This morning I woke to the news that actresses Emma Watson and Mischa Barton had some of their most intimate, private moments leaked online.
For Watson, 26, private photos taken while she was getting changed for a fitting have been stolen, and promulgated across the dark web. In Barton’s case, an ex-boyfriend has threatened to sell “revenge pornography” to the highest, sleaziest bidder. It’s a nightmare the 31-year-old describes as “my absolute worst fear”.
Whenever these celebrity nude photo scandals arise, we seem to be split into two equally vocal groups: the ones who say leaking nude material is an act of sexism, and those who don’t really understand the big deal; it’s just tits and an ass, right? Get over it.
While I am no international celebrity (I drive a shitty Holden Barina that’s sans two hubcaps and have a wardrobe full of Cotton On), I do on some level relate to how both women are feeling today.
When I was 20, and had a lovely constellation of acne across my cheeks, I received these Facebook messages from a male friend:
I still remember how panicked I felt the moment that message, sent in a group chat, illuminated on my iPhone.
"Ps Michelle I've seen your tits not soz."
It was March 2015, and I was frantically racking my brain as to how the EXACT thing my parents/teachers/sisters/friends/world/universe had warned me about since the moment I hit puberty had actually happened to me.
I had never sent "nudes" to guys for this exact reason. I had been careful. I had been resistant to advances on Snapchat. And yet, here I was, facing the reality that my very, very platonic mate had seen my bare breasts without my permission or knowledge.
Well, actually, it turns out a number of men had seen my bare breasts without my permission of knowledge. Some of them were mates. Most of them weren't.
How did this all happen? Well, lucky me! 2015 was the era of 'SnapSave', the creepy app that exclusively creepy people downloaded to - you guessed it - save every photo you sent on Snapchat to a secret file on their phone.
The photo in question was actually a three-second-long Snapchat I had sent only to my closest girlfriends two months earlier while I was getting dressed. It was January, and I wanted them to see my particularly sunburnt boobs. With a really grainy filter to boot.