Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Jamie Ang Betty White Nude Photo Scandal

Earlier this year Jamie Ang, a Singapore FHM Cover Girl model, was unfortunately way deep in a nude photo scandal. Privately taken photos of her were taken by a photographer and also her angmo (white) boyfriend and circulated without her permission around the internet.

For visitors unfamiliar with Singapore - you just need to know that its a conservative society in many regards. Nude photographs are illegal in Singapore. Even the Playboy website is banned by the Govt censors. Far too many Singaporeans take a harsh puritanical and cruel view of such scandals. Sexual impropriety is  regarded by mainstream society with a sort of Victorian Society prudishness. Sadly, many citizens take a sick perverse glee in mocking the individuals - usually females - involved - the reaction is similar to how ancient spectators viewed blood sports - peppered with plenty of misogynistic comments.

What I find awful is how men and women would make fun of the girls - gawk at their photos - post horrible comments about them - literally flaying them verbally. I take the view - if you don't like it - don't look at it. What has she done to you? I don't get the outrage. Then again I hate pharisees.

Meanwhile - the photographer and boyfriend whose names are also known - don't really rate a mention. It reminds me of the story of the woman caught in adultery in the Bible. The crowd wanted to stone her but wtf was the dude?

It would be quaint to blame the old British colonial establishment for this attitude - but really, Asian societies are very patriarchal and anyone that steps outside the bounds,especially if you are not rich or well connected, get mocked and ridiculed mercilessly.

This sort of very parochial attitude is going to shadow this girl's life in our small island nation state for a long time. Singapore is very much a pressure cooker society. (Everyone is being forced from an early age to do well at school so that they can achieve success in this rat-race competitive meritocracy society. People who don't do so well academically face a lifetime in poor paying jobs - kept low by the fact that the richly paid govt officials continue to allow in massive numbers of foreign workers into the country keeping workers' wages low.)

The photographers who leaked the photos ought to be imprisoned - they've in effect ruined the life of the poor young girl. They aren't the ones who are going to bear the embarrassment and the shame even if their faces and identities are shown. Its going to be very difficult for her to show her face in public in Singapore or to even foreign places where there are Singaporean and Malaysians around without risking open ridicule. Asians can be utterly heartless people.

I hate this sort of scandal as it stinks of the old witchcraft and adultery trials of ancient times. Usually the unfortunate woman bears the brunt of the public and official outrage whereas the men who were involved get away scot-free; even if they actively participate in the female's humiliation. A special place in the worst pits of hell should be reserved for such villains.

I hope that Jamie can make a full recovery from this and make a better life for herself.  Everyone makes mistakes or have done things which they may regret later. To suffer and be condemned for such an incident for the rest of your life is just not right.

(On the mirror side - we see something similar happening to the men caught in the recent underage 17 year old escort scandal.)

Having said that - this sort of folly should not condemn the life of a young girl. Check out Betty White - yes, THAT BETTY WHITE from the Golden Girls fame. She did nude photos in her younger days back in the 1930s - you look at this and you might consider this tame. But that was over decades years ago when "moral standards" were very "high" and even the sight of a woman's shoulder in public was considered risque.
You remember Ms White don't you? Here's a more recent photo.
No joke. That's the same girl - from the Golden Girls TV series fame... albeit much older and of course with clothes on. haha.

Betty White managed to overcome her nude photo scandal and eventually became one of the most trusted celebrities in America.

Having said that America is a different larger (and more forgiving) society compared to Singapore. But its good to see that people can overcome personal scandals in their lives.

I hope Ms Ang can do the same. Everyone including yours truly has made terrible mistakes (and still making them) - you just have to say like Winston Churchill, "Bugger them!" and get a good night's sleep and try and recover the next day. Everyone suffers setbacks and failures - Churchill who lost his fortune during the Stock Market crash of 1929 - and lived with the shame of many military disasters (which resulted in the deaths of ten of thousands of young men). But he pushed on to become a great national leader. People like Steve Jobs got sacked from Apple back in the 1990s - it would have been easy for him to spiral into depression and drug abuse afterwards, but he got back in the end.


My attitude towards sex and pornography is that - its natural. What is more natural that a naked human being? Why have we come to regard the human body as unclean, dirty, sinful? We're sexual beings and have specific desires. There are certain things which turn men and women on. In general  - yes, we desire companionship, we desire to be loved. But there are aspects that vary between the genders. With regard to pornography - men are visual beings - and many men get aroused by naked images of women. Women are beautiful - a naked woman more so. On the flip side, a lot of women get turned on by powerful dominant men. For most women their version of porn is seeing a successful, tall athletic handsome man dressed confidently in a well tailored business suit. That's cool. Yes, there are innate differences between men and women. And perhaps its time to accept our differences and to regard each other compassionately - instead of with judgement.

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