Healthy Mind

Why we need to shut up about leaked nudes

“It’s very simple. Just don’t take naked pictures of yourself.”

I can’t exactly see any of the men who have been expressing this sentiment be anything other than delighted to receive a naked selfie from Jennifer Lawrence… Or any woman for that matter.

Yet again, another event has created a reason for people to slut shame. Ironically, they are slut shaming the most beautiful women in the world for in their own way celebrating both their sexuality and body confidence. The crippling thought has resurfaced that if women are ever publicly shamed for their sexuality, it is their fault. It’s another chance for people to point their fingers at Magaluf girl and Slane girl and say ‘what were they thinking anyway?’

Lets set aside the fact that today it was announced that the leaked images of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton are to be printed onto life-size canvases and displayed in an art gallery in LA in an exhibition called “Fear Google” by artist XVALA, and all the blaring invasion of privacy that accompanies that. Unfortunately data collection by companies such as Apple although extremely worrying, are somewhat out of our control.

However, what is very much inside our control and can be equally damaging is the immediate judgement that goes along with the release of any woman ‘inappropriately’ expressing their sexuality. This seems to happen regardless of the type of media that has surfaced, whether it be in a video from Magaluf, an image from an Eminem concert in Slane, or Jennifer Lawrence commemorating a body that both men and women worldwide agree to be incredibly attractive.

Here’s a thought-like many things, not every way a woman chooses to express her sexuality is going to agree with your individual thought process or beliefs. But unless said woman is your significant other, what she gets her kicks from is not really any of your business.

Up until this point, naked selfies were one of the very sparse symptoms that 21st century women had retained some sort of body confidence in face of the stifling messages they encounter every hour of their lives that they could do with losing a few pounds or gaining a few bra sizes.

Don’t get me wrong, sending incriminating images of any type will always come with the caveat that if it is something you choose to do, you should not be underage, you need to really trust the recipient and it should always be in the back of your mind that it could potentially be shared beyond this person. However, we also need to acknowledge the reality that the consensual sending of naked selfies between two people who trust each other does go on and we need to get off our high horse about it. Even if it’s not something that we personally would do, there are few opportunities for women to feel confident about their body. If recording the fact that they look good without their clothes on makes them feel good about themselves, we seriously need to stop judging them for it.