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Alex Bowen's Nude Photo Leak... Can We Please Just Not?

26/07/2016 17:37 | Updated 26 July 2016
ITV

Let's just start with this: nude photo leaks are gross.

Dozens of celebrities were victims of this in a mass hacking back in 2014, and we all agreed it was terrible. Jennifer Lawrence, one of the most famous victims, gave a defiant interview with Vanity Fair shortly afterwards, where she blasted the whole affair, calling it "a sex crime" and "a violation", and we all stood up and applauded her.

Even as recently as January this year, she told NPR: "I can't really describe to you the feeling that took a very long time to go away, wondering at any point who is just passing my body around. Who's got a picture of my body on their phone and is at a barbecue and looking at them.

"It was an unshakable, really awful feeling that after it healed a little bit made me incredibly angry."

Why then, when we're all aware of the full extent of the damage these types of leaks can have on those involved, am I finding so many celebrity news outlets reporting on an alleged leaked nude photo of Alex Bowen from 'Love Island' as if all their Christmases have come at once?

Alex, a contestant on the most recent series of 'Love Island', is thought to be the latest celebrity victim of a naked photo hack. The keyword here is 'victim'. This is something - as far as we're aware, because at the time of writing he hasn't actually addressed it - that has happened without his consent.

We don't know whether he's feeling humiliated or violated, or whether he thinks the whole thing is just a hilarious joke.

What I do know is that the reporting around it has been disappointingly gutter-level. One leading newspaper went with the headline "Love Island star Alex Bowen's 'naked picture leak' leaves social media THRILLED", alongside a string of tweets from fans discussing the exact shape and size of the penis in the stolen photo.

On a similarly tasteful note, another leading outlet has decreed that 'Love Island' fans are "losing their shit" over the photo, but with a disclaimer at the bottom that they have "chosen not to publish" it.

Then we've got a leading major celebrity magazine, who have not just written a piece about the picture (which is "enough to make your eyes water", apparently), but also published it, completely uncensored, at the bottom of their article.

"We have contacted Alex's management for comment", they explain at the end, reminding us once again that we still have no idea how the man himself is feeling about having a private naked photo splashed over the internet.

Full disclosure: I didn't watch 'Love Island', so I don't really know a great deal about who Alex Bowen is. For all I know, he might be a prize tool. He might have mistreated other people on the island, or he might have been nice as pie to them the whole time and bought them all a round of drinks when it was all done and dusted - I genuinely do not know. But this isn't just about him.

What I do know is that we shouldn't be jubilant in our reporting of a naked photo leak, especially when the alleged victim hasn't even publicly acknowledged it yet.

It doesn't matter how many "near-naked snaps" he's posted on his Instagram over the past few weeks and months, it doesn't matter how complimentary your tone is (it's not body-shaming if we're saying he looks good, right?) and no, it definitely does not matter how big the cock in question is, people.

Nude photo leaks are nude photo leaks, and it doesn't matter whether they're happening to someone with a million Oscar nominations under their belt or some dude off an ITV2 reality show - we shouldn't be celebrating them.

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