NPR asks: Why the fascination with celebrity babies?

03/06/2008 at 09:08 PM ET

In a recent radio interview with NPR, Star magazine’s Chief Editorial Director Bonnie Fuller credits the rise of the celebrity news weekly magazine for our collective fascination with celebrity babies.  While the notion of paying often already wealthy, already famous people millions of dollars to pose on the cover of a magazine with their newborn children may not sit well with everyone, Bonnie says that — in a sense — we only have ourselves to blame.  Of being bump-obsessed, she tells NPR host Renee Montagne that,

I feel like the big turning point was the growth of the celebrity news weekly.  It brought celebrity pregnancies into the mainstream, and we also celebrated them, and we quickly learned that women clearly wanted to see them because our sales went up.

As for exactly why magazines see such a spike in sales when a celebrity baby or pregnancy is featured on the cover, Bonnie says that the answer is simply one of demographics and relativity.  Noting that Star’s readership is primarily made up of women during the "prime child-bearing years" of 22 – 42, Bonnie says that readers "feel very close" to pregnant celebrities and those charting new motherhood because "all the things these celebrities are going through, they’re going through too."

For more of the interview, click ‘continue reading.’

With reports circulating that images of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s twins Max and Emme, 2-weeks tomorrow, are poised to fetch a $4- to $6 million payout from People, Bonnie admits that its unlikely the magazine will ever recoup that figure in increased magazine sales alone.  But the purchase is still a smart one.  Not only can the winning magazine sell additional advertising in advance of the issue hitting newsstands, it also generates considerable buzz among the relevant consuming public.  Says Bonnie,

It is a feather in your cap to be the one that says ‘Hey, I’ve got Brad and Angelina’s baby photos.’

When asked by Renee about complaints by some celebrity parents about the sometimes intrusive coverage of their family life, Bonnie replied that privacy still exists — if privacy is what a celebrity truly seeks.  Says Bonnie,

If you want to be a celebrity than it comes with an interest by the public in your life.  Most actors and actresses know that they don’t have to go shopping on Rodeo Drive.  You can have a very low-key life if you want, and never be photographed.

Source:  NPR

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