Demure Reaction To Prince Harry’s Bum – What If It Was A Princess?
In a fancy hotel in Las Vegas, Prince Harry got all the way down to his bare bum during a game of strip billiards (that’s what royal people who can afford hotel rooms with billiards tables call strip poker), wrapped a similarly naked girl in a bear hug and posed for a picture cupping his genitals with a topless girl hiding behind him.
Cue shock. Cue horror. Cue images spread all over every newspaper. Cue controversy, cue slut-shaming…oh, hang on. Those things only happen when there are women involved. TMZ posted the (censored) pictures online. The Sun was the only paper in the UK to publish the pictures and they have faced backlash this week for invasions of privacy. Political commentators have dismissed his behaviour as “silly” and “funny,” Twitter has rushed to congratulate him for being “a lad” (oh I how I despise that word), and Mayor of London Boris Johnson has given his two cents:
I think it’d be disgraceful if a chap wasn’t allowed to have a bit of fun in Las Vegas. The real scandal would be if you went all the way to Las Vegas and you didn’t misbehave in some trivial way.
Please, readers, note the use of the word chap, and just take two seconds to imagine the uproar that would have been caused – and has been caused in the past – if a lady were to get her kit off. The media questioned Princess Kate’s fitness for the royal family because she did a fashion show at university that involved a sheer dress! Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have faced more scrutiny over their hat choices than Harry has faced thus far. All three would be in disgrace if someone caught them with their boobs out.
I have absolutely no opposition to anyone getting naked on their own time, whether they’re playing drinking games, sending sexy pictures to a significant other, or just expressing a little vanity on PhotoBooth. Like Boris Johnson, I don’t think it’s a scandal that Prince Harry stripped off and some false friend sold photos of it. But I also didn’t think it was a scandal when Vanessa Hudgens sent that picture to Zac Efron, or when we saw Scarlett Johansson’s bum, or when Hayley Williams accidentally did a tits tweet, or when that girl from Glee took some sneaky mirror shots. I have no opposition to celebrities getting naked, but I strongly oppose this disparity between how these scandals are treated in the press. Vanessa had to issue a public apology for her actions, and was blasted and attacked for her failure to remain a role model for all the pure, virginal girls who watch the Disney Channel. Why on earth should she have to apologise for her self-confidence, her body positivity, her desire to be desirable and tease her boyfriend?
When the nude photos of Vanessa were released, it took about twenty five seconds to find them on the internet. Conversely, even though I’ve been looking since they were announced, I am yet to find an uncensored version of the bare bum bear hug Prince Harry picture. That’s because the press have taken the high road and refused to publish them. Now, that may be a sign of press fear over the Leveson Inquiry here in the UK, but I think it’s representative of a systemic difference between respect for famous men and respect for famous women – note: in the latter case, there isn’t any. The Daily Mail, although it included a whopping five-page reportage on the naked prince situation, has come over all surprisingly highbrow and avoided publishing the pictures themselves. This is a publication that once had secretly taken bikini pictures of 14-year-old Kylie Jenner on its website, for which they faced understandable disgust. The Daily Mirror also took the decision not to publish, citing the rules surrounding invasion of privacy as its reason. But way back in 1992, it was the Daily Mirror that published compromising photos of another royal – Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, topless, having her toes sucked by her butler. She’s a woman, so fair game, right?
When this gross invasion of privacy happens to women, they’re called sluts. They are publicly humiliated, forced to apologise, and their careers suffer. When it happens to men, they are hailed as ‘lads,’ garner huge celebrity support, and manage to have their pictures removed or never published in the first place. It is sexism, pure and simple, and it is a display of the fundamental disrespect for the female body that contributes towards countless other issues, including arguments over abortion, sexual health, and rape.
Written by Abbey Lewis
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