Is it me, or has anyone else been surprised at how much Hannah Anderson has been in the spotlight since her rescue from James DiMaggio? Anderson just gave her first TV interview. Before that, she answered questions on Ask.fm. She's just barely turned 16! And it hasn't even been a full month since her abduction. I think her privacy should be protected more. Where is her dad in all this -- does he really think it's a good idea to let his daughter do an interview on national TV already?
Obviously Hannah handled the interview well. I don't dispute that. She speaks clearly and calmly, and shows remarkable poise. I'm more concerned about how she is internally, how she's processing what's happened to her, and how she's healing from the horrific deaths of her mother and brother.
I know why the morning shows are so eager to interview her -- Hannah has a hot story. And I suspect that Hannah wants to set the record straight on some of the things people are saying about her, about all those texts to DiMaggio, about his family's allegations that he's her father. But there are other ways to do that, like through a spokesperson. Hannah's father may not have the money to hire a fancy PR company to handle their press, but they could probably use someone's help, maybe someone local. (Actually, a PR rep with a soul would be volunteering their services in the interest of protecting Hannah without making her dad go broke.)
Where is Hannah's dad? What is he doing? Was he so excited about his daughter being interviewed on the Today show that he forgot about giving his daughter the privacy she probably needs? I think that in our reality TV-obsessed and social media-driven world, we forget why we need privacy at all.
Privacy isn't just about shutting people out. It's about creating a safe space for people to process their emotions and thoughts without the pressure or influence of friends or (!!!) total strangers. I wouldn't be surprised if a teen like Hannah felt like she doesn't need privacy. But that's where her dad should step in and provide her with something he knows she needs, even if she doesn't recognize it. That's what the relative maturity of adulthood is supposed to give you -- a wiser perspective than that of your teen.
Hannah mentions that she's taken on her mother's strength. But feeling numb and being stoic in the face of tragedy isn't strength. It's just a coping mechanism. Staying home, refusing to see anyone, feeling miserable, mourning, taking as much time as you need to heal -- that's not a sign of weakness. It means you recognize and honor your emotions. At the very least, Hannah's father should be enabling her to do that instead of these interviews. Who cares what the public thinks about Hannah? We can wait to hear her side of the story.
Do you think Hannah's dad should be steering her away from the spotlight for now?
Image via Today