Kate Upton took some naked selfies with her boyfriend and frankly, I’m disgusted.
I’m disgusted that her privacy was violated. Disgusted that information and images that were meant for her own use were shared with the rest of the world against her will.
But as for the idea that she took the images, that she posed in front of a mirror with her handsome beau or lay in bed with him and took a few photo shots?
Big. Fucking. Deal.
What’s the problem, exactly? All the hip and beautiful people are doing it! Even the not so hip and not so beautiful people are doing it.
And honestly? Most of the rest of us are too.
News flash (and you may want to avert your eyes, people):
EVEN MOMS TAKE NUDE SELFIES.
And we have been for years, long before Kate Upton was even in a training bra.
That’s right, give mom a cellphone, a filter, the perfect light, a few props (possibly a large fern or a Japanese fan) and a few idle minutes to ourselves, and it’s go time.
In fact, it is possible, may be even probable, that YOUR mom is leaning over the kitchen sink looking for just the right angle to illuminate her cleavage and minimize her stretch marks right now. Or perhaps she’s perfecting the one leg draped out from the bedsheets look. Your dad likes that one.
It’s evening actually. So maybe she and your dad are getting the iphone and their love swing ready for…
Don’t believe me?
Let me flash back to 2008.
Ringing cellphone, me answering it: Hello?
Frantic Friend: Ohmygod Nicole?
Me: Yes, what’s wrong?
Friend: Nothing. Nothing. Hey um. Listen….did you just a get a picture on your phone from me?
Me: I don’t think so—let me check—nope, nothing came through. Why?
Friend: No reason. NO reason at all. Listen, if my boobs come through on your phone, could you just delete them? They were meant for my husband. I might have accidentally sent them to you instead.
Me: I’ll delete your boobs, no problem.
And that was it. It wasn’t weird or disgusting or shame-worthy. It wasn’t even unusual. I suppose I just assumed that married or monogamous people want to keep each other interested, want to entice the person they are with when they are not with them. And I also supposed that I understood, as I understand now, that liking your body enough to photograph it is a good thing.
Naturally, I recalled this conversation the other day when I learned about the pictures that were hacked from Upton’s and other celebrities phones and released to the public. As I scrolled through my social media, I was shocked to see how outraged so many women my age were over the concept itself. To be clear, they were not all outraged over the violation of privacy that occurred to allow the photos to be released to the public. No. There were 35 year old women horrified that a grown woman had taken taken naked pictures on her own phone in the privacy of her own home. I read comments like “You play, you pay” and a condemnation of someone who would do such a thing as a “slut”.
And I was.. confused. I didn’t understand how this was HER fault in any possible way.
How many photos on your phone would you want the world to see right now? Let’s be honest, the good photos make it to Facebook or Instagram. The rest of them…they just…exist. Maybe none of them are of you naked, but how about the one you took of the damage to your bumper after you hit that pole? I’m guessing you’d prefer to keep it to yourself. Because you took it with that intent.
So. When it comes to Kate Upton and her naked photos, I am disgusted and ashamed by only this: that we too often blame the victim. That I see women condemning another woman for making a private choice about her own body and adopting a “she got what she deserved” mentality when she is violated.
And it makes no sense to me. Because in my world, grown women, with bodies of all shapes and sizes, with bodies that are perfect and young, or those whose skin that gravity and childbirth has slackened and aged, well…they do this sort of thing.
Or might do this sort of thing. One day. Or won’t.
But they can. If they want to.
And this does not make them a slut. It does not make them open to or available for your judgement.
And above all, it does not mean they are to blame when a crime is perpetrated against them.
So hate the idea of it, but leave the victim alone.
And go help your mother, she wants to know how to turn the camera on her iphone around.
So she can see exactly what shes taking a picture of when she’s photographing…the dog.
And whatever you do, don’t scroll through her camera roll.