When a male celebrity leaks a nude, it's just another day in Hollywood. When a female does it, she's ostracized.
Double standards between men and women have existed since sexism was introduced into the English vocabulary. Some would probably argue even before that. But there's no double standard that exists quite like the one surrounding nudity. Especially within the predominately feigned realm of Hollywood.
It's universally known female nudity, both on television and in film, is widely accepted if not encouraged. Actresses are almost three times as likely to be appear nude on screen than their male counterparts, according to a 2017 report from Mount Saint Mary's University. For an additional incentive, female actresses are expected to offer parts of their bodies for the camera. You would think such practices have been abolished with the rise of #MeToo and #TimesUp movement.
However, on-screen nudity continues to remain an obscure domain. The same can be said for leaked photos of celebrities.
When nude photos of male actors are leaked, it's just another day in Hollywood. Sure, it's considered news for a few seconds, but it's soon forgotten as if it never happened. Yet, when nude photos of female actresses are leaked, they're forever ostracized and the taint on her reputation never fully fades. The actress is no longer famous for the incredible work she's done in film. Instead, she's known as "that actress who leaked nude photos of herself."
When Captain America actor, Chris Evans, accidentally leaked an NSFW photo of his nether regions a few weeks back, the actor received an outpour of support from co-stars and friends. The media chalked it up to a "hilarious mistake," and the world soon forgot it ever happened. The actor even took advantage of the incident, urging fans to vote come November 3rd now that he "had their attention."
But when nude photos of Cardi B were accidentally leaked Tuesday, the female rapper didn't receive an outpour of support like Cap did. Instead, she was criticized throughout social media, with numerous individuals commenting harshly on the way her breasts look. For men, it's considered no big deal to leak nudes. In fact, he might even receive a large, pat on the back for doing so. For women, that same curtsey is not granted.
Instead, she's slut-shamed and ridiculed, or in Card-B's case; harassed for the way her breasts look. The woman just gave birth to her first child only two years ago. Can we give her a break? And while we're at it, can we also stop berating women, particularly new mothers, for the way their bodies look?
The double standard surrounding nudity is one that never gives. Female celebrities often feel pressured into providing explanations for why they leaked the photos in the first place, thus receiving an immense amount of backlash in the process. It would seem society likes placing women in corrugated boxes, perfectly designed to suit their needs. They want women to be sexy, but not too sexy or you'll be viewed a whore.
Show some skin, but not too much or else you'll earn yourself a bad reputation. It's an endless contradiction that's altogether dizzying and tiresome. We're never going to be able to please everyone. It's just the reality of the male-dominated universe we reside in. However, we can a page out of Cardi-B's book and stop caring about what others, particularly men, think about us.
There's strength in numbers, and there's no better army than one filled with empowering and supportive women who could care less of what people think of them.