Nude Selfies of Young Politicians Are Coming, But Should It Be Issue?

Former nude model says preoccupation over fake Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pic shows Americans need to "get over" nudity.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addresses the crowd gathered at La Boom night club in Queens (Rick Loomis/Getty Images)
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Coming from experience in a past life of nude modeling, writer Lux Alptraum says that the female gender is often divided into two main categories —sexual women and competent women.

Once you’re labeled in the former group, she wrote for The New York Times, you could never be considered for the latter.

“Nearly two decades later, it would seem that those rules are still in effect,” according to Alptraum. “Mere days into her tenure as the representative of New York’s 14th Congressional District, rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been swept up into a nude photo scandal. After surfacing on Reddit, an image purporting to be a self portrait snapped by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has made the rounds online, including on the right-wing site The Daily Caller.”

The photo — an alleged raunchy display of Ocasio-Cortez‘s feet in a bathtub — has since been deemed a fraud. Motherboard reported shortly after it surfaced that the woman in the bathtub is the “sex worker, political activist, and one-time Anthony Weiner sexting partner, Sydney Leathers.”

Circulating a nude photograph of a woman without her consent is, of course, a horrible practice, but, “in our rush to defend the congresswoman’s honor, we may be doing more harm than good,” according to Alptraum.

“While this particular nude photo was just a nasty hoax, we live in a time when snapping a naked selfie has effectively become a rite of passage,” she noted. “There are certainly other, genuine naked photos somewhere out there — if not of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, then of other politically ambitious young women.

“So the question shouldn’t be whether young women who are talking or thinking about running for office have snapped naked pictures — at least some of them almost certainly have — but why these images should be discussed at all.”

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