If you are not living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve read about the hack and leak of the nude photos of a few precious celebrities: Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice, among others. And though I am siding with most publications that they are not at fault for being exposed in such a despicable way, I’m not so quick to blame this on patriarchy or a "boys will be boys" antic. There’s something more nefarious at play here: celebrity worship.
If we raise people up to pedestal, if we make these folks infallible icons, there will be others who will enjoy destroying them.
- Cesar Vargas
Now, before the torches and pitchforks come to burn me at the stake for being a heretic feminist, let me explain. One of the cons of being a celebrity is risking being exposed; getting hacked and your nudes leaked. Some might say that these women are to blame and that they should know better. Though I see nothing wrong with nudity and sharing that nudity privately or publicly, I do believe it should be by their own agency. Their choice. Not have a man or child hack into their account and exploit them. An exploitation of which I am pretty sure women and liberal publications are also enjoying. Let’s be real, the publications condemning these hacks don’t give a rat’s ass about these young women. They do care, first and foremost, about the bottom line: clicks, likes, shares, tweets, views.
If their indignation was really genuine, they wouldn’t be publishing it. They wouldn’t link their articles to sources that have the photos. They wouldn’t be talking about the whole fiasco entirely. Period.
Again, I see this phenomenon as more of a celebrity worship gone wrong. Because if we raise people up to pedestal, if we make these folks infallible icons, there will be others who will enjoy destroying them. This is human nature. Something we see throughout history. As the saying goes: “The only thing they love more than building up heroes is tearing them down.” I knew this was coming with Jennifer Lawrence and all the other girls. I’ve said this before. They’re the new age American babies. The pures who got tainted with a massive leakage.
Why don’t I blame this so much on sexism? On patriarchy? Because there are other celebrities whose photos have been leaked and the public has been as equally gleeful (maybe more) to take a look at them. Among a few of them are Kanye West, Chris Brown, Big Sean, and most recently 5 Second’s of Summer member, Calum Hood. If I remember correctly, no one came down on the girl who published the private video Calum sent to her. In fact, most came down on him for the faux pas. A faux pas condemned by the liberal publications that are coming down on the hacker for exposing the women, but there is no indignation aimed at the girl who exposed Calum without his permission.
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It is completely wrong that these young women were hacked and their photos leaked, but I wouldn’t blame that on patriarchy. I blame ourselves for being so obsessed with them. We are all to blame for this obscene celebrity worship and ultimately for the release of their photos.
César Vargas is a producer, writer, director, and social media strategist. He founded UPLIFTT (United People for Latinos in Film TV and Theater) and is president of Burning Ones Productions. You can reach him on Twitter at /CesarVargas365.