Celebrity baby pics - the latest Hollywood rage

July 31st, 2008 - 11:06 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Angelina Jolie
By Sevanand Gaddala
There are increasingly fewer aspects of celebrity life that now remain sacrosanct. Everything and anything personal can be packaged for mass public consumption. At any given moment in Hollywood, some niche is created out of celebrity life that is the rage. For now, it is celebrity baby pictures that are selling for whopping amounts. Superstar actress Angelina Jolie gave birth to twins recently and the bidding war for their pictures sees figures like $15 million and $20 million tossed around. How in the world did it get to this?

There is no simple explanation really, and just as one could not predict that this would become such a big deal, so also will the craze for celebrity baby pictures die out. Till then, we will have to keep dropping our jaws every time we hear numbers like 15, 20, 6 or 3, all in millions of dollars that is.

The Jolie-Pitt offspring are easily the biggest ‘earners’. Jolie’s first child with Pitt, Shiloh, fetched $4.1 million. Jennifer Lopez’s twins’ first pictures were worth $6 million; and even Matthew McConaughey, though a little less famous, pocketed $3 million for his child.

All this has raised some issues and questions ranging from continued celebrity greed to the novel way of donating the money to charity.

Joile gave away the money got from the pictures to her charities. Many still look at this in suspicion since in the end it still involves, in some way, selling your children.

But the real issue is that of demand. More people buy those magazines that feature celebrity baby pictures. There is a clear and sharp rise in the number of tabloid magazines featuring celebrity parents with their babies.

People seem fascinated that at times celebrities are very much like the rest of us. We are accustomed to seeing actors and actresses dressed in their best always. So when an actress looks pregnant she creates an immediate point of connection with the general public.

Some people just want to know about celebrity parenting skills. Britney Spears with her incredibly stupid decision to drive with her child sitting on her lap facing her drew snickers from people who all felt they were better than her.

There are a few celebrities, the super famous like Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie, who just based on their status will merit attention on something as personal as their babies.

Another factor is the increasing trend of actresses choosing to have babies. It is not a threat to their professional careers and instead of being a drawback, has some clear benefits.

But celebrities also look at it as a smart and safe way to give in to the demand. They know they are going to be chased and hounded by the paparazzi. So they take up and invite the highest bidder for a civilized photo op. Everybody wins!

We may have not quite reached the apex of this trend, but for those eager to see an end to all this can take comfort in the fact that just like all other trends, this too will pass.

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