Photo: REX USA/Rob Latour.
Hey, friends and readers. We are here to talk to you from inside the Internet, pulling back The Wizard of Oz-style curtains to show you our inner workings. Here at R29, we've had a long-standing policy internally, but it wasn't until Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard took a stance — nay, started a movement — that we felt like we needed to add our voices to the conversation. We would like to unequivocally state that we won't post pictures taken of celebrity children without the permission of their parents.
Hopefully, this won't surprise regular readers, as there is something both creepy — and counterproductive to our stance of empowerment — about a photographer leering from behind a bush at a child and his or her parent. But, we'll be honest: We haven't always been perfect. We are a growing media company, and as we expanded our lens from style and fashion into the realm of entertainment, we were faced with situations we had never encountered before. Like many of our readers, we would see a picture of a mother and her child and think, "So. Freaking. Cute." and want to post. Except, as our audience grew, so did our responsibility, and us squealing over an adorable picture actually has some pretty heady consequences, which include (but aren't limited to) a climate of terrorizing children, engaging in dangerous behavior, and disrespecting parental privacy. So, we quickly amended our policy.
Don't get us wrong: We love Blue Ivy, will coo over Maxwell, and sweat Nori's style. Yet, the difference here is that Beyoncé, Jessica Simpson, and Kim Kardashian each posted these photos themselves and on their own accord, from their private accounts. They made the choice to share their children with us on their own terms, instead of some paparazzi poking out of a shrub and invading an innocent (and famous by birth, not choice) life. When tots tag along with mom or dad at a press event, they are in a controlled, unfearful environment, and it doesn't feel problematic.
We've intrinsically felt that posting pictures of kids without permission is not the right thing for us for a while, but we are glad that Kristen Bell has given our unease a focused voice. So, good on you, KBell, and we'll join you. Of course, we are certainly gonna squee over Lincoln Bell when the time comes, but we want to do it on your terms, not the media's.