Magazine Publishes Kate Middleton Nudes & Calls Reaction “Disproportionate”
I got back from work this afternoon and did the usual thing of checking every website to see what I could’ve possibly been deprived of during the day. There was one noticeable trend on Twitter, Facebook and every news site I clicked on; Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, had topless pictures of her published in a French tabloid magazine. It doesn’t take a genius to see another common trend amongst this story’s headlines:
Now I have to mention one detail before I proceed – I’m not particularly interested in the Royals. As a general rule, when they’re in the news for whatever reason, I tune out or turn over. However, the fact that I can see this recurring trend of Kate being emotionally affected by the day’s developments does have me interested. If we ignore the fact that she is now a member of Royalty and imagine that this story was about an anonymous woman, I’d still be both interested and pissed off on her behalf. While reading through the sites featuring this story (so, every news site), there was one other thing that really stood out, which had me spitting venom.
Laurence Pieau, editor of the French magazine Closer (and publisher of these images) has publicly spoken out about her decision:
One shouldn’t over-dramatise these pictures. The reactions are a little disproportionate. What we saw in the pictures was a young couple that have just got married, who are in love, who are beautiful. She’s a princess of the 21st century…
She’s a young woman who is topless just like the ones who can be see on all the beaches of France and the world. It’s a member of the British Royal Family… Two weeks ago, there were the pictures of Prince Harry that had been published by the English press. So one shouldn’t be hypocritical. And those were pictures were degrading and far hotter than those that we’re publishing. She’s a topless princess. There have been others. It’s really not new.
Closer Editor-in-Chief Laurence Pieau, image courtesy of CAPMAN VINCENT/SIPA / Rex Features
Rather than simply raging behind my laptop screen at her comments, I’m going to focus on individual segments of this statement (which was not an apology, merely a justification for invading someone’s privacy):
- How can one not over-dramatize topless pictures of one’s self, especially when these pictures of one’s self were taken with a long-focus lens? I don’t care if Kate is royalty. That is beside the issue here, in my opinion. It wasn’t as though a photo was taken and the toplessness was merely incidental; this picture was taken with intent and, in my humble opinion, voyeurism is gross, inappropriate and indecent.
- If you can take photos of plenty of topless women on the beaches of France, or all around the world, then why not publish pictures of them instead of an internationally known celebrity? Oh, right. That’s because it isn’t quite as simplistic as her being topless like lots of other women. I’m not quite sure whether you hoped that her being royalty meant magical rainbows would fly from her nipples during this violation of privacy. How disappointed you must be.
- If you wanted pictures of a young, recently married couple who are deeply in love, there are LOTS of pictures out there. And, I assure you, the majority of those pictures would be appropriate and not be as intrusive as those you published.
- Despite that they are somewhat synonymous, I’m reluctant to compare the recent Harry nude-in-Vegas situation to this one. I definitely don’t think what happened to either party is appropriate. If I was playing strip billiards with friends (fingers crossed this never happens) and an acquaintance leaked nude pictures of me, I’d be pissed. If I was topless in my room and some letch with a camera sold a picture of this to the press, I’d be pissed. I also wouldn’t want to apologize for these incidences. Sorry for being nude…?
It is the casualness of Laurence’s statement that has me enraged, that complete disregard for another’s feelings to make money and a name for herself in the tabloid press. She doesn’t seem to realize that people actually value their privacy, whether they be another face in the crowd or not. I have been harassed by men while sunbathing for pictures, and have had them take pictures of me without my permission. It is a horrible feeling. A person’s body is not there for the gratification of the Voyeur. If I wish to display my body then it’ll be under my terms, not yours.
At this moment, it does appear that legal action is being taken against Closer for publishing these photos. Damn right. We live in an age where it is easy to share every detail of our life with the world, but this doesn’t give people a privilege to intrude. Just because I have started a 365 Portrait project does not mean I want pictures of me in a bikini published. And, as for the editor who thought this invasion of privacy could be justified, I sincerely hope you never are in such a humiliating position where the world is privy to pictures of yourself without your consent.
What do you think of the Kate Middleton incident and the comments of Laurence Pieau? Share with us in the comments below.
Written by Becci Yare