Warning: Some of the links in the article may be NSFW.
June 2, 2010
Disney fans hate boobs.
It’s one of a few explanations for the strange incident last week. Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has nude pics out. Whether it was a hacker as she claimed or whether it was a publicity stunt isn’t really important. The important thing is that unlike other incidents where nude pictures for a female celebrity leaked, there hasn’t been a massive backlash against Hayley.
Why no condemnation of Hayley? Why no calls for parents to keep their kids from listening to the music this woman creates? I don’t want it to happen, but I was kind of expecting it. Paramore is often labeled as pop-punk and emo, two categories that have their largest audience in the teen demographic.
Thinking back to other scandals, I really was expecting this huge backlash. I want to make it clear that I don’t, under any circumstances, want people to ostracize her. I’d liken my reaction to seeing a missile headed for my house, then watching it turn to Styrofoam just as it hit. I was waiting for a boom.
There was no boom.
I’m not sad about it… just confused.
It seems Williams may have something the others didn’t. Let’s compare.
Disney vs. Boobies
Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame had a few images leaked out in 2007. For a while, it was hazy as to whether she would be in the third High School Musical movie, something you can probably imagine kept me up at night just like the ever-present threat of demonic sheep with machine guns invading my home. Eventually, Disney let her come back, but Hudgens has the distinction of having two NSFW pic scandals.
Seeing as how both she and Williams have similar demographics, why the different reactions? It’s probably because Hudgens works for Disney. The Empire of the Mouse has a long history of making pop-friendly, highly marketable groups, movies, and shows. They’re so wholesome and whimsical I could fart rainbows watching them. Nothing can offend in any way, shape, or form, and everything must be safe enough to show at a theme park with young children.
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Bibles and Panties
Of course, Disney starlets aren’t the only ones who have the problem of unauthorized internet nudity. Carrie Prejean, former Miss California and Miss USA contender, had her own dealing with this sort of thing last year. After standing by her belief that same-sex marriage should not be legal, photos surfaced that showed then-17-year-old Prejean posing topless while she covered her breasts.
Apparently, this was in breach of her contract for the Miss USA pageant since she claimed to have never posed nude or partially nude and she did not hold herself “in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards.” This is, of course, before she got a boob job and paraded in front of the country in a swimsuit. Somehow, the collective American consciousness had an aneurism at the thought of a woman using her looks to advance her career having posed for a lone photographer.
The difference between Prejean and Williams is that Prejean was not supposed to do this kind of thing, or at least she promised she wouldn’t. She worked the squeaky-clean Christian angle, something she later felt made her a target when the pictures came out. Williams, on the other hand, is a musician. People almost expect this sort of thing. It’s the cliché of the “rock star” image, I guess.
So where does this leave us?
Williams has the same demographic as Hudgens. Paramore’s lead singer has never done this kind of thing, much like we thought of Miss California. Several days after the fiasco, though, no outrage.
Let me repeat myself: I don’t WANT outrage. I just want to understand.
It’s not that Paramore isn’t famous. Their songs on the Twilight soundtrack helped shoot them up the charts and helped expose the band to the world. Williams has more than 700,000 followers on Twitter, and you can bet most if not all saw the picture or have since looked for it on the great god Google.
Even so, I’m looking at blog and news entries for the last week and there is almost no mention of the incident. It wasn’t a secret. No one’s trying to hide it. You can find the uncensored pic if you look hard enough.
Based on reactions to other starlets that have had nude pictures leaked, the only thing I can come up with is that the mainstream still doesn’t care about her or doesn’t consider her a threat. They’re not on the lookout for this kind of thing. It’s only scandalous when someone who is well-known and perceived as “pure” has these sinful, sinful images put out for the interblag for all to see. Once you cross that line, or if you don’t really belong, the mainstream won’t really care what you do. Williams’ fans are even backing her up and she even laughed about the incident.
Or maybe most media outlets didn’t pay attention because she’s not as… uhm, “healthy” as other scandalized personalities. And I promise I’m not going for the cheap shot here, but her real-estate, in the Monty Python sense of the term, is not as abundant as Prejean’s or Hudgens’.
Personally, I don’t think any of these women should have gotten flak for something someone else did. Someone else posted these pics (we think), and if that’s the case, these women have nothing to be ashamed of. All of them are good-looking and if we’re passing judgement on them for looking like women and, I don’t know, having breasts, we really need to check our priorities. Right now, I’m sticking with the explanation that Williams is still outside the mainstream, despite Paramore having gotten huge in the last few years, so she’s being ignored because the populations’ wrath is better reserved for other, more worthy targets considered “acceptable entertainment.”
Of course, it’s just a hypothesis.
It’s kind of refreshing, though. So, if I stay out on the fringes of the internet, I can say and do whatever I want? Cool! Okay, tomorrow, I unveil my master plan for a sociocommunazi takeover of the federal government using guerilla tactics and home-made napalm made from gasoline and Splenda, and then we take over Washington DC with a militia of Randomologists!
How many alerts at the FBI Cyber Investigations unit do you think I tripped just now?
If you want to discuss this topic in greater length, visit this article’s page on the forum.