Escaping Paparazzi… Hat on Head


“Play it cool, Peggy. Don’t want anyone to know we’re here.” Actors Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Moss on a low-key coffee run.

There are few things more perplexing to myself than the obsession over details of a celebrity’s personal life. Recently, I caught an episode of ‘Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man’ while over at a friend’s house. This particular episode has Morgan becoming a member of the paparazzi and features a number of celebrities fleeing from obsessive photographers that clamor for snapshots to be published by tabloids in order to satiate obsessive fans. Throughout the frenzy, I noticed a common thread: an affinity for disguise amongst those looking to dodge the flashing cameras. In particular, using a baseball cap or floppy hat to “blend in” or hide while in plain sight.

Chief Quimby of the Inspector Gadget animated series.

“Peace out, Gadget!” When not in disguise, Chief Quimby of the Inspector Gadget animated series is exploding with style.

Here’s the thing though… the hat often serves as a means to standing out more than usual. Surely you would notice the person shuttling through the room in a giant hat w/ sunglasses on while surrounded by body guards. Who do these people think they are fooling? Have they not seen an episode of Inspector Gadget? Chief Quimby… now there was a master of disguise. Unassuming trash can on a street corner? Wait a minute… it’s the Chief!

So why do celebrities try so hard to go unnoticed, or is it all an act? It seems that for many celebrities, status is entirely predicated on being in the spotlight. We are to believe that life under a microscope is hard work and deserving of excuse. So these sort of “hands  up to the camera with teeth gnashed” antics while scurrying about come across as reactionary – the plight of a tortured celebrity. Though, I suspect that this behavior is attention seeking, on par with Münchausen syndrome. After all, if it weren’t for the paparazzi, socialites might fade into obscurity… A list to D list overnight.

So where does the hat fit into all of this? Well, the hat is the attention getter. It’s the signal. “Hey, Look at Me!” it cries from across hotel lobbies and airport terminals. The fragility of ego is strengthened from beneath its expertly crafted fabric and artisan blocking. The hat is the carnival barker –  it beckons those nearby through virtual drawn curtains into a mysterious circus of celebrity.

(This post also serves as a companion piece to our previous post: Is Jennifer Lawrence hiding from the Paparazzi?)

Rachel McAdams goes "unnoticed" in her iconic 90's-era floppy hat. Source:

Rachel McAdams goes unnoticed in her iconic 90’s-era floppy hat. (Source:


Paris Hilton blends in while on a trip to Hawaii with her straw hat and sunglasses. (Source:


About the author

Nicholas Constantino Nicholas Constantino is the CIO and Marketing Director for Village Hat Shop, a leading online retailer of head wear and fashion accessories. Demonstrating great versatility by assuming dual roles with the company, Nicholas likes to flex his chops through the areas of product development, e-marketing, graphic design, as well as web programming and development. Currently living in San Diego, California, you can find him on and Twitter. He loves all things pizza related.

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