I find the idea of being followed everywhere by cameras dystopian and terrifying, but it’s a reality that celebrities deal with daily and that some of them have been dealing with for years. From them, I have learned many things (keep your knees together when exiting an SUV in a dress!), but my most PurseBlog-pertinent discovery is that many popular handbags are perfectly shapes to block your head from a camera.

This technique is currently in common use among the more camera-allergic glitterati, but its real heyday was the late-2000s, when gossip sites were booming and Perez Hilton doodling genitalia on Lindsay Lohan’s face in MS Paint was something that happened multiple times per day. Theoretically, blocking yourself with your bag makes the photos low-quality and less likely to be sold (and therefore disincentivizes photogs from following that particular star), but actually, people seem to love to look at photos of stars who don’t want to be looked at. What a time to be alive.

Most recently, Gwyneth Paltrow has used the bag-block technique regularly, so we went through our photo archives to find you the best shots of celebrities using their handbags to do something other than store their iPhones.

Amanda Bynes
Louis Vuitton Miroir Alma Bag

You can hardly blame most of the celebs in this gallery from trying their best to avoid the paparazzi.

Amanda-Bynes-Louis-Vuitton-Miroir-Alma-Bag

Ashely Tisdale
Chanel Frame Tote

This bag is also among Lindsay Lohan’s favorite paparazzi-blockers, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Ashley-Tisdale-Chanel-Frame-Tote

Bar Rafaeli
Louis Vuitton Monogram Denim Ombré Sunburst Bag

The inside-the-car handbag block is a very special subsection of paparazzi-shielding.

Bar-Rafaeli-Louis-Vuitton-Monogram-Denim-Ombre-Sunburst-Bag

Diane Kruger

Leave it to good ol’ Diane to make shielding one’s self with a plain, classic canvas tote look chic.

Diane-Kruger-Tote-Bag

Emma Stone
Lanvin Doctor Bag
Shop Lanvin via Neiman Marcus

Ideally, a bag-shield should be more square, but this gets the job done when wielded correctly.

Emma-Stone-Lanvin-Doctor-Bag

Gwyneth Paltrow
Céline Luggage Tote

The Céline Luggage Tote, on the other hand, is an ideal pap-shield choice. It’s plenty tall, plus the wide gussets give you better coverage than most bags of its height.

Gwyneth-Paltrow-Celine-Luggage-Tote-1

Gwyneth Paltrow
Céline Luggage Tote

Gwyneth has been giving hers a workout lately.

Gwyneth-Paltrow-Celine-Luggage-Tote-2

Gwyneth Paltrow
Chanel Frame Bag

This bag will do in a pinch, but we wouldn’t recommend it for long walks in front of the paps; it looks heavy.

Gwyneth-Paltrow-Chanel-Frame-Bag

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwynnie clearly didn’t plan ahead here.

Gwyneth-Paltrow-Studded-Clutch

Jodie Foster
Bottega Veneta Veneta Shoulder Bag
$3,300 via Neiman Marcus

I sure hope Jodie zipped up before heading outside.

Jodie-Foster-Bottega-Veneta-Veneta-Shoulder-Bag

Leighton Meester
Loewe Amazon Bag
$2,116 via farfetch.com

Here, Leighton is bag-blocking in costume as Blair Waldorf.

Leighton-Meister-Loewe-Amazona-Bag

Lindsay Lohan
Chanel Frame Tote

There was a time in the late 2000s when Lindsay Lohan was among the most hunted humans on Earth. She spent a lot of her time those years trying to hold her handbag in front of her head.

Lindsay-Lohan-Chanel-Frame-Tote

Lindsay Lohan
Hermès Constance Bag

Which brings us to a natural limitation of the handbag shield: sometimes paparazzi are on more than one side.

Lindsay-Lohan-Hermes-Constance-Bag

Lindsay Lohan
Jimmy Choo Zebra Clutch
Shop Jimmy Choo via Saks

For what a little bag this is, though, Lindsay is doing a job maneuvering it. Shows a lot of experience.

