Telling Lawrence that she should “own it” in the aftermath of this crime further perpetuates the dangerous idea that the only way for a woman to survive an invasion of privacy is to double down on the sexist voyeurism that led to these leaks in the first place. They want Lawrence to suck it up and smile for the camera, however retroactively. But a life-altering invasion of personal privacy is nothing like a trip on the steps at the Dolby Theatre. And Lawrence shouldn’t be expected to take this in stride.
While fans might think they are being supportive by telling Lawrence to “own it,” they are, in fact, sending the harmful message that women should never fight against the understanding that their bodies are public property. It is worth noting that, according to the 4Chan user who released the photos, Lawrence’s nudes were “being privately traded” for the digital currency Bitcoin in the days before the leak. If we ask Lawrence to laugh this incident off simply because she “looks good” in the photographs, we are asking her to passively accept a world in which women’s private images are treated like public commodities rather than personal property.
By taking a firm stand against the leak instead, Lawrence is sending a powerful message that challenges the status quo. Whether you are FHM’s “sexiest woman in the world” or you are a woman whose beauty would never be recognized by the Hollywood establishment, you have the right to be upset about a sex crime and to prosecute the parties responsible for it.”