Why should the private lives of celebrities be public fodder?

As a consequence of their status as public figures, the daily lives, whether public or private, of politicians, businessmen and celebrities are constantly put under a microscope.

Public figures are held accountable for their actions and decisions due to the fact that they affect not only themselves but the general public as well, since their behaviour can be adopted and mimicked by regular people who strive to follow the example of the successful and popular among us.

But public figures are only human, so should they be held accountable to the general public for their private lives, especially when we, as regular citizens, are not? If someone's privacy is invaded, whether as a result of the failings of cybersecurity or through simple theft, that person would be seen as a victim of a crime. In the case of public figures, the media tends to paint them as wrongdoers for disappointing their constituents, customers and fans. In an effort to save their public images, public figures then take on this role and make public apologies for their private behaviour.

However, what should become the norm but has not yet become mainstream ought to be Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence's choice to talk about her leaked photo, remaining unapologetic as the victim of abuse and not the other way around.

In the same way, Taiwanese model Chen Yu-hsi should not be held accountable for whatever legal but controversial thing she does on her own time, let alone for a video that was made two years ago before she attained the status of a public figure.

For those who don't know the story of Chen, the model has been at the centre of local news and tabloids for a scandalous video leak. Publicly known by her stage name Little Jasmine, Chen is shown seducing her then boyfriend Hsu Wei-hsiao with provocative language and alluring physical movements. A local reporter recognised Chen from surveillance footage that was recorded two years ago.

With the intention of exposing criminal activities involving Hsu, who worked at the Dr. Enherya Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, the clinic submitted surveillance footage involving Hsu and a co-conspirator as evidence to support the clinic's case. However, a local news reporter recognised Chen in one of the videos in which the model and Hsu are engaged in promiscuous activities in a public area on the premises of the clinic after hours.

The video was then leaked to the media, with reports accusing the model of being an irresponsible public figure, when in reality the video was made before she became a well-known model. Regardless the reality that she is the victim of an invasion of privacy, Chen publicly apologised for letting her supporters down.

In reality, Chen did not have to apologise to anyone, not simply because of the date of the video, but rather because no one should apologise for their private lives. If Chen should apologise because she is a celebrity, then it ought to be because she engaged in sexual behaviour in a public area and not because she embraced her then-lover.

Public figures should only be held accountable for actions that affect the public negatively and not for their private lives, unless their private lives are the gimmicks that are their success, like local writer Giddens and local Internet artist Wan Wan.

Both artists have been known to advocate faithfulness and love to their supporters in parts of their artistic creations. Hence, when both artists were exposed by the tabloids to have cheated on their respective better halves, it was only right for them to come forth and apologise for failing to practice what they preach.