One of my few guilty pleasures (as in I actually feel pretty guilty about it) is celebrity gossip on the Internet. This is not a plug for this site, because I think it's disgusting* but I frequently read a blog called The Superficial. This blog is just about the rudest, most misogynistic piece of crap... and kind of funny sometimes. I just got addicted to it when I started desk jockeying and still can't stop myself from looking at it on an almost daily business, even now that I don't have a "real job."
One of the weirdest double standards I've seen thrown at female celebrities, not only by this blog but by pretty much any entertainment "news" source, is something that I will called the Celebrity Vagina Paradox (this is just a working title, so don't make fun of me for this not being the correct usage of paradox, or vagina, or whatever). We live in a world where women, and yes occasionally even celebrity women, will go commando under a nice piece of evening wear in order to avoid panty lines. Or perhaps they just go commando because they like it. WHO GIVES A SHIT?
Now, even more occasionally, a paparazzo will snap a shot female celebrity who has gone commando in an undignified moment getting out of a limo or whatnot, flashing her nether bits for the whole world to see for several seconds. The horror, the shame, think of the children, etc etc ensues. All over one little shot of beaver that's even more ambiguous looking than Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. "Are those pussy lips or just tan panties?" We often find ourselves asking as we dissect these voyeuristic tidbits of possible vagina.
This happened to Anne Hathaway recently, and when everyone felt it appropriate to post the photo, dissect it (it's pretty much just a picture of her pubic mound, I will point out, and not her vagina or genitals at all) and talk about how embarrassed she should be, Anne was embarrassed (here's a post on it on Perez Hilton to illustrate my point). Which is too bad (I hate when people are embarrassed to have a vagina), but I have some sympathy for her. She also stated that she felt saddened that we live in a culture where someone catches another person in a vulnerable moment, and doesn't just delete the picture. And that our culture commoditizes (this may or may not be a word) the sexuality of someone who isn't consenting to it.
Guess what, Anne Hathaway? I totally agree with you.
However, I am also in the business of commoditizing my sexuality, so I can't help but feel that an opportunity is being missed by all the female, and even male, celebrities with photography stalkers. A chance to make a real political statement not only about privacy but also about shame and sex-positivity. Anne Hathaway, you should make this idea a reality. Although I can't help but feel like this is really more of a Rihanna move.
Why not, the next time you're hanging out in on your private property and you notice some asshole taking pictures of you... why not just masturbate? Or better yet, grab someone and fuck them. Or a group of people. Even better if everyone involved is a celebrity. Make sure to really put on as much of a show as you can. Cheat toward the camera. Wink at the camera. Flip the fucker off! Hold up a sign asking people to support your favorite charity.
Frankly, I'm shocked that a celebrity hasn't thought of this yet. Sometimes I imagine myself as a celebrity, and I being interviewed by Conan O'Brien because really he's the only one of those jokers I do an interview for. Though I know I wouldn't actually have a choice (but remember, this is my fantasy world, so I do have a choice in fantasy world!). I imagine Conan asking me all the hard questions about being caught in this awkward moment (I think that's the wording he would use), and I would calmly and rationally explain the pure and simple fact that
I am not to blame for unleashing these images upon the world, but actually it's the fault of the asshat who took pictures of me on my private property during a private orgy moment. And then, to top it all off, I would calmly and rationally explain that orgies are nothing to be ashamed of. Especially when they're with the like of Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Johnny Depp and Rutger Hauer (my celebrity orgy dream team).
Once again, I have solved the big issues facing America today. I should win a Noble Prize.