Jennifer Garner needs a PTA, Hollywood-style

Jennifer Garner turned her camera on paparazzi filming her family, but she may have better luck protecting celebrity kids from tabloid intrusion by teaming up with other famous moms and launching their own aggressive attack.

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Actresses Halle Berry (l.) and Jennifer Garner are seen an a hearing of the Assembly Judiciary Committee to support of a bill that would limit the ability of paparazzi to photograph children of celebrities and public figures, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Aug. 13.

If Jennifer Garner really wants lawmakers to listen to her plea to stop paparazzi from relentlessly terrorizing celebrity children she needs to go beyond snapping a single photo, she needs to go GoPro on them by enlisting all the Hollywood parents in a film-making effort.

Garner made headlines for snapping back with her own phone camera at an aggressive paparazzi who was filming her and husband Ben Affleck while out at a farm market with their children Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel.

Garner and Oscar winner Halle Berry addressed the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee on Public Safety in August in an effort to criminalize the taking of unauthorized photos of children.

"I am an actress, but I am a mom first," Garner told the committee, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Being stalked has been hard for me, but it's beyond what a child should have to endure. The price paid for pictures of celebrity children is now absurdly high. They have a bounty on their heads every day. Literally every day there are as many as 15 cars of photographers waiting outside our home. Large, aggressive men swarm us, causing a mob scene, yelling, jockeying for position, crowding around the kids.”

Garner is at an extreme disadvantage in this situation because she lives in the fame bubble and may not have the benefit of neighborhood moms' PTA problem-solving style to help her out. Here in Norfolk, Virginia when one of us has a problem threatening our child it’s everybody’s problem. Facebook lights up and emails fly, phones ring.

Ben Affleck will soon have the bat signal to alert him to crime, but Garner needs all the Hollywood parents to light this one up.

Garner needs more than Halle Barry. She and Barry need a PTA (Paparazzi Teaching Association). Time to teach them you don’t mess with moms because, while you may just be looking at one, there is an invisible army of us ready to provide backup.

As a PTA member in good standing in my own community I am deputizing myself to help celebrity moms get organized.

For starters, if there’s one thing I have learned over nearly 20 years of parenting it’s that you can’t do half measures when facing down a bully, let alone a gang of them. Also you can’t go Sean Penn on them and just beat them up when they taunt you, and going to an authority figure (lawmaker) often only makes the problem worse.

No. You need to stand up to them, look them in the eye and tell them, “I am not afraid of you. I do not want a fight with you, but if you don’t stop tormenting me, I am going to respond in kind.”

Key words, “in kind.”

One photo snapped is weightless. However if every celebrity parent put a GoPro camera on their child’s head, baby stroller, and snuggly for a day to capture a child’s-eye-view of the bullies an editor could mine the footage for a body of Cannes-worthy visual evidence that would both sway lawmakers and show the paparazzi one big mirror.

As any dieter knows, sometimes all it takes is seeing ourselves in the mirror or on film, to get us to embark on a self-improvement campaign.

Photographers are living a detached life behind their lenses, sleeping in their cars like trolls, unwashed, ungroomed, safe with a barrier of polished glass and plastic between them and the nature of their actions.

Let the lawmakers and editors see these harridans from the point of view of a child or baby.

Telling people in a hearing room that your kids are just like theirs doesn’t work well because unless the people listening are beautiful, wealthy, famous, and generally adored, a part of them isn’t listening.

However, a child is a child no matter who their parents may be. Nothing is as compelling as hearing their voices and seeing through their eyes the faces of these big meanies.

The first time the paparazzi see the cameras on the celebrity kids they will think Christmas has come early. They will be worse than ever and in being so will give you all the footage you will ever need in one big take.

I think these may be the funniest home movies anyone ever takes, and your kids can laugh at what was once a pack of scary clowns outside their door.

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