a parasite, a mosquito as depicted from the following picture. By the end of 60s, the term paparazzi had entered into the public usage as a generic term in English language that simply meant an intrusive or interfering photographer (Wilton, 2007) and the individual being photographed is known as being ‘papped’.

According to Sonenshine (1997), Paparazzi refer probably to an independent contractor and are typically not affiliated with mainstream media companies. They take advantage of opportunities by taking pictures of the high-profile famous people they are observing constantly, whenever they get any sightings of them (Sonenshine, 1997). According to Wilton (2007), a paparazzo is a local clam, which is used as an implied comparison to the paparazzo that opens and closes the lens of camera (Wilton, 2007). Many of the experts consider the behaviour of these paparazzi to be similar to stalking (CNN, 2006), which is an act of obsessive or unwanted pursuit given by one person towards another.

Why Paparazzi is Considered Wrong?

Certain celebrities and high-profile public figures have expressed their concerns regarding their privacy and personal space and the extent to which these paparazzi try to interfere in their personal space (Dakss, 2005). According to Carnahan (2014), these insistent photographers (paparazzi) continuously stalk high-profile people and celebrities and bother them while they are eating, or shopping, etc. (Carnahan, 2014).

Some publicists believe that the paparazzi are just going out of control with their outlandish job of collecting most embarrassing pictures; they are making it difficult for their high-profile targets to live in their own personal space and have a normal life. Not just in films, but they live with the constant threat that they will have a camera always in their face (Papasmear, 2013). Sometimes, the extreme behaviour of these insane photographers has led to serious accidents faced by celebrities. As an instance, Lindsay Lohan’s famous accident in the year 2005 in which the actress was almost killed because the paparazzo intentionally drove into her car (Dakss, 2005). This shows that the extreme behaviour of the paparazzi has rapidly transformed into criminal activities.

paparazzi essay
paparazzi essay

Instead of this, they do not only target these celebrities, but also their family members that also include their minor children. Some celebrities complained about paparazzi harassing them by focusing on their minor children Furthermore, there must be some level of privacy given to them, particularly when it is the case of their family and most importantly, their minor children and their family (Papasmear, 2013). A survey by, also illustrates that 58% of the total population are against these annoying activities by the paparazzi (Fanpop). They can do practically anything to get a picture since they earn a lot of money for these photos. Just for the sake of earning some money (Nastec International, 2011), these people are stealing the right of privacy and freedom from these high-profile people and celebrities.

Carnahan (2014) further stated that celebrities and other high-profile people are also human beings and they deserve respect; and therefore, it is necessary to apply certain limitations to the paparazzi.

What Limitations Should Apply to Paparazzi?

The majority of people are against the paparazzi and since they are citizens who deserve the right to privacy and freedom just like everyone else, some countries are applying legal regulations, like anti-stalking bills to resolve the harassment issues faced by the high-profile people and celebrities. Some countries also restrict their activities by imposing curfews on them. For instance, California has approved a law in 2014, which will help in preventing these extreme people from misusing the privacy and from taking embarrassing photographs of the celebrities (Business Insider, 2014). Even after all such laws have been enacted, Nastec International (2011), noted that even after hard pressing the paparazzi with privacy laws for years, their activities are still on the rampage.

In order to limit these Paparazzi according to Nastec International (2001), a videotape or surveillance must be used to undercover such activity and these surveillance videotapes can later be provided as a proof in court against these annoying intrusive individuals.

 These people can also be prevented to some extent by restricting them only to staged events. Although, it is not possible always to restrict them, because they can enter secretly as they are able to creep into the private places, like the homes of celebrities, but privacy can be maintained by only providing admission rights to celebrities and their families or the extremely important people and restricting rest of the people including, journalists, photographers, etc. One remedy to this can be that during the events special cards can be issued only for those are extremely important for the celebrities and to whom they personally want to invite to the event.

Moreover, celebrities can also limit improper activities of the Paparazzi through campaigning. If all celebrities would unite and do social media campaigning against the paparazzi, they can also do public campaigning programs to prevent these intrusive photographers and to get back their right of freedom and privacy.


Business Insider. (2014, September 30) California bans paparazzi drones.

Carnahan, S. (2014, April 3) Should Limitations Be Applied to the Paparazzi?

Celant, G. (1994) The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943-1968. New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications.

CNN. (2006, May 14) Why paparazzi are wrong.

Dakss, B. (2005, June 10) Paparazzi Going Too Far?

Nastec International. (2011) FIGHTING THE PAPARAZZI.

Papasmear. (2013, May 15) Top Reasons Why the Paparazzi Are Wrong!

Sonenshine, T. (1997, October) Is Everyone a Journalist?

Time (1961) The Press: Paparazzi on the Prowl.

View Media Studies Dissertations Here