An almost impressive amount of digital content was stolen from dozens of celebrities earlier this year in an event that was quickly deemed ‘The Great Naked Celebrity Leak’, or more crudely, ‘The Fappening’. I clicked on a link, sure, and don’t raise your brows at me. My itching clicking finger was driven not by lust, but by a curiosity to see these strange creatures out of their cozy constructed habitats. What struck me was how ‘human’ these women appeared; these pictures exposed more than flesh, they exposed…well…people.
Has our totemism of celebrities really come this far?
Our disassociation with celebrities holds eerie parallels to a racist’s disassociation with a particular race. In other words, it’s de-humanising in its most primitive form, and it took a plethora of nipples for me to realise that. Now, I’m going to look on celebrities with a little more respect. Or at least regard them with the basic human dignity that I would grant anyone else on this planet, rather than rate them on some kind of bizarre hormonal roller-coaster scale between ‘Idiot’ and ‘Hero’ based purely on a couple of hours of screen time, or a few books.
Because we all make judgments, and I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. When I’m queuing up with my meal deal in Tescos and my hooded eyes drift, drawn by bright colours and bikinis, to the tabloid magazines on the counter, I will whisper a mantra:
Celebrities are people too. Celebrities are people too. Celebrities are people too.
And when I am removed gently from the queue by security, a guard at each elbow, one nodding knowingly to the other as if to say ‘Yep, it’s this nutter again’, I will have a smile on my lips. A smile that says, ‘I have become a little bit fairer, I have become a little less cruel’.
Ain’t that the point of life? To escape your own fetid cynicism? I like to think so.