Last night, Twitter went bananas after nude photos of Orlando Bloom went viral. The photos featured Bloom alongside his (clothed) girlfriend Katy Perry, with Bloom paddleboarding in the buff as Perry nonchalantly downs a beer.
Because Bloom is something of a sex symbol (and because it's not everyday that you get to see a celebrity paddleboarding with his wang out), people were excited to see the photos. (They later got their wish: uncensored versions of the nudes leaked this morning, which we are not linking to.)
Like, maybe a little too excited.
Some people on the internet pointed out that the fervor over Bloom's uncensored nudes was somewhat inappropriate, given how incredibly invasive and humiliating the 2014 Celebgate nude photo hack was for female celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton:
But the enthusiastic responses far outweighed those of concern:
In truth, both sides of the debate over the Bloom nudes (the pro/anti-thirst contingents, as it were) have some merit. Was the release of nude photos of Bloom an invasion of his privacy on behalf of the Daily Star and the New York Daily News, who plastered the (censored) image of Bloom with his wang out on their front pages? Maybe — but we don't know that for sure. (Bloom has yet to publicly comment on the fervor.)
What we do know, however, is that were a female celebrity — say, Bloom's paramour Perry — in the same position, we would not be openly clamoring to see the uncensored versions of the photos with the same enthusiasm reserved for a new Kylie Jenner lip kit shade. Instead, we would be outraged — but that doesn't mean those in the pro-Bloom wang-showing camp should feel bad.
There's a huge double standard when it comes to the release of nude photos of male and female celebrities. While the media, for the most part, rallied behind Celebgate hack victims Lawrence and Upton, there was far less sympathy for Justin Bieber, who was the victim of a similar incident last October, when paparazzi snapped him fully nude on the terrace of his hotel room.
While the internet similarly applauded the release of Bieber's nudes, for his part Bieber said he was majorly aggrieved by this incident. "My first thing was like... how can they do this? Like, I feel super violated," Bieber told Access Hollywood. "Like, I feel like I can't step outside and feel like I can go outside naked. Like, you should feel comfortable in your own space... especially that far away."
It's true, celebrities are more vulnerable to public exposure than the average person. But that still doesn't mean they're not entitled to personal space, no matter their gender, sunbathing on your hotel patio in Bora Bora or paddleboarding with their meat and potatoes out for the world to see. The fact that Bloom and Bieber are entitled to their own privacy regardless of their gender is something horny internet revelers should keep in mind.
That said, there is a world of difference in media and online culture between how we objectify women and how we objectify men — which is to say that for the latter, we barely do, at all. While outraged concern trolls might claim that ogling Bloom's peen is just as exploitative as, say, Googling a Margot Robbie nip slip, the truth is that it simply is not, because male bodies are not commodified in the same way that women's bodies are. There is a multimillion-dollar industry that profits when Robbie has a nip slip; it does not, however, experience the same boom if, say, Bryan Cranston has a red carpet wardrobe malfunction.
So go ahead and drool over those Orlando Bloom censored nude photos, if that's what your horny little heart desires. Go ahead and bask in the masculine English glory that is Legolas (or admire how he seems to be doing all the legwork on the paddleboard, while Katy Perry merely gets to bask in the sun and enjoy a beer).
But know that by clamoring to see him in all his masculine English glory, you are participating in a system that benefits from the commodification of nude celebrity bodies, male and female alike — and because Bloom is packing a hot dog and not a bun, that makes it a little bit different, but not different enough.