Blake Lively is one of those actors we really rate, and not just because she’s brilliant onscreen; she’s also given us plenty of “hell yeah” moments (remember when she revealed that her least favourite word in the English language is ‘perfect’ – primarily because it is used to understand, control and simplify women by some in society?), too.
Then there’s the fact that she’s become something of an Instagram legend over the years, thanks to a slew of witty posts and jokes about her husband, Ryan Reynolds.
However, while Lively is always happy to share photos of herself with Reynolds, it’s worth noting that her children – James, Inez, and Betty – rarely appear on her social media feeds, if at all.
And so, when she and her three daughters experienced a concerning encounter with a paparazzi photographer, Lively was unwilling to let it stand.
Taking to Instagram to call out the tabloid which published the “deceitful” photos, Lively wrote: “You edit these images together to look like I’m happily waving. But that is deceitful.
“The real story is: My children were being stalked by men all day. Jumping out. And then hiding. A stranger on the street got into words with them because it was so upsetting for her to see.
“When I tried to calmly approach the photographer you hired to take these pictures in order to speak to him, he would run away. And jump out again at the next block.”
Lively continued: “Do you do background checks on the photographs you pay to stalk children? Where is your morality here? Or do you simply not care about the safety of children?
“The photographers who would speak to me, I was able to agree to smile and wave and let them take my picture away from my children if they would leave my kids alone. Because it was frightening.”
Insisting these toxic tabloid practices have no place in today’s society, Lively finished: “At minimum, listen to your followers. They too understand this is dark and upsetting that you pay people to stalk children.
“Please stop paying grown ass men to hide and hunt children. There are plenty of pictures you could’ve published without the kids. Please delete. C’mon. Get with the times.”
Lively, of course, is not the first woman in the spotlight to call out the paparazzi for frightening behaviour, and we sadly doubt she will be the last. Very recently, in fact, Gigi Hadid pleaded with “paparazzi, press and beloved fan accounts” to “blur” the face of her and Zayn Malik’s baby daughter, Khai, in any images that may circulate.
“You know we have never intentionally shared our daughter’s face on social media,” the model wrote on Instagram.
“Our wish is that she can choose how to share herself with the world when she comes of age, and that she can live as normal of a childhood as possible, without worrying about a public image that she has not chosen.”
And, just two years ago, Scarlett Johansson accused press photographers of jumping into cars with blacked-out windows and chasing her across the city, running red lights in their desperation and putting “other drivers and pedestrians… at risk” in order to get the shots they wanted.
“Women across the US are stalked, harassed and frightened and a universal law to address stalking must be at the forefront of law enforcement conversations,” the Black Widow actor said at the time.
“Until paparazzi are considered by the law for the criminal stalkers they are, it’s just a waiting game before another person gets seriously injured or killed, like Princess Diana.”
We wonder how many more will have to speak up before things change.