When it comes to celebrity news, it can sometimes be difficult to keep the doublethink going. On one hand, our hunger to live vicariously through people who are richer, more talented, or better looking than we are has created a world in which the very artists whose work we ostensibly admire and celebrate are constantly harassed and made miserable by paparazzi working on our behalf to keep the photo pipeline flowing. On the other hand, it is very, very enjoyable to live vicariously through people who are richer, more talented, or better looking than we are. One way to reconcile the cognitive dissonance is to acknowledge and embrace it, so here’s some guilt-free celebrity gawking: an Instagram post from actress Hilary Duff in which she confronts a paparazzo who creeped her out:
I think we can all agree that it’s a miserable shame that there are economic incentives for someone to follow Hilary Duff around trying to take her picture. We can also all agree that there is a meaningful distinction between reporting that Hilary Duff had an unpleasant interaction with a paparazzo after going to her son’s soccer game and reporting that Hilary Duff showed off her baby bump at the beach. Similar logic applies, of course, to the morality of reading stories about Hilary Duff, so here is an extremely journalistically sound transcript of the conversation Hilary Duff had with the unnamed paparazzo:
Hilary Duff: … months pregnant, and I have the flu, and I’ve asked you once to leave me alone. Can you please stop taking my picture? You’re like, hunting me down.
Paparazzo: I didn’t get any photos yet.
HD: It doesn’t matter. I’m just asking you to please leave me alone for the day.
P: It’s okay.
HD: You’ve like, hunted me.
P: I didn’t get any photos.
HD: I know but I feel very uncomfortable. Please, please leave a pregnant woman alone.
P: I lost my whole morning, I didn’t get no photos. It’s all fine.
HD: It’s not my fault. Please leave me alone, it’s the weekend, sir, please.
As Duff accurately notes in her Instagram caption, “If a non ‘celeb’(I’m sorry to use that word) was dealing with this the law would be involved.” On the other hand, if a non-celeb were involved, we would not be writing about it, and if we did, you would not be reading about it, so this is really the best of both worlds, doublethink-wise. Duff and her boyfriend Matthew Koma are expecting a daughter.