Voyeuristic Pleasure in Media Consumers

Voyeuristic Pleasure in Media Consumers

Voyeuristic Pleasure in Media Consumers

By Sneha Goswami

Why do you think 'mere samne wali khidki pe, ek chaand ka tukra rehta hai' suggests- A hopeless romantic or a creepy stalker? One of the iconic songs of the Hindi film industry banks on the guy falling in love with a girl by looking at her through the window, a behaviour which is valorised as an extremely romantic gesture in almost all films, should have earned an FIR against the guy in real life. But where does this reel life ends and real life begins? Are the on-screen actors and the off-screen audience able to detach themselves as soon as they leave the movie theatre and turn off the television or does the connection that is formed from this action of watching television shows and films transgress into other sectors of life?

Watching the actors on screen, curiosity in their personal lives was inevitable, a fact that was cashed by fashion and film magazines. But with a photograph taken by Tazio Secchiaroli in 1958 of the King Farouk of Egypt with two women who were not his wife, this new form of photography and consumerism evolved- celebrities in candid and compromising situations.

Named after a character Paparazzo from the Italian film La Dolce Vita in 1960, the term and contents Paparazzi became immensely popular. Although it provides a glance into the personal lives of celebrities, something which works well for the obsessed fans, as well as celebrities looking for easy means to stay in the news, paparazzi contents, can be a serious breach of privacy. 

From airports to restaurants, Paparazzi lurks around everywhere, watching their every step- the clothes they wear to a party, the people they hang out with and in extreme cases focusing on the
bulge of the actresses' stomach to spread false pregnancy news. This is more severe in case of the star kids, whose every movement is captured.

So, is this just curiosity or borderline voyeurism? Is this peek into celebrity lives a healthy behaviour from loved fans or indicators of a collective habit of obsessive tendencies fed by the actions of Bollywood protagonists?