Jennifer Lawrence is not an idiot.






“What a silly, silly girl.”

“If you take naked photos of yourself, of course they’re going to end up on the internet.”

“I expected better from Jennifer Lawrence.”

When naked photos of “J-Law” hit the internet this morning, that’s what people were thinking. It’s what people were whispering over their morning coffee, gossiping on the way to work, tweeting. Moral superiority is our quickest shortcut to feeling OK about ourselves when stories like this break.

But the more details you know about this case, the more shallow those initial gut reactions appear.

This is not the kind of “nude photo scandal” we’re used to – it’s more sinister than that. We’re talking about a 24-year-old woman who took photographs of herself, in her own home, for an audience of one. It was an intimate, consensual act between two people that happened to have involved a camera. She even deleted those photographs from her phone.

Then an anonymous man hacked into her computer system, illegally retrieved deleted files, stole up to 60 naked and semi-naked photos, and published them online without her permission or her knowledge. What Jennifer Lawrence did in taking photos of herself was entirely legal and acceptable. Everything that’s happened since is not.


As Lawrence’s representatives have said in a statement: “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

Jennifer isn’t the first celebrity to have been involved in a hacking scandal.

And so they should; this is a serious crime. It’s the equivalent of a man breaking into Jennifer Lawrence’s bedroom with a camera and photographing her having sex in her own home. This is akin to the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, when journalists illegally tapped celebrities’ phones and listened to their private conversations.

That’s the level of criminal intrusion we’re talking about here.

This is not like that time Kim Kardashian (or, more accurately, her mother/manager Kris Jenner) “leaked” a sex tape in a brazen grab at fame. This is not a staged accident, like when Nicki Minaj’s top serendipitously fell open on stage at the VMAs. This is not a seedy publicity stunt from a desperate celebrity.

This is a crime committed against a woman who happens to be famous. I repeat: This is a crime.

It’s not just a crime against Jennifer Lawrence. The same man who stole her private photographs claims to have done the same to 101 famous women, including Kate Bosworth, Scarlett Johansson, Teresa Palmer, Cara Delevigne, Kristen Dunst, and Mary-Kate Olsen. It’s a mass attack on the privacy, dignity, and agency of these women by a man who seems to be doing it simply because he can.

And to anyone who says, “But Jennifer Lawrence has appeared in lingerie shoots. We’ve seen her oiled up and wearing next-to-nothing in men’s magazines before. She’s the one who gets her naked body painted in blue make-up for X Men. How is this any different?”

Jennifer Lawrence in GQ, with her consent.

Consent. Consent is the difference.

When Jennifer Lawrence chooses to pose in a bikini, film a raunchy scene, or walk around in only body paint, she is in control. It’s a fair transaction, because she decides what to do with her body, her likeness, and her career. She’s a woman in Hollywood; of course she has to trade on the lust of the masses to make a career.

But she did not want us to see these photographs. She took them in the privacy of her own home, and she even deleted them from her phone.

This is an act of targeted, hateful violation. It’s theft. It’s one malicious man using his hacking skills to rob a famous woman of her agency over her own body. It’s illegal, it’s reprehensible, and it’s an all-out assault on privacy.

So, when we’re talking about these naked photos, resist the urge to shame J-Law. Push past the idea that she’s silly or that we should have expected better from her.

Jennifer Lawrence is not an idiot. She’s not a sexual deviant. She’s not even naive.

Jennifer Lawrence has had an egregious crime committed against her. She’s had her privacy violated and images of her naked body published without her permission.

Save the vitriol and the shame for the man who did this to her.

Have you ever taken a naked photo of yourself? Has anyone ever shared it without your permission? Mamamia is always looking for personal stories and opinions – if you’d like to share yours with us, email kate@mamamia.com.au


Here are some photographs that Jennifer Lawrence consented to having taken of her.


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