Earlier in the evening, E.S. Norton and I were discussing ideas for the next article, and we stumbled upon the recent hacking of several celebrity cloud computing accounts of stars and models like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. And this got me thinking – what’s the point? I mean, what’s really the point of releasing naked pictures of any celebrity?
Is the desire to obtain and release the pics a sexual one on the part of the person doing so? Maybe, but probably doubtful, since it’s likely just some hacker with an inflated sense of self-importance but with very little confidence who’s just doing this to see if he can. Since these hackers do their deeds anonymously, they’re not likely to get recognition from the general public outside of being in the news as nothing but an anonymous entity that did X and Y (they are, however, going to get recognized by FBI’s geek squad and hopefully sent to federal prison where they’ll meet the love of their life). The only other recognition that might come of this is one from fellow hackers. But really, that’s it.
So, are they then doing it for our pleasure? Are we so hard-up as a society for some sex and nudity that we HAVE to have these pictures? Maybe if we were back in 1920’s, I would’ve said yes. But with nude pics and porn galore available simply at the click of a button, the motivation can’t truly be sex, can it? Doubtful, for 99% of the people.
Which then brings me to what I think is the real underlying reason why celebrity pictures have been getting released for as long as there have been celebrities – we want to judge them. Regardless whether we agree or disagree with the methods and the ethics of the release, we still want to know whether the “popular crowd” is the same as us – or more accurately: are we the same as the popular crowd; maybe WE can also do what they do. We want to know what’s behind the “curtain.” Seeing them naked, at least in the minds of some, brings them all down to our level. They are at their most vulnerable and exposed (literally and figuratively). All the imperfections, blemishes, scars, etc., all get exposed in the setting of an intimate picture or video that was only meant to be shared with someone you trust and feel comfortable sharing something like that with. These pictures serve as our gateway into their lives – a perverted VIP access of sorts – devoid of the ever-present PR machines, makeup artists, and other vanities and necessities of celebrity life: “Oh look, she has two nipples and a pierced labia – Celebrities, they’re juuuust like us!!!” Maybe this is simply our primal nature at work – we want to bring everyone in the pack down to the same level lest one person get too cocky or foolish and endanger the entire group. Maybe, maybe not – I’m (sadly) not a social anthropologist. Or maybe it’s just jealousy because some of us are so insecure in ourselves and in who we are, we have to find someone to put down for any imaginable (and not) reason. And celebrities, because they are fairly easy targets, are perfect for this type of self-destructive, and aimless exercise.
I don’t know or have all (or any) answers as to our exact motivation. And somehow this turned into a think-piece, instead of a rant as I had originally planned, but I feel that it’s important to delve into this regardless of the presentation. Because at the end of the day, this concerns us all as it touches upon one of the most sacred and basic societal values – privacy. We rely so much on our digital alter-egos, that we sometimes forget (or simply don’t know) that anyone who really wants to learn something about you, can and will do so. The takeaway from this situation should be the following: even if you’re not a celebrity, be smart about what you’re putting out into the digital ether. Unlike a celebrity, you might actually have more to lose if you were “exposed.” Technology can be your best friend and your worst enemy, and it’s up to you what kind of a relationship you want to have with the tools meant to assist you in your daily life. Be smart, be safe, and be careful, dear MOGTiers.
‘Till next time,
~ TheRealThirtyMinuteAbs ~
Categories: Pull Your Head Out... A PSA