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

Guru Careers: Trainer / IT Trainer

£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...

Recruitment Genius: Advertising / Media Sales Executive

£15000 - £22200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious candidate is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...

Recruitment Genius: Sub-editor - Editorial - Publishing

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A sub-editor is required to joi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Greek Yes voters were so shy they didn’t even turn up to the polling stations

John Rentoul
epa04832814 Supporters of the 'No' campaign wave flags and react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma Square, in Athens, Greece, 05 July 2015. Greek voters in the referendum were asked whether the country should accept reform proposals made by its creditors. 10367444  

Greek referendum: As Greece spirals towards disaster, a new era of extremist politics begins

Daphne Halikiopoulou
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate