Friday, 14 September 2012

Those topless photos and why debate is good


Earlier today the news broke that the Duchess of Cambridge had been papped in France and there were now topless pictures of her on the cover and in the French edition of Closer magazine. Let me start by saying this is of course outrageous and unacceptable, no one should have to worry their whole life about having photos or videos taken of them when they are in private, we should all be able to make a choice about what we share of ourselves.  

However as Royals I do believe they know they get photographed all the time, she is on the cover of practically every British paper today.  A different kind of photo thankfully but she is still there and is no stranger to media attention. In general I think the Royals would probably say that the media hype that surrounds them is a good thing for our country as it brings in lots of tourism. And yes I know it is different, being photographed in a public place as adverse to in your home or on a private holiday villa.

I have been astounded today to find myself drawn into this topic and the debate surrounding ‘was she asking for it?’.  I don’t do debate or controversy really, I have my opinions and they are based on my Christian beliefs and I sit happy with those and do not judge others for their’s. But today I have realised just how healthy a bit of debate is, it can really open your mind.

The conversations this morning started online and then followed into real life with some friends I met earlier. It was clear from the start that people had some real strength of opinion around what had happened. I won’t go sharing everyone’s opinions, as that is not my place to do so but here is my standpoint, just so you know.

I do not feel that anyone should expect to see compromising photos of themselves in any kind of media. We should all be able to make an informed choice about what we share; of course it is different if we are talking criminal behaviour or such. Topless sunbathing is a choice that every person can make; I would not be doing it as modesty is more important to me than tan lines but if that is someone’s thing then so be it, there are much worse things in life.

However, I do believe that when Kate made a choice to marry into the Royal family she signed up to a certain code of conduct.  Whilst I agree that the press should respect privacy, I am also realistic and know this does not always happen.  Why do I know this and Kate does not?  Or maybe she does and she chose to take the risk and now she has to live with the consequences of that risk. I am not saying it is Kate’s fault, there is no need to attribute blame for this but there will be fall out and William and Kate will have to live with it.  They were both naive in my opinion, it appears he was there whilst she sunbathed and even if she does not fully realise how bad things can be with the press, he certainly does.

And this is where the debate aspect comes in, when I commented earlier that the royals should have an expectation of being photographed, another blogger reminded me that we all have basic human rights and privacy is one of those. What was even more impactful for me was when she said that no one should have to be a public figure all the time and that we, as the public do not own the royal family.  She also talked about how hard women had fought for their rights and that we need to keep those rights and not to just give them away.  Some great points, thank you.

I have been able to do some more thinking today and been given a curve ball to consider and that’s good. I think I am still coming back to the fact that it was an unnecessary risk but that is just me. As someone who does not read any celeb or true life type magazines I have no real interest in the paparazzi or ‘reveal all’ stuff.  Yes I share a lot on my blog and that is with the aim of helping others, showing they are not alone and demonstrating you can get through tough times but I am just sharing me and that’s my right to do so.

I won’t be sharing any arguments or tensions online as those involve another party and I have no desire to share their stuff and become a magnet for voyeurs. Life is not to be watched, we should all be enjoying our own lives and focusing on them before we need to try and latch into someone else’s life and live vicariously through them. So the sooner that magazines like Closer, Hello and Real Lives (is that even a magazine, or did I just make that one up?) go out of business the better it will be. I do find myself wondering how many of the women I spoke to today who said it was outrageous and paps are low-lives do read those kind of magazines and happily watch the lives of so-called celebrities which have been captured by the very same paps.  If everyone stopped reading tosh, the magazines would not sell and maybe it might stop a bit sooner. Just a thought.

So share with me your thoughts.  Whilst my mind is being opened today and I am thinking about things differently I might as well get as wide perspective as possible.

Cheers, Mich x
Royalty Free image - Source
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