The internet is capable of uplifting and bringing people together -- but it just as quickly can tear someone apart. Sadly, this is particularly true for women, who's private images are consistently used against them in the form of revenge porn or other photo leaks. This week, Iggy Azalea is the latest celebrity victim of such violation. Over the weekend, outtakes from the Australian rapper's 2016 GQ photo shoot surfaced online, photos that she says were never meant to be released.
Azalea has since deleted her social media accounts in wake of the leak, but not before posting a lengthy, emotional response. "Today I’m a ball of negative emotions," she wrote. "I feel blindsided, embarrassed, violated, angry, sad and a million other things. Not solely because I did not consent to this—but also because of the vile way people have reacted. A lot of the comments I see from men in particular taking things even further and sharing their thoughts and fantasies in regards to my body has honestly disturbed me. The outright wicked things people say is overwhelming & makes me feel like throwing up."
She adding that she's witnessed "some vicious sh*t being written" about her online, mostly from men, likening the incident to "a nuclear bomb that explodes and not only destroys you emotionally but leaves a path of destruction in your personal life."
This reaction from Azalea is completely understandable, and in line with the way many other women in similar situations have reported feeling. A 2016 study conducted by Samantha Bates at Simon Fraser University showed that victims of revenge porn often experience post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. In 2017, Jennifer Lawrence spoke about how "unbelievably violating" it felt to have her private photos leaked in 2014 and that she's still processing it years later.
It's unclear how Azalea's images got released, but the singer says she plans to press charges. "It’s important to me that someone actually be held accountable for their actions & the way it impacts my life," she wrote in her social media post.
Hopefully, Azalea be able to get to the bottom of things and take what ever measures are needed to heal.