Camera selfie photo by Paul Rysz

Movie stars have only themselves to blame for those nude selfies on the Web

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By Mark Azzara

Jennifer Lawrence by Gage Skidmore
Jennifer Lawrence by Gage Skidmore

Mass murder is taking place in the Middle East, ebola is killing Africans by the hundreds, a brewing war in Ukraine may add thousands more casualties to the list before it’s over, and yet we find the time to decry a hacking scandal that has, shall we say, exposed dozens of Hollywood celebrities whose nude selfies were stolen from cyberspace and posted on the Internet. Things are really bad when even Huffington Post wails about this immoral breach of privacy.

And yet no one sees the outrageous contradiction in all this. The women who are complaining because their private photos became public have already posed for public photos showing a whole lot of skin that ought to remain private.

There is one sure way to prevent these breaches and protect the stars’ privacy. Stop snapping nude selfies!!!!! Trusting “the cloud” to keep these photos private is an act of such blind stupidity that you wonder how these women find the intelligence to read their scripts. They don’t need our sympathy; they need a dope slap.

In a recent case a girl barely into her teens was arrested after sending a topless selfie to a teenaged boy just because he’d asked for it. In his circle it quickly went viral. Only afterward did she discover she’d asked for it. She saw nothing wrong with the request – until a judge ordered her to think about it. Why isn’t some judge chewing out Jennifer Lawrence?

The rule is staggeringly simple — if you want respect, begin by showing respect for yourself. If you want others to respect you, show them you deserve it.

No amount of money, no level of technological security, can protect you from your own stupidity. These exposed women deserve absolutely no sympathy from you, me or anyone else.

There is no good reason for a nude selfie. None. Zero. Don’t tell me they’re exercising their “right” to do this. The only motivation is to show off or to arouse someone — behaviors that should be restricted to a bedroom.

These women have treated their bodies like merchandise rather than the extraordinarily valuable physical reflections of the beauty of the lives contained in them — lives created by God. And when you treat your body and your life like garbage you can’t complain when other people treat you that way, too.

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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  1. What about the aesthetic value of nudes? Humans naturally are curious about the appearance of the unclothed body. I know it can be enlightening to view oneself in the mirror, since what one sees is so heavily informed by psychological factors. I think as a part of relating to one’s own body nude selfies can make sense.

    I also think blaming the selfie takers is akin to blaming the victim in a society sick with rape culture, but that’s another matter. I think this article in Playboy articulates the point well:

  2. Mark,

    Thanks, I guess, for articulating that side of the argument so clearly, but I would question your priorities, for starters. If you’re saying someone doesn’t deserve privacy, or even basic respect, just because she doesn’t live up to your standard of modesty, then your logic doesn’t lead anywhere I want to go. In fact, I think you’re pointing towards a very grim past, when everyone else is looking for a better future.

    Second, I’d encourage you to take a leap of imagination, and consider that visual media, the body, and certainly “the bedroom” have different meanings to the generation you’re trying to talk about.

    The reason this raises such an uproar is because it’s an occasion to talk about something important: a culture in which the rights of women, even to physical safety, can be wished away so easily. And if you find your ideas are being ignored, consider the possibility that it’s because no one wants to take so many steps back to educate you on what you’re missing and bring you into the present.


  3. yay! So glad to see people are commenting and using our new comment system 🙂

  4. (yaay! I can comment again!)
    And all I wish to say here is hooray Charlie and Neal – good job.

  5. Liv Larson Andrews

    (I can comment again! yahoo!)
    And all I wish to say here is well done Charlie and Neal.

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