It's hard to resist writing a headline with the phrase "Scarlett Johansson nude photos," and indeed the Internet was ablaze today repeating the basic facts she gave to Vanity Fair earlier today: yes, she took the nude photos of herself that were leaked online in July. Yes, they were intended for her then-husband Ryan Reynolds. And no, she didn't feel it was anything to be ashamed of.

Johansson is far from the first starlet to have naked photos pop up online-- she was one of just a few celebrities targeted by a hacker who the FBI arrested last month. And she's also far from the first woman to take pride in her naked body, even when images of it were released against her will-- we've spent this whole week talking about Kim Kardashian, for example, who became famous thanks to a leaked sex tape. But as a Tony-winning actress who works with the likes of Woody Allen and Cameron Crowe, Johansson is in the kind of prestigious position where a lot actresses would rather die than lose control of their image for one second. And instead of hunkering down or expressing shame or distancing herself from the photos, Johansson is owning up to them. And there's something hugely liberating about that.

Leaked camera phone nude photos, be they of men like Michael Stipe or underage girls like Miley Cyrus, always seem really vulnerable and sad. Usually they were intended for one person and that person alone, and when the photo gets out there in the world it's like accidentally seeing people having sex or in the middle of a deep conversation-- it's intimate, and we weren't supposed to see it. Plus, the entire notion of taking nude photos of yourself with a smartphone feels inextricably linked to high school girls, who sometimes get slapped with child pornography charges after texting nude pictures of themselves to pushy boyfriends. When you look at someone else's nude iPhone photos, you're not just seeing something you weren't supposed to see, but something the subject might not have even wanted to show off in the first place.

But not Scarlett Johansson. Clearly she's angry that the entire world has access to images only intended for her husband, and she probably won't take photos like that again any time soon. But Johansson is smart enough to know that taking pride in these photos is the way to keep them from defining her, the way you catch yourself tripping, laugh it off, and move on. She's not getting caught up a slut-shaming cycle that would rip her apart for daring to be overtly sexual. She's not going to give power to people who want to embarrass her by keeping these photos circulating online, or to anyone who thinks that, by being seen naked, she's somehow more vulnerable. Johansson is taking pride in the images, and thereby taking control. She's posed partly clothed for dozens of photographers over the years; this time she was posing for herself, and as she says it, "I know my best angles." Damn right she should be proud.

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