Georgina Guedes

The naked truth about nude photos

2012-09-14 17:15

When I read last night that Newsroom actress Alison Pill had accidentally tweeted a naked photo of herself to all her Twitter followers, my first thought was, "Accidentally? Yeah, right!"

I am on Twitter, and despite sometimes getting a little overzealous to get a tweet out while stirring a pot and frying an egg, the worst that gets published is the occasional typo.

Another journalist I follow once included a link to the washing machine she was considering buying instead of a news article she wanted us to see. And we've all occasionally committed the "Reply to All" e-mail blunder.

But despite Pill's proclaimed lack of "tech savvy", sending a photo to Twitter involves quite a few fairly conscious steps, so I'm inclined to think that she knew what she was doing.

If this isn't the case, I apologise for thinking such things about her, and blame the scores of Hollywood starlets who have let nudity photos be slipped or fannies be flashed to the media in the pursuit of whatever publicity they can garner.

You get what you ask for

I'm not of the school of thought that anyone who chooses a life of celebrity deserves any intrusion of privacy that's coming to them. But I do think that there are those who court the media and live their private lives very much in the spotlight, while others with the same level of fame manage to keep to themselves by avoiding the nightclubs, parties and restaurants where "stars" are most likely to be seen.

On the other hand, we have Kate Middleton, or the Duchess of Cambridge as I think we're supposed to be calling her now, whose behaviour over the past decade suggests that, while she might have hooked up with one of the world's most famous people, she's not desperate to see her name in the headlines.

She appears in public looking modest, well-groomed, smiling and sweet. I don't have much interest in her activities in general, but I was very surprised to hear that topless photos of her had also been leaked.

It emerged that she engaged in a bit of bottoms-only sunbathing at a friend's private house. There's nothing scandalous or shocking about this. What is shocking, though, is that some paparazzo lurking in the bushes managed to snap a shot with his telephoto lens, and what's scandalous is that Closer, in Paris, agreed to publish the shots.

Reputation and right to privacy

People are saying, and I agree, that those photos of Prince Harry did his reputation very little actual harm. Sure, the person who sold them to the press was a prick of the highest order, but for Harry to have been revealed as a fun-loving guy on a jaunt in Vegas was pretty much in keeping with what the public would have expected of him anyway.

I don't think that the photos of Duchess Kate have done her public image any damage either, other than to move the marker a half-notch further away from "prim" on the personality scale. However, the means by which they were captured and the subsequent embarrassment which was so out of keeping with the original intention of the act, leave me feeling very sorry for her.

There's something underhanded and creepy about the way that these photographs were obtained, and for a girl who's been so careful of maintaining an appropriate image with the eyes of the world upon her, this is an extremely discomfiting intrusion.

I think it's a great sign of the respect that the British press has for the royals after their part in the death of Princess Diana that they've refrained from publishing these photos and almost all of them held back from publishing the ones of Harry.

Unfortunately in a global world and with the ubiquity of the internet, such respect still doesn't buy the young royals much privacy.

The Royal Family spokespeople have mentioned that further action might be forthcoming, and I hope that something can be done to hurt Closer and the photographer as much as these photographs have benefited them.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


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