Tits on the internet - When Fappening becomes UNfappening

This article features artistic interpretations of private celebrity nudes. If that offends you then please turn away now and you can still claim the moral high ground next time those pics come up in conversation.

Are they gone? Great. Glad you’re still with us.

Here’s the context - Unless you’ve been living under a rock on Mars, you will by now have heard of ‘The Fappening’, which refers to the leaking of hundreds of celebrity nudes and videos earlier this year. This was followed by additional leaks in September to amass quite the library of illicit pics. The content ranges from mundane (posing fully clothed), to titillating (posing in underwear, flashing at the camera), to the hardcore (blowjob videos, masturbation, close-up selfies of vaginas and assholes and erect boyfriend’s cocks).

This begs several questions – firstly why would ANYONE want to take close-up pics of their asshole and send it to their partner, and secondly how stupid could these people be? Honestly, is it an American thing, this absolute self obsession and cultural acceptance for photographing every part of your naked body - with special attention to your genitals, of course!

This simple truth is thus, you really shouldn’t be taking naked pictures of yourself unless you're willing to entertain the possibility of adverse consequences. And that goes exponentially if you’re in the public eye. I refuse to buy into the argument that sharing nude pics is the new normal. I won’t mention names in this piece as I don’t feel these celebs deserve any publicity for their stupidity. Congratulations – you’ve got a naked body and a smartphone.

The act of stealing a stranger’s data is theft and whoever did so will probably be hunted down and duly prosecuted; as they should be for an illegal and immoral act. However since a certain A-lister came forward yesterday to say that looking at her tits constituted ‘perpetuating a sexual offense’ and calling for a change in the law to make such voyeurism a ‘sex crime’ – I feel like we need a reality check on the matter.

Take some personal responsibility for your digital footprint. If you don’t want this kind of material to be out there, don’t produce it. Simple as that. I have zero nude pics after a long-term, long distance relationship with my Parisian partner. Why? Because she made it clear from day one that she didn’t do ‘that sort of stuff’ - despite four years of spasmodic begging. This isn't the same as a peeping tom climbing up a tree and recording your sex life with a telephoto lense. All these pictures, from the intimate moments between lovers, to scenes more fitting in a biology textbook - all were taken with consent, either by the individuals themselves or as a willing participant in the fun and games.

At the heart of this indignancy seems to lay the vacuous solipsism of contemporary youth culture. Cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am – Habeo culus, I have an asshole; therefore I must take pics. Ultimately, this isn’t really an issue any rational person would particularly care about. Never mind about 14 million women forced into sexual slavery in India, forget about female genital mutilation, who gives two shits about child-brides or real issues facing women around the world; OMG YOUR VAG IS ON THE INTERNET. Quickly, sue Google for $100M. Maybe that will make it go away.

Finding humour in the whole debacle, Patrick van Haperen and Robin Meekel from Red Urban – a digital agency in Amsterdam – have unveiling the UNFappening. Their aim is to offer a tongue in cheek perspective on nudity, while highlighting the talents of brilliant international artist from Artbox. But to what end? Are they simply perpetuating an immoral breach of privacy and using it as a self-promotion piece – as some will no doubt be eager to accuse them of doing.

“The UNfappening invites artists from all over the world to help covering up the celebrities. One rule: cover it up!” And cover it up they have. The works portrays a depth of talent, myriad styles and illustrations, all conveying the sheer artistic skill that so many of us aspire to. “The UNfappening is a project that brings decency back to the victims”, Patrick Van Haperen told Adland, “while showcasing the works of artists.”

This isn't the first time we've seen sexual content cheekily adapted into Safe For Work pastiches. In 2008, Diesel launched their 'Dirty 30 Party' which showcased hardcore pornography in a cartoonish fashion - handjobs became shaking the maracas, cunnilingus, eating corn on the cob. It was funny in part because the porn had a retro value, seemingly dropped out of the 80s, and because of the ridiculous juxtaposition between what we saw and what we knew was really happening. It made an impact for being a brave choice and eight years later it still takes you by surprise, vigorous fingering becoming something else, something silly - almost self-deprecating in its facetious parody of sex. (Watch it here: https://adland.tv/node/145695)

Some will find criticism in using these private pics for any reason; it becomes a moral issue and an attack on those depicted. Others will see it as inspiring and uplifting; taking the erotic and transforming it into an entirely new and more beautiful thing. I’ll leave you to make your own mind up. One thing is for certain though – it takes a lot more skill to create a beautiful piece of art than to take a selfie of your genitals.

Check the artworks: https://www.theunfappening.com

The UNFappening was launched by Red Urban Amsterdam creative team Robin Meekel & Patrick van Haperen in collaboration with Artbox - https://www.redurban.nl/

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Tom Megginson's picture

David Felton, let's imagine that you had an intimate moment with a loved one at home, and forgot to close the blinds. Or thought you were alone outdoors.

