The online world was rocked by the news that Vanessa Hudgens, star of High School Musical, got naked on camera.
Yeah, that happened. And to start with, let me state that I feel rather sorry for poor V-Hudge. The photo was meant for the eyes of her dreamy boyfriend (and co star, how Disney is that? Sigh…) Zac Efron, and some unnamed third party got a hold of the photo and sold it off.
When the photo was published, no one thought it was real. “It’s really bad Photoshop!” the blogging masses cried, “look at how much bigger her head is compared to the body!” Besides, it was published in the National Enquirer, which has previously published pictures of “Batboy”, Elvis getting Maccas, and other credible news stories. But then Perez Hilton, the “Queen of All Media”, put the pics on his website and all of a sudden things got pretty serious for Vanessa – Perez’s website is unfortunately one of the most popular blogs, like, ever – and she acknowledged the photos’ verisimilitude and started being photographed going to church and hanging out with her little sister. Even Disney got in on the act, releasing a typically moralistic, non-committal Disney-esque statement: “Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. I hope she’s learned a valuable lesson.” If Disney said that to me, I too would be running to the nearest church and wearing track pants all over town.
The whole thing stinks because although at 19, she is “of age”, she clearly is not a star of the Li-Loh category – someone who is out to be super sexy and bad-ass – she stars in Disney movies, for Chrissake. So far Hudgens has done a pretty good job of the whole “I am a responsible and decent role-model for my millions of impressionable young fans” shtick that Disney pushes. Worse, as a Disney star, even though she is “of age”, you just know that the paedophilic hoards around the world got SO INTO the picture. But it seems to me to be pretty normal behaviour for a 19-year-old girl to take a naked photo for her boyfriend, she’s legal, he’s legal, they’re having sex, you know? Dare I say it, bada bing, bada boom?
This whole thing comes back to friggin’ Perez Hilton. This guy has the worst hair I have ever seen. He wears disgusting pants, which low ride around his paunch at unacceptable levels. Worse than his crimes against my eyes, however, is his gossip blog. We all know (media students especially, holla!) that gossip mags and celebrity blogs all feed each other, and that no one is really victimised that much in the whole exchange – photos for fame for more photos for more press for more fame etc – and that when you hear someone like Paris Hilton talk about how they want to be “left alone” you know it’s a lie and blah blah blah. But Perez Hilton is just so offensive. He actually included a link to the uncensored photos of V-Hudge on his website. Then he started posting blog posts about her, called “My Sister’s a whore” which talked about how the scandal was the “best thing to happen” to Hudgens. It just seems gross and exploitative. If she had wanted the photos made public, and they had been taken for that purpose, then it would have been a different story. She would have had control over her body, and who saw it.
So that’s this week’s “online” rant. Is there a moral? An overarching argument? I doubt it. One could be: Perez Hilton sucks, and putting personal nekked pictures of teen-celebrities on the Internet is irresponsible and cruel. And most importantly, perhaps, NEVER get naked if you’re in Disney movies.