Circa the mid 2000s, no cellular device came without a camera. And with the birth of social networking, what a time it was to be alive. Gross teenagers were now capable of being gross wherever they could get three bars, whenever they pleased. Sure, your uncle might have found your MySpace account and got you grounded for two months, or you could have exceeded your monthly texts because you were so consumed by your need to share your prepubescent boobs with a guy who had a Mercedez that wasn’t his (or even his dad’s) as his AIM icon, but it was indisputably the birth of a new era.
Fast forward a decade, and not only do we have Snapchat and Tinder, but we have “private browsing” courtesy of iOS 5, allowing us to watch porn without worrying what will happen when our phones end up in the hands of our technologically challenged relatives for whatever reason. Again, what a time to be alive.
I haven’t been following the situation very closely, because as none of this effects my BAC or my paycheck, it doesn’t interest me, but from what I’ve seen on my social media newsfeeds, someone hacked into the iCloud accounts of female celebrities and exposed their nudes.
I’m an idiot (and probably will be for at least a good five more years) and happen to have a tight ass bod, so I’ve taken my share of nudes. Most people my age have. With so much technology and so many hormones and so much time left for our brains to develop, you can barely blame us.
Sending nudes is stupid, but exposing them is low. I can excuse naivety much easier than I can excuse an intentional act of malice with the sole purpose of humiliating someone. But this situation is even more absurd, because the photos weren’t leaked by recipients of the photos. These celebrities’ private accounts were hacked into, and their property was distributed all over the internet. The ‘don’t send nudes unless you want them leaked’ argument is unreasonable in and of itself, but completely inapplicable to the fiasco at hand. Should I not have a home unless I want it invaded? Should I not have nice things unless I want them stolen?
I am genuinely sorry for any of the celebrities that have had their privacy violated, but most of the dialogue around this is turning this into an issue of feminism, and I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe this has much more to do with our society’s celebrity obsession than gender inequality. I don’t remember a public outcry when Dylan Sprouse’s nudes were leaked, or Kanye West’s, or Chris Brown’s, or any other male celebrities. To me, the issue is that celebrities are humans, but revered as gods, so everything they do is blown out of proportion and attributed much more importance than it deserves, whether it be in or against their interest. Our culture has a perverse fixation on these people and the goings on of their daily lives, and that’s evident in the checkout line of every grocery store.
As much as I despise celebrity worship, celebrities in general (not in this particular situation) don’t have my sympathy, because it’s our collective obsession that makes them as excessively wealthy as they are. As much as they complain about paparazzi, the paparazzi takes pictures of them to sell to the tabloids to keep them in the spotlight, relevant and rich. I’m inclined not to feel especially bad for anyone that could make my college tuition by selling their dirty underwear to some loaded lunatic.
As upset as JLaw and co may be about what happened, like everything else in Hollywood, this will blow over in a week or two, and in the long run with the right publicists and connections it will probably make them more money. They will be just fine, and the world will continue collapsing on itself. The end.