Now, let's imagine that someone took a picture of you without your knowledge or consent.

Should I mock you for being stupid? For being sexual?

Okay, so people didn't realize how vulnerable their digital sexuality was. Should we pretend we are better than them? Mock them? Or should we bemoan the fact that people are peeping everywhere now, a bunch of masturbating paparazzi photogs hiding in the bushes outside everyone's bushes?

Yes, this situation can be a warning to celebrities to be afraid of expressing themselves to their lovers digitally. Hooray. (Not.) But this obnoxious "art" and your dismissive attitude towards the real violation that happened here are not helping.

I'm not even that angry. I just find this depressing. Do better.


You could do better at reading. He addresses the difference between unconsented images and these images in the article.

Joe's picture

Asshole, total, complete, brain of a 14yr old.. ASSHOLE.


For several years this man respected a woman's choice to not make images like this. And you're calling him an asshole instead of gentleman.

And we wonder why there are so few good guys around these days.

Patrick's picture

We live in a digital age where things like explicit pictures on the internet aren't so easily removed. We felt sorry for the people who are portraited in the hacked nudes and wanted to turn something bad into something good.

By publishing the covered up versions of artists from Artbox, we tried to shift attention from the 'Fappening' to art instead. Some of the covered up artworks are intriguing, clever and sometimes just plain funny.

Dabitch's picture

Yes, it's unfortunate that the first two comments spent their energies on disagreeing with David more than discussing the idea but that was to be expected when he weighed in on the creation of such nudes in the first place.

Like Patrick from the Unfappening says, pictures on the internet aren't so easily removed. Now that we know an immoral Russian webhost has all the images and he refuses to take them down, tender (read "horny") moments between starlets and their chosen partners will forever be found on the net.

I say "immoral" because he's banking on stolen property. Funnily enough, that's how a lot of the most popular web sites work these days. And there's literally nothing that the toothless DMCA or other copyright laws can do about it. International copyright relations to Russia are complicated, on top of an already complicated idea of ownership of data in the shape of photographs or music, in a world where people honestly think "it's on the internet = it's public domain".

While I like the artists cover-ups, especially the cartoon octopus & proud bird, for the idea to work these have to spread further than the original nudes. Also, now we're in the territory of bringing more attention to something that one of the involved starlets has called a "sex crime". She's calling it a sexual violation and demanding that the laws change so these web sites can be punished (ie; Russian host & more). I agree that laws need to change, this much has been obvious for years with photographers leaving the business and countless bands packing it up. Those photos are copyrighted, and there are laws about that, but it's not very sexy to talk about how hard it is for creators of stuffs to keep control of their stuffs. Google can scan your email for child porn, surely there's a tech solution to this dilemma? There is, but when we go there, the discussion shifts to an overbearing controlling government and then the discussion derails again. We've had all of these conversations before.

Sometimes it's just simpler to cover up the nipples with an octopus.

fairuse's picture

At first I wasn't sure of the article. Darn, I went back and read it without distractions; blame game the internets, social thing-a-ma-jig, mobile cameras and youth. First off there is long history of Polaroid picture making the way out of one's closet. All that has changed is the ease and speed pictures travel. If you don't want that photo of the brand new Brazilian you got out on a sleazy web site; don't take it. And the whole photographing yourself is stupid (unless you are making a p0rn sell.)

The gall of someone in the public arena crying for stupid laws based on their lack of knowledge of what Sex Crime is or isn't makes me foam at the mouth. The real crimes outlined above don't need this kind of meddling. Lets not forget the everyday sexual harassment laws that already are a box of worms. The term Sex Crime is specific and if a A-List whatever wants to make everyone on the planet jump because their ego grew legs and is on every photo site and soft p0rn site in the world then charge admission and shut up.

I stayed away from commenting on the images here because they are cute. I have nothing to add to the part where women are sold as sex slaves or "domestic help" or mutilation as that is, or should be, understood by all.

Full Disclosure: I grew up in a strong matriarchal environment so my view is a little in-your-face for some.

fairuse's picture

P.S. We men have to do better. The man that will strike with hostile intent his wife will attack any woman. I totally forgot Quebec tragedy, it was too far away. What saddens me? I pretend men will evolve away from the idea women are just there for reproduction and service. I know that will never happen -- religious dogma rules the planet.

Poster: https://twitter.com/mclortie/status/541199032677597184

Polytechnique shooting shattered us then and still does
CBC guest blogger Marie-Claude Lortie on breaking the 'new type of silence' that prevailed after Polytechnique


So the aftermath of Polytechnique was the beginning of a new type of silence.
Feminists were told to stop trying to explain their sense of connection to the tragedy.

Today, I still read trolls on Twitter — and sometimes sound minded people as well — arguing that craziness was the problem at the heart of the massacre, not misogyny. Every time I want to scream.

We shall see. -f