Sandra Under Seige: Are Paparazzi Going Too Far?

Sandra Bullock has been laying low since her husband Jesse James' infidelities were first broadcast to the world last month. On Thursday, she dared to venture out of her front door for the first time, covering her face with a coat to protect her own privacy -- and when her car reached the end of the driveway, she was greeted with this.

That swarm of crazed paparazzi would be enough to turn anybody into a recluse, let alone someone whose marriage just fell apart. Which raises the question: in an age of constant media surveillance, how are celebrities supposed to deal with their personal issues?

As Bullock's fans, we're watching the story unfold because we're concerned about our Sandy. We want to make sure she's okay. But you know what? It's been three weeks since the revelation of Jesse James' first affair. If you found out that your husband of five years had been sleeping with strippers, how long would it take you to bounce back? We wouldn't blame Bullock if she wanted to spend at least month or two holing up at home, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, eating cookie-dough ice cream and sobbing to friends on the phone.

But in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, Bullock doesn't really have that option. Her public is hungry for a resolution to the drama, and we want it now. Heaven forbid Sandra Bullock skip an industry event, or cry in public, or even forget to do her hair. We can just see the tabloid headline now: Sandy leaves house without make-up -- friends sick with worry! Does the intense pressure to appear perfect deprive celebs of the ability to cope with basic life problems?

More importantly, do we care? As celeb-watchers, we forget famous people have private lives, separate from their public images. Because Sandra Bullock's dirty laundry is now out in the open, on some level we're waiting for -- perhaps expecting -- her to talk to us about it publicly, just as we expected Tiger Woods to apologize to us all.

But is that fair? Celebrities are people, and they need to be allowed to take time off, and to go through a messy healing process when something terrible suddenly happens. If we expect anything less, we're just as bad as those photographers, assaulting a heartbroken woman with blinding flash bulbs as she tries to leave her own driveway.

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Do you think Sandra Bullock should be left alone? Chime in below!

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