Ah, the J-Law Nude Photo Scandal. The words on lips around the globe. The catalyst behind the newest flurry of trolling and sex offender hysteria. And the reason for my deep and utter disdain at the public’s latest display of inhumanity towards the celebrity world.
An act of hacking which is neanderthal at best, a criminal violation at worst and a whole host of wrongs inbetween, seeing the Jennifer Lawrence naked photo headline filled me with a deep sense of outrage and sadness simultaneously. The public reaction to the so-called ‘leaking’ of Lawrence’s private life has been split into two camps; many have shown great empathy for the ‘shamed’ actress, yet others take on the alarmingly backward view that it is, somehow, her fault. The argument ‘don’t do it if you don’t want people to see it” lies parallel with the idea of rape victims ‘asking for it’. If you don’t want the whole world to see your boobs, love, who do you think you are taking photos on your own private mobile phone? If you didn’t want to be attacked, sweetie, you really shouldn’t have worn that skirt out. The men in this world can’t control themselves, don’t you know.
It harks back to the topless Kate Middleton scandal and Tulisa sex tape, where much of the public took on the view that, somehow, these celebrities were acting out of turn. You’re a royal now, Kate, you can’t just kick back with your boobs out like you could’ve pre-Windsor. You really should’ve examined the surrounding countryside for long lens photographers before you unclipped that bikini, honestly. Tulisa, I know you trusted that boyfriend of yours to film you in a rather uncompromising position around about his crotch area, but now that you’re a celebrity, why did you think trust came into the equation? Don’t be so naïve, princess. Come on.
Arguments existed across the web and in the pages of magazines and newspapers which seemed to claim that both these women acted recklessly. This argument is not only fundamentally wrong, it overlooks the most important factor in the whole thing: that these women are HUMAN BEINGS. While fame may bring with it certain responsibilities – guns and eating disorders should not be glamourised, for example – one of the prerequisities to celebdom should not be to act like some sort of Victorian robot, to never step out of line and to always act, what, like a woman? It brings to light certain sinister social ideas of what female celebrities, in particular, are ‘supposed’ to behave like. A public expectation which doesn’t apparently apply to men; famous or otherwise.
Indeed, it does always seem to be women, tellingly, who are ‘caught out’ in this way. Apparently it is more entertaining for the internet population to view a shamed woman than it is a man, and they are targeted accordingly. Therefore, for those of you who are viewing these images, you are not only misaligning your own moral compass, you are prolonging the abuse that Lawrence – and all the other victims – should never have had to deal with in the first place. Take a good look at yourself and ask, what if this was me, or someone I knew? Fame and humanity should not be two separate entities. Remember that they are human beings and they deserve some respect, just like you or I.