Nude photos purportedly showing many top stars, including singer Ariana Grande, were circulated on social media on Aug 31, in an apparent massive hacking leak. - AFP
A leak of naked celebrity photos is a reminder that privacy is a privilege often denied to women.
Privacy, for most people, is little more than an illusion, one we create so we can feel less vulnerable as we move through the world, so we can believe some parts of ourselves are sacred and free from uninvited scrutiny. The further away you are from living as a white, heterosexual, middle-class man, the less privacy you enjoy – the more likely your illusions of privacy will be shattered when you least expect it.
For celebrities, privacy is nonexistent. You are asked intrusive questions. You can be photographed at any moment. Your family is investigated, photographed or harassed daily. Celebrity is, in some ways, an infection that is only marginally beneficial.
We’re not going to cry for celebrities, of course, not really. When you choose that life, you must sacrifice certain dignities for the privilege of fame, of fortune. For the most part, these intrusions of privacy are all in good fun, fodder for gossip magazines and websites – because ... celebrities, they’re just like us! They go to the grocery store! They drink coffee! They wear jogging bottoms! Celebrities are just like us – until they aren’t, until such intrusion involves the celebrity woman’s body, in intimate poses, splayed across the internet for delectation and debauchery and debate.