entertainment

Would you pay $2 to know the name of Bec and Lleyton’s new baby?

Announcing baby Cruz

Lleyton and Bec Hewitt had their third child, a girl, early last week. Hewitt posted on his website on Saturday: ”Today, Lleyton Hewitt announced via Text A Star the following: ‘Bec, Mia, Cruz and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family last Tuesday. Mum and baby are great! Dad, big sister and brother elated.”

New Baby Hewitt joins big sister Mia (named in honour of me) and big brother Cruz (named in honour of Penelope or perhaps Victoria and David Beckham’s son who spells it the same way). Her own name, however, is not yet known publicly because it is for sale. The terrific news is that you can buy the baby’s name for $2. Really? Yes.

It will be sent to subscribers to their blog via SMS this week through the Text A Star website “later in the week”. Run don’t walk. Or maybe just hold your breath and keep your $2 in your wallet until some sucker who paid for it spills it to the media.

Bec and Lleyton, who previously signed an exclusive deal with Woman’s Day for the first year of baby Mia’s life, have again been criticised for cashing in on their children.

SMH reports

Announcing pregnancy #3

Fans who want to find out the baby’s name have to subscribe to a premium SMS service called ”Text A Star”.

The service, which costs $2 a message, was set up to allow sports fans to ”get a unique insight into the life of your favourite player … without any media filter”, its creators say on its website.

Through the SMS service, sports stars – including AFL players Gary Ablett, Adam Goodes and Buddy Franklin – send two messages a week to update subscribers about training and life in general.

Right. That’s nice. Different. Unusual. Well, sort of.

Jamie Oliver & family
Dannii & family

Celebrities selling bits of their

lives – and their children’s lives – is nothing new. Every glossy story you read in a magazine where celebrities pose with their new partner or engagement ring or pregnant tummy or show off their new nursery or their child’s first photos or first birthday or…..well, everything is for sale in magazine land. Nobody does that stuff for free. Believe me. I’ve seen the price lists.

Yes, selling a name is a new thing but it’s actually far less of an intrusion than having a photographer in to take photos (make no mistake, I’m sure the Hewitts will do this too).

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The only difference here is that it’s out in the open. The transaction is not hidden from public view via a magazine. And I understand why that makes some people uncomfortable but at least it’s an honest recognition that a transaction is actually taking place here. Celebrities have fame and access to it comes at a price.

Is there anything so wrong with that?

SJP & family

It’s interesting to watch celebrities try to wrest control of their lives back from the media and comodify it for their own benefit. The alternative is to do what Dannii Minogue did and Jamie Oliver did and just tweet photos of your new baby to the world, immediately rendering paparazzi shots worthless and massively slashing the number of photographers staking you out.

After each baby, Jamie and Jools pose outside the hospital with their kids. Sarah Jessica Parker did the same with her son and released a photo of her twin girls. This sits better with us.

Personally, I’d love it if all celebrities would sell photos of their new babies and donate all or some of the proceeds to kids who have nothing. Let’s not blame them for the fact their private lives have a price on them. Let’s turn it around and use our interest in celebrities to benefit the children that nobody cares about, here and overseas. I’m thinking World Vision, Barnardos, The Smith Family, UNICEF.

And if you’re even a LITTLE bit tempted to subscribe to Text A Star can I suggest you make a $2 donation to one of those charities instead.

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