We’ve all flipped through the glossy pages of a tabloid magazine and pondered what it’s like to be famous. The popularity, the parties, the expensive clothes.
As the bewilderment boiled on, we asked other famous Australian women what it’s like to step outside knowing you’re constantly being watched.
Among them, 2Day FM radio host Sam Frost. While the popular host and former Bachelorette accepts the lurking lenses are an inevitable part of taking a high-profile job, she says no one warned her about the anxiety it causes.
“Anytime I’m out in public, I am paranoid, anxious and cautious of everything I do just in case there is a pap lurking in the bushes, following me in their car or camping outside my house,” she told Mamamia. “I’m not free to be myself anymore, which is heartbreaking for my family and friends to witness.”
Fellow announcer Chrissie Swan agrees. She knows better than most the destructive potency of a paparazzi shot, having been photographed with a cigarette while pregnant in 2013. And they’re always looking for that next explosive snap.
“For me, spotting the paps when I’m out and about is a real downer. Obviously I immediately have to get my kids out of there. And if I’m alone, I wait for the pics to be published and what nasty angle the news site will make up to accompany what are often really innocuous shots,” she said. “And the angle is always just made up. They always use the worst pics too!”
The accompanying angle is a common concern for these women, who have as little control over the story as they do over the photographs that spark it.
One television and radio host told us that photographers often suggest an angle to media outlets in order to make their shots more valuable – even if it means making it up.
“So they’ll choose one of a hundred photos they took, the one where you’re frowning and try to say you’re having a fight with your partner even though you might just have been frowning because you are running late for something, or you are sitting in a cafe telling a story,” she said. “Everything is out of context and then you have to deny you’re having relationship problems!”
Another high profile media personality added, “I was once followed by paps when I was out at the beach with my family. I was pregnant at the time. They tried to sell the shots claiming I had bruises on my arms (I didn’t, they must have been shadows) and that I was a victim of domestic violence! How outrageous is that?”