Everyone Needs to Stop Blaming Jennifer Lawrence and the Other Celebs for the Nude Photo Scandal

Why do we immediately want to lecture the celebrities who take naked photos of themselves when they get out?!

By Jenna Mullins Sep 02, 2014 5:34 PMTags
Jennifer LawrencePascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Noticed how we called it a "scandal" and not a "leak," because these photos were taken from their owners. Plain and simple. Of course, if we want to call it what it really is, then it's a crime—the photos weren't so much leaked as stolen from their owners. And to be clear: It's not the content of the photos that were scandalous. It's the fact that these photos were stolen at all that is scandalous.  

But that's not what we're here to talk about. We are here to ask—nope, demand that people stop blaming Jennifer Lawrence and the many other celebs whose personal photos were hacked and released to the world without permission or any type of respect or regard for their privacy.

It seems that people truly believe that just because a person is famous that we are allowed an all-access pass to their life. Yes, celebrities know the life they are signing up for when they get into show business and we aren't here to feel sorry for their millions and millions of dollars and super glamorous life. But does that really mean that when intimate photos begin circulating our first reaction is to shrug and say, "It's their fault I'm staring at a naked photo of them that was obviously meant for someone else."


It's definitely the fault of the person who hacked the photos. It's not Jennifer Lawrence's fault. In fact, she did nothing wrong. None of them did. They took provocative photos of their own bodies.

The fact that these photos are being called scandalous is actually wrong, because spoiler alert: women have breasts. And curves. This is what women look like naked. Belly buttons. Stomach. Nipples. Hips. Butts. It's all there.

But because these people have been in movies and TV shows, we seem to think these photos are extra-scandalous, extra NSFW and extra offensive. And not only that, everyone thinks that it's perfectly fine to look at them and share them simply because they're famous, as if a person's career should dictate whether or not we are allowed to see them naked.

If a woman is an accountant and her intimate photos get released, would we feel more sympathy toward her and would we be less willing to circulate them?

A lot of people are simply saying these women "had it coming" for taking these photos at all, which is a phrase you sadly hear a lot coming from rapists and sexual predators. You have probably heard this argument or even said it yourself since the photos got out:

"If they didn't want these photos to get out, they shouldn't have taken them at all!"

Good point. We're going to let Girls star Lena Dunham get the ball rolling on that particular way of thinking:

We are of the school of thought that you should always assume every photo you take might get out, especially if you are famous. But that still doesn't give everyone the right to point the finger at Jennifer Lawrence, because she didn't do anything wrong or against the law. The person who hacked into the iCloud and downloaded them and then uploaded them for all to see is the person who did something wrong and illegal. In this situation, there is a victim and a culprit. The celebs are the victims. The hacker is the culprit. There is no gray area.

The bigger problem here is that every woman should have complete control over their bodies. They decide what people see or don't see. If Kate Upton stars in a movie where she is topless, that's different from her private photos getting out because she is obviously in control of how her body is portrayed in that movie. She has agreed to it. She has a say in it. But when someone takes a photo of her topless form her personal collection and allows anyone with an Internet connection to see her breasts, the control is taken away from her. 


And that's actually quite disgusting. The fact that the person did this and the fact that the world feels perfectly fine with staring at them, sharing them or laughing about them is just plain depressing. You should feel remorse. You should feel sympathy. If your first instinct was to copy and paste a link and share with friends or right click and save a photo, then you were definitely not alone. And that's a huge problem.

And of course, there is the golden rule that should always be at play in a situation like this one. Basically, how would you feel if private photos of yours got uploaded to the Internet? They don't have to be naked ones, either. They could be photos from your wedding you didn't want to post on Facebook, or photos of your children only meant for your eyes, or really anything that belongs to you that you did not want to share with the world. It's not about what kind of photo that was released; it's about an invasion of privacy. If all these photos taken were just pictures of Jennifer Lawrence sleeping fully clothed or silly selfies, we would not be in an uproar. But we should be, because those photos were private and not meant for everyone to see. 


So before you share or even look at those photos, remember that these celebs are someone's daughter, someone's wife or girlfriend, someone's sister, someone who is an actual human being and not someone we have a right to gawk at. If you accidentally walked into a dressing room where a woman was completely undressed, would you stand there and stare and giggle and leer? Would you take a photo and send it to your buddies? No, you would probably apologize and shut the door quickly.

Shut the door on these photos and stop blaming the women who took them. Blame the person who made it their mission to steal them and profit from the fact that society feels that they deserve the right to see a famous person's breasts, regardless of how those pictures fell into their metaphorical lap.

Hey, did you know that 5 Seconds of Summer's Calum Hood had nude photos leak last week after he posted them to Snapchat? If you didn't, that's probably because after he put them on a social media site himself, he admitted it was him, made a joke about it, and that was it. People forgot about it. The argument could be made that this kid isn't nearly as famous as J.Law and that's why people forgot about it, but the point is that we all know these photos, which were stolen and not posted on social media by the owners, will most likely be talked about for weeks and weeks, and Jenifer Lawrence will probably be asked about them for at least a year. We don't have enough Internet space to even begin to talk about how truly horrifying and unfair that is, but just keep that in mind.

This post is meant to start a conversation about what happened, so feel free to agree and disagree with the points made above. Do you really think Jennifer Lawrence and the other women are to be blamed for what happened? And what do you think it says about our society in general that these photos took over the Internet in a span of just a couple of hours, meaning basically everyone found no problem with sharing them?

That sounds like essay questions, doesn't it? Rest assured you won't be graded on your answers. But you will get gold stars if your comments are relevant to this post and continue the debate in a respectful manner and not just something like "J.LAW HAS BOOBS LOL." Because those types of people are not welcome here, because you are part of the problem.


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