(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
This is something Jennifer Lawrence should never have had to say, but because a bunch of garbage humans felt entitled to seeing her body without her permission, she just did. For her cover story interview in the November 2014 issue of Vanity Fair, Jennifer commented on the nude photo hacking crimes that have disturbed so many people, and yet entirely too few at the same time.
Apparently, her interview with VF was already done by the time the photos hit the Internet, but contributing editor Sam Kashner wanted to give her “a chance to have the last word.” She had lots to say, all of which is more articulate than the series of profanities the women in our office exclaimed when we heard about this BS. Here’s one huge point she made:
“Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this,” she says. “It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world. ”
As for the “scandal” aspect, she had this to say: “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime.” ACCURATE. It is a theft, which is a crime; it’s not like she got caught kissing Bill Murray at the top of the Eiffel Tower (why is this what I think of when I hear “scandal”?). She goes on:
“It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
Perhaps because I do not like hurting other people, I too have a difficult time imagining being so unable to feel empathy that I would actually be willing to steal and stare at a person’s image despite knowing she would never want me to.
Additionally, there was this heartbreaking reason behind why she didn’t initially release a statement in response to the photos’ initial explosion:
“…every single thing that I tried to write made me cry or get angry. I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”
I’m thrilled she did not apologize and that she acknowledges she has zero to apologize for. That sets a pretty fantastic example for her fans, many of whom are young girls (and boys) who should learn that no, nobody has the right to violate your trust and your privacy like that. And before anybody says, “But won’t they also be learning that nude photos are okay?!?!?!” let’s be honest: they have seen nudity, they know those exists. Girls have had conflicting messages thrown in their faces thousands of times that they should be sexual, but only sexual sometimes when other people want them to be, but never be sexual however they want to because then they’re sluts. At least J Law is teaching them that they deserve privacy and the ability to own their own sexuality.
It should go without saying that no matter what you think of a celebrity, no matter what you believe you know about her–because these are almost exclusively women being subjected to this kind of scrutiny–personality or lifestyle or moral compass, she doesn’t deserve to be violated like this.
There’s an extent to which celebrities give up a certain amount of privacy when they accept their fame. For example, tabloids speculating about who they’re dating, or talking about something they did in a night club, or finding out if they got a DUI. Are they pleasant things to have discussed in public? No, but they’re not even close to the same ballgame as being physically assaulted or having somebody steal from you–and this is a theft, make no mistake. My favorite comment on the topic might just have come from Jon Stewart, who said this:
“It’s like they said to the Boston Stangler’s victims — you don’t want to get strangled, you shouldn’t have a neck. According to this people, the laws covering private property and stealing are somehow null and void when it comes to recreational nudity.”
If you need proof that rape culture is alive and well in our society, this series of crimes is it: men believing they have the right to a woman’s body simply because it exists. Fortunately, we don’t think Jennifer Lawrence and her career are going to stop or even slow down anytime soon–she’s refusing to let this do that.
“I’m not crying about it anymore. I can’t be angry anymore. I can’t have my happiness rest on these people being caught, because they might not be. I need to just find my own peace.”
We hope you find it, girl, and even if your happiness isn’t resting on these people being caught, we really fucking hope they are.