The Hidden Cost of “Leaking” Celebrity Nudes: Kim Kardashian

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Another day, another batch of celebrity nudes have been “leaked”, which is a word used to downplay the fact that these were intimate photos and videos that were stolen from women and then posted and shared online.

Of course, dude bros on Reddit and 4Chan celebrate these “leaks” and consider the anonymous thieves to be heroes, all while condemning the NSA for having the ability to steal their own data, albeit without any real risk of them then publishing that data online for all the world to see.

“If you don’t want nudes leaked, don’t take nudes,” cry the liberal Redditors and the conservative Fox News analysts. If you don’t want the world to think you’re a pedophile, don’t keep naked photos of your baby nephew on your phone. If you don’t want to go to prison for drug possession, don’t visit r/trees.

Makes sense.

Pointing out this hypocrisy doesn’t seem to help most of these creeps, unfortunately, since the invasion of privacy…I’m sorry, the “leaks” keep coming. These men aren’t interested in being morally consistent, or in being compassionate and treating women like human beings.

With that in mind, here’s an alternative argument that I hope may reach them:

This most recent batch of stolen nudes includes Kim Kardashian. Kim Kardashian is a woman with no discernible talent who is, nevertheless, a millionaire with instant name recognition who lent her name to a mobile game that despite being free-to-play makes $700,000 per day.

So why is Kim Kardashian so famous? Because she once made a sex tape that was then stolen and posted publicly.

Remember that, asshole data thieves: every time you steal a woman’s intimate photos and videos and post them online for all the world to see, you risk creating the next Kim Kardashian.

Think about it.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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  1. I feel uncomfortable about the hatred for Kim Kardashian. I agree with you about the hypocrisy of crying foul on the NSA while celebrating the breach of privacy when it comes to nudes of conventionally attractive celebrities, but think that as feminists it behooves us not to feed these people’s hatred for Kim Kardashian, since she epitomizes all they hate in women.
    Also, I’m not sure how “liberal” these Redditers are, unless you mean liberal as in libertarian.

  2. It may be a stretch to describe the Kardashian sex tape as “stolen,” considering that it was released by one of the participants. There are also ongoing rumors (unconfirmed as far as I can tell), that she signed off on the release.

    And the reaction to the stolen nudes should provide at least a slight ray of hope for humanity: this kind of crime is not nearly as damaging to the career prospects of the victims as it would have been even a short time ago. It’s still a devastating invasion of privacy, but at least they aren’t getting the added insult of being blacklisted for someone else’s misdeeds.

  3. Release of some pretty tame nude pics ended Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grand’s TV series on Nickelodeon. That was also an alleged disgruntled ex situation.

    But one of the biggest problems caused in the Rupert Murdoch/New International phone hacking scandal in the UK was that a lot of people blamed friends for leaking stories that had been found out through criminal activity by Murdoch’s people.

  4. God’s grief, could we NOT try and fight sexism by bashing women? Even women we may not particularly like? You’re effectively saying ‘Don’t leak women’s nudes because you’re just giving those worthless whores what they want!”

    0/10 see me.

    1. Um, I didn’t call Kardashian a whore.

      I don’t even think I’d categorize her as “worthless.” I do think she’s talentless, and she doesn’t get a pass on that because she’s a woman.

  5. I’m with Hanoumatoi on this one. I agree with most of the video, but I don’t the Kardashian hook. I think Kardashian hate is partially fueled in misogyny and femmephobia. There are plenty of men who got rich and/or famous without contributing to society (investment bankers come to mind), but they don’t face the same kind of vitriol. Kim Kardashian didn’t swindle or steal her way to success. She got there by filling a market niche. Her consumers made her what she is. If people are upset that she’s famous, they should blame the people who made her famous. Kardashian may be symptom of what some people is wrong with society, but she’s not the cause, and she doesn’t deserve the hate.

  6. Yeah me too, I’m queasy about the anti-Kardashianism. So Paris Hilton and Pia Zadora and Bo Derek were famous for being famous, and in Hilton’s instance, her fame was cemented by a “leaked” sex tape. I’m with Jackal/Hanoumatoi here, the bile and venom are never directed at the much less worthy inheritors of familial fame and fortune who happen to be male….oh….say….Luke Russert, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, David Koch, Jim Belushi….

    I mean, Xaviera Hollander can be a punchline, but her only sin was being female and sexual. And how come Garth Brooks can behave like an idiot onstage, not to mention every big-haired band of the 80s, but Madonna and GaGa are condemned for being “more marketing than talent”?

    And Jackal, I’m not sure we should blame the people who made Kardashian famous. Or anyone. If people want their Jersey versions of Lady Di, rock on. It’s the people who get so virulently upset by it that deserve our greater contempt. And let’s not forget the almost-certain racism…..if it had been Matt Damon instead of Kanye, no problem, right?

    1. I didn’t mean that people necessarily should condemn Kardashian fans, just that if anyone were to blame for her fame, it would be them. Seriously though, what makes Kim Kardashian any less worthy of fame than any pro sports player, for instance? You can say that they’ve honed a skill, but the ability to direct a projectile to a designated area isn’t any more useful to humanity than Kim’s ability to do fashion/style things.

    2. I’m not sure if you’re joking or not, but Jim Belushi has been the butt of countless jokes about how he’s a talentless dumbass.

      I really don’t see the problem with criticizing people for being rich and famous for doing nothing, regardless of their gender.

    1. It’s Skepchick. Lowercase “c”.

      Personally, Kourtney is my favorite Kardashian.

      I think they are pretty shrewd business people, actually. They didn’t become THIS famous *and then stay this famous for YEARS* by doing nothing.

  7. I don’t hate Kim Kardashian, or even Paris Hilton. I envy Paris Hilton, because it must be nice to have an inheritance that even your grandkids won’t be done with.

    I do, however, hate the media for their obsession with Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and other people who in a sane world would be irrelevant, but America needs its gods, so we have to find the only people more soap operatic than the Olympians.

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