Last September, I went to Paris to visit some friends. We had a great time, seeing the main sites and going out for dinner. But our final day together was different – and it all began with a scream.
We were at the Champs-Élysées when we heard a girl's loud, high-pitched scream. Then there was another. And another. The entire street was soon filled with screams. Not knowing what to expect, we ran towards the commotion and found ourselves in a large crowd outside Sephora's perfume shop. Imprisoned by a railing, the crowd got bigger and bigger. All around us were police officers and security guards; furthermore, the media had arrived, setting up their fancy cameras. The banners, the media, the screams...it all began to make sense. Lady Gaga was in Paris.
I'm not a fan of Lady Gaga, but I was still excited. I was about to see a 'celebrity'. Desperate to catch a glimpse of the singer, everyone began to push and shove; as a result, my friends and I were pushed and shoved closer and closer to the railing. But this excitement didn't last very long. I was in a crowd of crazed fans whose screams were constant, the heat was unbearable and a girl's hair was in my face. I couldn't move. I felt trapped.
Paparazzi soon arrived, eager to get an exclusive of the pop star. Some fans would scream loudly for no reason, making everyone else think that she had left the building. Cameras, phones, iPads were suddenly up in the air – like guns ready to fire – but she was nowhere to be seen. It was a long cycle of anticipation, false alarms and disappointment. And it got hotter and hotter. A young girl fainted and two policemen had to jump over the railing to save her. But nobody took care of her afterwards – she sat alone on a bench, now unable to see her idol. Another two girls fainted.
Lady Gaga eventually left Sephora – I was sure of it as the screams were worse than ever. She wore an unusual white jacket and dark sunglasses. As soon as I saw her, I took out my phone and hit 'record'. But before I knew it, she was out of my sight. I think she signed some autographs but she was gone in seconds. I don't know how long we had waited; it didn't matter. I had Lady Gaga on my phone – like a reward for the long wait. Naturally, the paparazzi followed her.
I've always sympathised with celebrities who are tormented and pursued by the paparazzi. It can't be easy having the media always interfere in your personal life, the constant flash of a camera...When I think of people like singer Britney Spears and the late Princess Diana, I fully understand the negative side of the media and paparazzi. Celebrities are human beings after all. Just like us, they deserve their privacy, their freedom, the ability to walk freely down the street...
And yet, last September, I took a video of Lady Gaga on my phone.
Have you ever seen a celebrity in the street? Do you agree with John's opinion that famous people deserve their privacy?