Nude Photo Leaks Are The New Publicity Stunt

In the last month, we’ve seen a lot more of celebrities and D-listers than we ever wanted, by way of leaked nude photos. We saw the lady lumps of Cassie, Miss California Carrie Prejean, and possibly Rihanna. It’s too much of a coincidence that Cassie, Rihanna, and Carrie were robbed of nude photos within a few weeks of each other. Instead, maybe these women took a page from Heidi Montag Pratt, who learned early in her career as an attention whore that a picture, any picture, is worth a thousand dollars or more. Perhaps these women, or a team of people close to them, orchestrated these “leaks” in order to boost their publicity.Cassie’s star has faded fast. She’s better known for keeping Sean Combs’ bed warm (some nights) than for her music. She got a little attention for her head-shaving stunt last month, but obviously not enough to resurrect her career. So what does Cassie do? She, under the guise of some phantom hacker, may have released nude photos of herself and then Twittered about it: “Now, stop acting like you haven’t seen a titty before.” That’s Cassie using her assets and one of the most popular, headline-making social networking sites.

Similarly, Miss California and her team are trying to capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame after her controversial statement on gay marriage at the Miss USA pageant. You see, endorsement deals don’t get made unless corporations are positive the general public will be receptive to the endorser. And as any politician who’s dreamed she was naked while giving a speech will tell you, there’s no better way to get an audience to stop paying attention to that foot in your mouth than to flash some skin. Even Donald Trump realizes Carrie is a commodity. He announced this morning that Carrie is allowed to keep her title because the topless photos are no big deal. The Donald is a rather astute business man who he seems to be operating under the philosophy that any publicity is good publicity. Didn’t former Miss USA Tara Conner have a similar problem a few years ago? Hmm. Funny.

Some might argue Rihanna had nothing to gain by “leaking” nude photos of someone that looks an awful lot like her. But I beg to differ. For most of this year, Rihanna has been thought of as a battered woman, a fragile butterfly that needs protection. Her assault, allegedly by ex Chris Brown, incited empathy, especially after the photo of her bruised and beaten face was leaked. But being associated with this altercation will not sell albums or secure high-paying endorsements in the long run. Rihanna’s team would be wise to get men ogling her and women envying her again. They’ve accomplished that with a few photos. By not confirming or denying whether it’s her in the photos, they’ve gotten the media to take up the debate over whether it’s really Rihanna, making her assault old news.

If these three women follow the examples of Heidi Pratt and Kim Kardashian, a little known stylist before her sex tape with Ray J came out, they’ll get at least 15 minutes of attention, but that’s probably not enough for them. The problem? This type of publicity stunt is a one-time thing because a celeb can only have so many leaked nude photos before it’s obvious she’s the one doing the leaking. Plus, celebrities are supposed to learn that it’s not OK to take nude photos or film yourself getting down. That’s why there hasn’t been a second “One Night in Paris” released.

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