dressed up like a lady: Scarlett Johansson Defends Right to Take Naked Pics!

Nov 2, 2011

Scarlett Johansson Defends Right to Take Naked Pics!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my own Matt Collar for guest posting yesterday about our Halloween shenanigans! As far as I'm concerned, he can post any time. :) 

Anyway, on to today's rant: Dammit I love Scarlett Johansson.

Remember a couple months ago when a few cute nude pictures were leaked off of Scarlett Johansson's hacked mobile phone? Well she commented on the incident recently. Check out this AWESOME quote from her on the subject:

“I know my best angles. They were sent to my husband. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not like I was shooting a porno… Although there’s nothing wrong with that either.”

All I can say is hell yeah. A few months even further back, you might recall a different bombshell, Blake Lively had her own minor selection of relatively tame nudies leaked from her own hacked cell phone. Seeing as how they were intended for herself or her own private recipient (not the world at large), she played the "I don't have to talk about this shit with you" card when reporters asked her about it, and dismissed the pictures as "fake."

Fair enough, maybe she just wasn't in the mood. But I'm glad ScarJo felt differently and took the opportunity to defended her right to enjoy her own body with whomever she sees fit. Especially because Lively herself might have taken a different tack if she'd known that a few days later, she'd get weirdly slammed by Reese Witherspoon at the MTV Movie Awards, who was accepting her "Generation Award" and apparently vying for the title of Most Uptight, Judgmental Puritan of the Year, exclaiming: 

"I get that it's cool to be bad...But when I was coming up in this business...if you took a nude picture of yourself on your cell phone, you hid your face! Hide your face!"

She concluded by saying "For all the girls out there, it's possible to be a good girl. I'm going to try to make it cool."All I have to say to Reese is good effing luck. 

It's not that I don't agree with Reese's goal, I just think she's going about it in an assbackwards way. Obviously I think it's imperative to teach girls and young women that you don't have to exploit yourself to be cool, that fame is not in and of itself a worthy occupation, that what you commit to media is permanent, no matter how likely you are to change your opinions about what you put there. But I'll tell you what will NOT help you accomplish the goal of convincing girls of these things: negative reinforcement and slut shaming.

Acting uptight and judgmental about such a harmless display of sexuality or sensuality only fuels the social fires that make reality stars out of talentless chicks with big asses and sex tapes. The fact that people make such a fuss over harmless photos of a consenting adult's *gasp* naked body is the only reason the act of bodily exposure (sexual or otherwise) amounts to a tantalizing act of rebellion for fame hungry unemployed actresses and misguided high school freshmen in the first place. If people stopped guffawing and disapproving and wringing their hands over every little show of skin by a grown ass woman, there wouldn't be such a market for it, socially or commercially.

Reese said it herself, "It's cool to be bad." She's asserting that young and/or hip people assign inherent value first to coolness, and secondarily to rebellion -- which she apparently sees as the current, arbitrary manifestation of coolness. But she's getting the causal relationship wrong. Rebellion against and disregard for cultural norms, mores, and social codes is the primary manifestation of coolness, and thus young people want to be bad in order to be cool.

This isn't some new revelation in the realm of popular culture; teenagers want to rebel, whether its destructively or benignly. If Reese wants to help shift popular culture away from rewarding shows of exhibitionism with popularity and money, why doesn't she try not making such a big deal about it? Pointing out that it's scandalous and naughty is mind-fuckingly circular, because being scandalous and naughty is the reason these acts are commercially successful. And on a related note, it's even less productive to ineffectually harangue celebrities who are already successful and famous for achieving that success through means you apparently don't approve of. I don't think Kim Kardashian's ass deserves 30 minutes of air time either, but I'm not going to make fewer people interested in her show by bitching about it in public. 

Wait, I just did! DAMN IT. You win this round, Kim.


  1. It is infuriating how quickly and venomous people can react to nude photos and, even worse, how lowly they can be placed (SEE 4chan). A body is a body is a body. And frankly, I don't think that my naked ass on a piece of paper should keep my from being president. (Or at least CEO) Rat bastards.

    Side note: I'm surprised that nude sculptures don't often undergo the same scrupulations that photography does.

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  3. Beauty and brains, you really are the whole package. Well said madam

  4. well written, love the part about kim at the end too hahahah

  5. Amen! I could rant about this all day but you said it better than I could right now. I'm not Scarlett's biggest fan, in fact, I find her quite annoying, but she's got huge kudos from me for this response. A classy fuck you, if you will :D


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