Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
It's a classic story. Boy meets girl. Nude photos are exchanged. A Disney star falls from grace and into the inevitable clutches of PR-managed apologies, with an optional rehab stint. Except, this time, the young, naked selfie-taker is a guy. And, no one is having a meltdown.
We wouldn't say we're proud of the kid, but Sprouse has handled the leak with ease. First acknowledging the the shots on Twitter, he joked, "Whoops, guess I'm not 14 and fat anymore," and adding, "I messed up...but I'd be a fool not to own up to it. Got to move past it I suppose." Sprouse then shared his favorite responses to the leak on Tumblr, accepting all the Disney jokes, squealing-fan comments, and a few, very NSFW requests for a follow-up shoot (or preferably video).
We've seen this happen dozens of times, mostly to the young ladies of this set. And, while there have been a few exceptions, the general outcry has been one of lasciviousness and, you guessed it, shaming. At this point, eighty percent of the Internet is trying to find something to shame a celebrity (particularly, a female celebrity) for, at any given time. But, the deeper we wade into the morass of social media, the muddier we're all going to get. It's not just celebrities, nor female celebrities that can make naked idiots of themselves. If politics has taught us anything in the last two years, it's that!
Sprouse isn't worried about never getting work again. He's not panicked that his handlers will swoop in and ship him off to Former Child-Star Reform School. He won't be showing up in a clean-cut sweater on the cover of People, with a golden retriever by his side and a reborn image. He's just going to let us have a laugh and get it out of our systems. By Wednesday, this news will be wrapping virtual fish. While we're not going to pat anyone on the back for taking naked bathroom selfies (at least clean the mirror first, people), we are going to remember this instance as a perfect lesson in the double standards we can't seem to shake. The next time a young woman gets caught with her pants down and tries to brush it off, remember how this leak went down. And, let's move on.