Paparazzi snap model in church, model snaps back

Instagram photo posted by Cara Delevingne

Can’t a Victoria’s Secret angel slip into a pew without being photographed from the altar?

It would seem not, as UK catwalk sensation Cara Delevingne lamented her loss of privacy Thursday on Instagram by sharing an image of two men with camera gear trailing her inside a Florence, Italy, church.

The Los Angeles Times cobbled together a story for its entertainment section (the standing feature is called Ministry of Gossip, the Gospel on Celebrity and Pop Culture, which I think is funny).

Delevingne, minus her wings, was taking a break from filming the drama (get this) “The Face of an Angel” to visit an unnamed house of worship when she called foul on the photographers, the Times said.

All would have been fine if that’s where the brief had ended. But the Times asked questions it didn’t answer:

Social media-savvy Delevingne was the most Googled fashion figure in the U.K. in 2013, according to the Telegraph, so demand for photos of the Engish “It” girl is not surprising. But do they really need to be in a church? (It’s unclear if the model was sightseeing or praying.)

We have at least three unanswered questions, by my count.

First, let’s name the church. Italy, of course, is renowned for its beautiful basilicas, cathedrals and churches, and I’m fairly certain they’re appropriately labeled. Earlier this week, Delevingne visited and photographed the famous domed ceilings of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, presumably without unwanted company. The Times tells us this much.

Second, what was she doing? It’s clear to me from her vantage point behind two other, slightly befuddled women that she is sitting in a pew. Was she trying to pray? Perhaps reflect on the majesty around her or the sacredness of her surroundings? We don’t know.

Third, should paparazzi have followed her inside the cathedral and taken photographs? It’s a question worthy of being asked and debated by church sources, legal experts, someone with an international perspective on the expectation of privacy in such a setting. But the question is asked, however flippantly, and not explored.

The Times does reflect on Delevingne’s bad press earlier this year, however:

Back in May, the model made headlines after she was photographed dropping a packet containing a white, drug-like substance on her doorstep, Refinery29 said, which ultimately lost her a campaign with fast-fashion brand H&M.

Insert a fourth question: Is Delevingne a person of faith? Published biographies indicate her mother is British actress Joan Collins, but that’s all the information I can find. It would be a question to ask, if anyone cared about the answer.

If the 21-year-old model famous for her bushy eyebrows continues her tour of Italy’s famous cathedrals, I hope a reporter will look past her commercial halo and ask why. It might make an interesting story all on its own, not to mention plug the glaring holes left in others.

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About Tamie Ross

Tamie Ross is a wife, mom, writer and all-around crazy-about-life girl now battling autoimmune disease. Her 20-year journalism career included stints as religion editor for The Oklahoman, online editor for The Christian Chronicle and freelancer for clients ranging from The Associated Press to United Methodist News Service. She has won state and national awards for her personal columns and editorials.

  • n_coast

    Giving thanks for small favors, the photographers are not at the alter, and there was no Alex Baldwin moment. Interpreting the photograph as one taken by Ms. Delevingne, what right does she or the photographers have to invade the privacy of the two women?

    I confess that I would never have noticed her eyebrows.

  • Julia B

    I see the two women – where’s the model with the bushy eyebrows?

    • n_coast

      Did you check out the LATimes post?

  • Julia B

    There’s no pic of her in the church. How do we know the photographers were trailing her? The photos in the article don’t look like she has bush eyebrows – and they don’t show her in church.

    • kjs

      The photo of the paparazzi in the church was taken by Ms. Delevingne and posted to her Instagram account.

  • n_coast

    I missed “Gospel on Celebrity” on my first reading. What the heck?


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