Amber Rose is yet again in the news. For the same reason, she is often in the news, she dares yet again to be a woman with sexual agency.
What was Amber Rose’s crime this time around? She shared a picture of herself where her breasts were clothed in a bikini and her crotch and legs were not. And of course, the internet went into a furore. But what is always interesting when she stirs conversations about the place of nudity in the feminist conversation (often coincidental) she shows up the women who swear they understand feminism and sexual agency but fall flat on their face when a woman dares to share a photograph of herself being ‘indecent’.
Ignoring the urge to simply rail into a rant about ignorance and Google and the virtues of self-education, we shall try to explain why Amber Rose posting a picture of her crotch without panties, no matter how tiny, is not anti-feminist or hypocritical.
First off, Amber Rose only follows a handful of people on Twitter and Instagram. This means every single person who follows her, does so of their own volition, they were neither forced nor coerced to do so. Second, it is her personal page and it is not illegal to post naked pictures of yourself online provided you do not try to use it to harass other people in any way. On both counts, Amber Rose is in the clear.
Considering that there are thousands of triple-X adult film actors who have public Twitter profiles and share naked pictures of themselves there all the time, and most people who are disparaging Amber Rose, do not follow these actors, or particularly care what they do with their time and as such never get to see their provocative naked pictures. We also NEVER see anyone of these people disparaging these porn stars publicly (perhaps because we are all content to pretend we have no inkling of their existence). If one considers Amber Rose a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’ why not just treat her the way we treat pornstars and voyeurs on the internet; block and never speak of them again?
Because we consider Amber Rose ‘redeemable’.
Some people have gone as far as publicly saying that Amber Rose (who worked for a time as a stripper) dating Kanye West ‘cleaned’ her up. They literally considered her filthy and unworthy of redemption, and her association with a high powered man supposedly absolved her of her past. And Rose returning to that ‘past’ for whatever reason is unjustified. When Amber worked as a stripper and images of her nakedness were shared on the internet by her former patrons, no one cared, no one went after them for sharing such illicit images.
But for Amber to do so herself suggests that she is unashamed of her past, and isn’t grateful for her new status, and must either be shamed for it or have that status stripped from her. And the recurring rationale is that Rose is now a parent to a small child, and that small child will one day stumble on her nudity.
Hilarious considering Amber is not inappropriate or hyper-sexualised in the picture being criticised. Without the context of her life, the photograph is simply that. It would surprise many of you to know that Amber Rose’s son ALREADY knows what she looks like naked, and will continue to see her naked body in the flesh for the next ten years at least. If he isn’t traumatised, he certainly won’t be traumatized by airbrushed photos of her crotch.
Amber Rose doesn’t want to raise your children, she already has one of her own, she doesn’t want you to follow her either or support her if it is going to be conditional on sexism expectations. You can look elsewhere for she is not the one.