Adele knows that privacy is the best gift a famous mother can give her child

By keeping her son away from the press, he will be free to choose the life he wants

Share

Opposing tales of childhood fame came to the fore on Wednesday. At her inquest, we learned that Peaches Geldof, the daughter of a rock star who lived and died in the spotlight, took a fatal dose of heroin after struggling for years with addiction; her tragic death the final tortuous chapter of her open-book life.

In other news, Angelo Adkins, the toddler son of internationally acclaimed singer Adele, and whose face you would not recognise, was awarded a five-figure sum in damages to settle a privacy case over paparazzi photos of his “milestone moments”.

Barely a day goes by when we’re not invited to ogle at pictures of the newest celebrity sprog. Whether it’s a blurry snapshot of Suri Cruise’s latest tantrum or a glowing, high definition depiction of Prince George’s first steps, showbiz babies are big business. So we should applaud Adele for her fierce protection of her son’s privacy and condemn the snap-happy few who sought to breach it.

Other celebrity parents take the opposite approach, however, parading their unassuming offspring on the covers of glossy magazines in exchange for heady sums of money. But as Peaches Geldof’s sorry story shows, too much publicity at a young age can be deadly. If famous children are to grow into well-balanced adults (as is their right) they must be afforded the same obscurity as their non-famous counterparts.

No child is public property, not even the ones which spring from the loins of fame-hungry creatures who court the press.  A photo of a child on his way to playgroup might, for a time, quench the public’s thirst for gossip.

Before long, though, the paparazzi will be thrusting a camera into a bewildered child’s face as she leaves primary school, or stalking a teenager on his first date in a desperate attempt to abate our burning desire for updates on the lives of children we’ve observed since birth.

Social media plays a part too now, of course. Here celebrity parents take on the role of the paparazzi they’ve spent an entire career “avoiding”, uploading photo after photo of their children, with apparent disregard for who might be sitting on the other side of a desktop greedily lapping up the pictures.

Peaches, a child of the media, was a regular sharer of baby snaps. Pictures of her two young sons filled her Instagram and Twitter pages. Her grieving husband, now well aware of the foibles of fame, has since chosen to remove his children from the public eye, leaving thousands of Twitter followers bereft but the Geldof-Cohen boys protected by their newfound anonymity.

Adele is an example to all celebrity parents: the understated pregnancy announcement; the merciful lack of a “Demi Moore” style photo shoot showing her cradling her bump in a dewy-eyed manner; the fact she didn’t publicize Angelo’s name, choosing only to wear a necklace bearing his moniker.

The singer, who once found herself the subject of intense media scrutiny over her weight, shields her son from public view, knowing the damage unwanted publicity can do, prepared even to resort to legal proceedings to protect his privacy.

It is my hope and belief that Angelo's story will have a happy ending. If his mother has her way, he will grow up unrecognised by the braying masses who helped push Peaches towards her untimely demise.

He could become a singer, an author, a plumber, or a teacher. When he hits adulthood, he’ll be able to decide whether he wants to embrace his mother’s fame, or shun it. It’s a life-changing choice, and one a baby cannot make.

READ MORE:
You can't screw your way to success - just ask Lana Del Rey
I was a woman against feminism too
To solve the HIV epidemic, start by decriminalising prostitution

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A sculpture illustrating the WW1 Christmas Truce football match in Liverpool  

It's been 100 years since the Christmas Truce, but football is still changing the world

Jim Murphy and Dan Jarvis
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there