It’s 2022, So Why Is An OnlyFans Nude Photo On MAFS Such A Big Deal?

Image courtesy of Channel 9
Samantha Moitzi, Olivia Frazer and Tamara Djordjevic on Married At First Sight
Married At First Sight has long been linked with 'scandal', with cheating storylines and wine-throwing incidents making it a tabloid staple and the subject of water cooler conversations around the country.
The latest 'scandal' to be marketed to avid viewers of the reality show is a 'nude photo scandal' involving the image of a female contestant. But in 2022, other than the fact that the image is being circulated without her consent, is a naked photo of a woman really that scandalous?
Fans have been promised a very eventful week ahead, with a promo at the end of last night's episode featuring the words, 'Nude photo scandal' splashed across the screen. On Monday morning, the promo was uploaded to the show's official Instagram account with an altered message in the same bold, red text: 'OnlyFans photo scandal'.
"What about this photo that's circulating?" a producer (not on camera) asks contestant Tamara Djordjevic.
"Photo?" Djordjevic responds, pausing before cracking a grin. "Are you talking about...?" she trails off.
"Are people bringing that up?" Samantha Moitzi asks in a subsequent scene, before again we hear a producer asking Jackson Lonie, "Have you heard anything about a photo?"
"Yep," Lonie responds, before Cody Bromley says in the next scene, "Yeah, I've seen that... maybe."
Selina Chhaur then explains the nature of the image, saying, "The photo was a particular bride on her tummy. It was a photo of a bride in her birthday suit laying on the bed with her butt up."
The final scene of the teaser features Domenica Calarco's husband, Jack Millar informing a female contestant, who we don't see on screen, that "Everyone has seen a photo of you naked".
Cue the dramatic music promising explosive bombshells in upcoming episodes. It's at this point that I have to look away from the screen and think about the myriad issues with what I've just seen.
Image courtesy of Channel 9
Married At First Sight contestants Jack Millar, Domenica Calarco, Olivia Frazer, Brent Vitiello and Tamara Djordjevic
The entertainment industry has been no stranger to the 'nude photo scandal' over the years, and on some occasions has capitalised on the trauma of well-known women once their photos were leaked by strangers without their permission.
"It’s really fucked up that people feel like they are entitled enough to share something that personal with the world,” Vanessa Hudgens told Cosmopolitan UK in 2020, while reflecting on the "traumatising" leak of nude photos of her in 2007.
In 2014, Jennifer Lawrence's nude photos were leaked. "When the hacking thing happened, it was so unbelievably violating that you can't even put into words. I think that I'm still actually processing it," Lawrence told Scott Feinberg for The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast in 2017. "I feel like I got gangbanged by the f**king planet."
These examples are from 2007 and 2014 — that's 15 and eight years ago, respectively. The leaking of nude photos is nothing new, so it baffles me that in 2022, a major television show is using the circulation of a woman's naked photos without her knowledge to lure viewers.
Let's also remember male contestant Mitch Eynaud's bare bottom was shown on TV earlier this season, but it wasn't linked to a 'scandal'.
Secondly, there's nothing wrong with a woman embracing her body and taking naked photos. In this instance, the image has come from an OnlyFans account — OnlyFans is a platform that allows creators to create content and willingly share images of themselves on their own terms and charge for it.
There's nothing controversial or scandalous about the MAFS star's image. What raises my eyebrows is the way in which the photo is being passed around from one cast member to the other for casual perusal and ridicule, and used by producers to prod contestants in piece-to-camera interviews for a scandalous storyline. At the time of publication, Channel 9 had not yet responded to Refinery29 Australia's request for comment.
In a recent interview Yahoo Lifestyle, contestant Samantha Moitzi said she had seen the image in question.
"There is a photo of a bride and look, I did see it," she told the publication. "To be honest, I am a relatively sex-positive person and everyone’s on OnlyFans these days, so I didn't really think too much of it at the time.
"Like, whatever, everyone’s got a nude out there floating on the internet, who really cares. I didn’t pass it on and it left my mind. I had my own problems."
We're yet to see the following footage unfold this week and how it will be framed and treated by the show's producers and editors. But it would be unfortunate for a woman to be shamed on national television for a 'scandal' which frankly, should never have been manufactured into a scandal in the first place.
Disclaimer: Refinery29 Australia is published by Pedestrian Group, which is wholly owned by Nine Entertainment.
Married At First Sight continues tonight at 7:30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now.
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