Paparazzi spotted Jenna Ortega grabbing lunch with a friend, and smoking a cigarette outside of a restaurant in London, U.K.. The photos and videos of the 20-year-old actress smoking sent the internet into an uproar. Now, her own mother is calling her out.
Natalie Lopez-Ortega, a nurse and mother of three daughters, posted a series of Instagram stories about the dangers of smoking, and the importance of surrounding oneself with positive people. Some feel the stories were posted in response to the viral photos, which first hit social media several days ago.
Ortega’s mother was met with an outpouring of support. Despite her daughter’s level of fame in the entertainment world, many felt that it was admirable that she still acted like any other mother would in this situation.
Ortega started out on Disney Channel’s “Stuck In The Middle.” She has since climbed into starring in Netflix’s hit show “Wednesday”, the “Scream” film franchise, A24’s “X”, Netflix’s “You”, and more. Some fans of the actress appeared to struggle with the images of Ortega smoking due to her prior reputation as a clean-cut child star.
While some criticized Ortega’s smoking habits, insinuating that it could set a negative precedent for young fans, others reiterated that the actress is an adult and has the freedom to make her own choices.
And? She's an adult, she can smoke if she wants to
— Midazan (@Midazan) May 26, 2023
Meanwhile, some feel that the internet uproar over the situation is a result of the growing phenomenon described as a “para-social relationship.” The unique scape of internet culture has subconsciously led many fans of celebrities to sense a more personal friendship with some of their favorite celebrities.
I don’t have any thoughts or concerns about jenna ortega smoking a cigarette because i’m normal
— ѕнα∂ყ™ ???? (@9illeh) May 26, 2023
Fans of several other celebrities facing recent similar backlash have also been pointing to the burgeoning phenomenon for answers. Recently, fans assumed that Taylor Swift must be distraught over her breakup with ex-boyfriend of six years, actor Joe Alwyn. Some even travelled to her previous residence in New York City’s West Village to pay their respects to the “dead” relationship. Listeners have long believed that the apartment and relationship inspired Swift’s “Cornelia Street.”
Ortega is yet to comment on cigarette-gate.