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Burning Question: Why Are Some Celeb Babies So Rarely Seen?

Yahoo Celebrity

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Megan Fox, Brian Austin Green, and their son's feet (Sharky/Splash News)

Wait, Megan Fox is having a second baby? The public has never seen an official photo of the first one yet, right? Is hiding a kid the new way of doing things in Hollywood, sort of the opposite of selling your first baby photo right away to a magazine? How can a star possibly keep a kid away from paparazzi?
— Ellen R., Maryland

Well, I'd like to say that a new wave of classiness is spreading across the entertainment business, spurring stars to shun high-paying magazine deals in favor of either (a) Blue-Ivy-esque candids on Tumblr (b) free, Duchess-of-Cambridge-style photo ops in front of the jolly old Lindo Wing or (c) simply protecting one's child from the spotlight, a la Kim Kardashian.

Except that's not exactly the story. Here's a fact: Magazines are paying less for first photos of celebrity newborns. As I reported here in June, Kardashian may have been able to hawk the first photo of her daughter for a cool $1 million ... 5 years ago. Now the market has softened into the mere low six figures, not exactly a huge payday for the likes of her.

Which is one possible explanation for why Kardashian keeping her kid klandestine.

"The wait is one way she can really increase the demand for that first photo," says Mark Pasetsky, former managing editor of OK! magazine. "If she'd come out with the baby right away the demand wouldn't have been that big and she wouldn't get that much."

There may also be a bit of image management going on in the examples I cited above.

"There's a big trend of celebrities releasing their baby photos on social media to show they're not selling out," says Pasetsky, now a communications consultant at Mark Allen & Co. "It's a reputation management thing."

That said, at least some of the Celebrity Stealth Baby Phenomena is a matter of principle. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. for instance have always been obsessive about their private lives.

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Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise, and Suri in 2006 (Giles Harrison/Splash News)

As for how stars are keeping their children out of the public eye, trust me when I say that celebrities have more power than you think.

For example, in the case of Megan's first baby, Noah, paparazzi did snap a few photos of the tyke in his first months. And those photos did make their way to some very high-profile blog pages. But no sooner did those photos go up than angry phone calls from Fox's publicist came in, and the photos were promptly removed. Many entertainment sites fold like houses of cards if a celebrity publicist gets antsy.

There’s also a chance that some of these stars are simply biding their time before releasing a first official photo. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes waited four months before putting their kid, Suri, on the cover of Vanity Fair. And Madonna waited until daughter Lourdes was 1 before releasing the first official portraits in that same magazine.

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