Lindsay-Lohan-Jimmy-Choo-Zebra-Clutch

Lindsay Lohan
Hermès Birkin

Birkins, like Luggage Totes, are also the correct size and shape for camera-avoidance, but they didn’t get as much play with celebs as their more contemporary counterparts.

Linsday-Lohan-Hermes-Birkin

Nicole Richie
Balenciaga Weekender Bag
Shop via Balenciaga

Nicole Richie was also a part of the Lohan-adjacent paparazzi golden age, and at the time, her weapon of choice was mostly Balenciaga bags.

Nicole-Richie-Balenciaga-Weekender-Bag

Nicole Richie
Balenciaga Work Bag
Shop via Balenciaga

Lots and lots of Balenciaga bags.

Nicole-Richie-Balenciaga-Work-Bag

Nicole Richie
Céline Luggage Tote

Nicole also pioneered the Céline-block, long before Gwyneth made it famous.

Nicole-Richie-Celine-Luggage-Tote

Sarah Jessica Parker
Balenciaga Weekender Bag
Shop via Balenciaga

Over the years, SJP and the paparazzi have (mostly) worked out their issues, but that was not always the case.

Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Balenciaga-Weekender-Bag

Sarah Jessica Parker

And sometimes things still go awry.

Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Green-Python-Tote

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
Hermès Birkin

And finally, proof from across the pond than American celebs are not the only ones who try their hand at the occasional bag-block.

Tara-Palmer-Tomkinson-Hermes-Birkin
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Sparky
Sparky
7 years ago

Obnoxious narcissists.

Karisma
Karisma
7 years ago

When your handbag is a lot more attractive than you are, it’s saying a lot. Do we really care that much that they HAD to hide their faces? By the way isn’t the idea of people LOOKING at them on tv and in movies their bread and butter?

missarewa
7 years ago

I actually feel for them. I know they made a choice to be in the public eye but they are humans too, and they reserve the right to want to go to the grocery or airport in peace! Lovely bags too. I think the luggage is the best choice for a bag to hide behind.

Sparky
Sparky
7 years ago
Reply to  missarewa

I completely agree about them being human, but from day one they’re obsessed with media attention. The moment they make it – false humility. As nauseating as I find the Kardashians I give them credit for standing by their hunger for attention. At least they are honest about their narcissism.

Amanda Mull
7 years ago
Reply to  missarewa

I have a lot of sympathy for them too; demanding full access to a famous person’s life seems over the top for me, and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone photographing me at the airport just because I was in a movie or something.

Karisma
Karisma
7 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Mull

“Out of sight, out of mind.” If they’re not photographed, we forget about them. Yes, it is demanding, but it’s an occupational hazard and they opted for this business. Sad, but it comes with the territory.

Amanda Mull
7 years ago
Reply to  Karisma

It doesn’t have to come with the territory, though! I think there are ways for celebs to lead human lives and us to get our celeb lifestyle fix anyway. It just seems like the current way our culture goes about it is broken.

kindled
kindled
7 years ago

Jokes on them, because here at purseblog, we just want to see the bags, and this gives us a great view!

kindled
kindled
7 years ago
Reply to  kindled

(I am sympathetic, though. Getting stalked by paps seems awful)

n frey
7 years ago
Reply to  kindled

like Phillip answered I cannot believe that you can make $9890 in 4 weeks on the computer.try this website on `my` `prof1le`

^uuuuuuuu

Amazona
Amazona
7 years ago

Despite the trouble paps are giving these celebs, this post was absolutely hilarious! Loved the captions, too! 😀
You could do a “1001 uses for a handbag” post next, displaying what else bags could be good for.

Lori
Lori
7 years ago

These are some of the best shots of Lindsay Lohan I have seen in a long time. Her outfits are well put together and when you can see her face, so is her makeup. And she has such great bags!

Thomas
Thomas
7 years ago

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