Snapping a Few Candid’s: The Naked Truth
Digital voyeurism and its impact on reputation management
Ok, so we’ve had a major news event overtake numerous wars, famine and Ebola. As stealthy as a drone strike, someone has finagled racy photographs of the rich and famous women of Hollywood. Gee, after seeing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, I thought the revealing photos of Kate Upton were already published.
My mother always said that girls need to dress appropriately (yes, I know, it’s a bit sexist and outdated) so there’s something left to the imagination. Well, pasties don’t appear to suggest moderation. But some things have changed in the years since my mother spoke this wisdom. What’s that? The internet and iPhones. Or, if you prefer, Galaxies.
The impact on the world of gossip and guffaws is not really as pressing as, well, let’s say nuclear arms and plagues, but the uncovering of scantily-clad mega-stars has search engines super-charged.
OK, so people taking selfies or having a photographer snapping bare-it-all glossies leads to an interesting and deep question. What the heck were the subjects thinking when the lens was on them? Was it, â€œok these shots are going ‘nowhere’ and it’s a safe outletâ€. Or, could it be, â€œWell I trust this photographer and Lord knows he/she will keep them hidden in the deep recesses of a digital filing system.â€
More than likely none of these options are correct. Therefore, we introduce the â€œcloudâ€; that omniscient big brother running at light-speed with no apparent finish line in mind. The techno nerds know all too well how much dirty laundry (or lack thereof) is out in Cyber space. And as efficient as a Russian hacker, entry into the digital storehouse hiding in plain view on the Internet is pretty darn simple.
Jennifer Lawrence’s people issued a stern warning in the Huffington Post: “This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” the spokesperson told HuffPost. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.â€
The rules have changed. Alec Baldwin knows that the paparazzi is as firmly fixed in our society as is hamburgers and fries. We are voyeurs of the visual spectrum. As the saying goes, â€œWe need to see it to believe it.â€ Enough said.
My prediction, although somewhat obvious, is that there will be more embarrassing photos leaked of high-profile public figures. Congressman Weiner knew exactly what he was doing in his self-absorbed, Congressional gym photo shoot. Some could argue he liked the danger of possibly being â€œfound outâ€ through his online obsession.
There’s an old saying in PR, â€œThere’s no such thing as bad publicity.â€ That’s not exactly right, but let’s count the number of times Kate Upton’s â€œnudeâ€ photograph listing shows up in search engine metrics. My guess, although unscientific, is there is an exponential increase in searches since the ground-shaking news was released.
Of course, this whole saga has placed a new importance on the term, â€œGrin and bear it.â€ Thanks, mom.