Watch Out for the Big Girls Jill Scott’s Provocative Hacked Photos Cause Criticism

Black Twitter has been abuzz over the recently leaked nude pictures of songstress, actress and overall bad ass, Miss Jill Scott. Correction. Make that picture. Jill Scott has admitted that’s her in one of the photos (the one with the kimono robe – which honestly is the sexier of the two and has me wanting a kimono robe) but is denying the other where a woman, whose face is covered by her cellphone, stands bare breasted in front of a mirror. The breasts are sizeable and stunning.

Earlier this week, after white celebrities’ nude photos had leaked, a homie said, “Now, I just need some Black celebrity nude pictures.” The next day Jill Scott photos popped up in everybody’s Twitter timeline. Or maybe just Black Twitter’s timeline. Ask and you shall receive, apparently. However, it seems that some people would have preferred for it to have been pictures of a different Black celebrity. A skinnier one, a “finer” one, a more perfect bodied one.

When everyone thought that the topless photo belonged to Scott, the mean and vicious comments rolled in like a steady stream. According to many folks (men especially) the breasts were too massive, too droopy and saggy, and she should be ashamed of them. There were even men who asked if the pictures were pre or post Jill Scott’s weight loss because they would only be interested in post. And what if they had been pre-weight loss? What if they had been pictures of a rounder Jill Scott? Then what? Would it have offended your sense and sensibilities? Should she not be allowed to strip down and take pictures of herself in a mirror? Should she be forced to just cover up and not think that she’s sexy?

Fine. Everyone is entitled to their preferences, yada yada, but fat shaming is not ok. And yet this is the precarious position women find themselves in – especially when their nude pictures leak. Everyone is not just a critic, but also judge and jury. Men especially feel the need to criticize and pick apart a woman’s body because unfortunately many think that they are always entitled to a woman’s body. To gaze at it. Admire it or not. Talk about it. Touch it. Be intimate with it. Beat on it. And tear it down if need be.

Jill Scott, a neo-soul singer, who has always maintained a down-to-earth sistah girl vibe, apparently surprised people for even having provocative pictures of herself. I mean come on, have you heard her lyrics? Seen or read her interviews? She makes it clear that she gets down. But she has also been privileged to keep most of her life private, especially the intimate parts, while revealing just enough of herself for the public. But now, in less than 24 hours, all of Scott’s business is public and the reaction is akin to folks watching a circus act. A humongous circus act – let them tell it.

Scott’s weight has fluctuated for years and she has made it clear that this recent weight loss was because she wanted to get active and healthy for her son. However, Scott will probably always be a thick chick. She is naturally curvy. And she wears those curves well. No matter her size at the time, she has always seemed confident about her body and what she can do with it.

While traditionally Black women have been heralded for being thick, it has always been made clear that there is a fine line when it comes to said thickness. Thick is fine. Fat is not. Thick in the right places (especially with a slim waist) will get you put on a Twitter or Instagram pedestal. Or maybe even famous. But fat, especially Black fat with its rolls and lumps, will get you called out and maybe turned into a disgusting meme passed around social media. Of course this thick/fat line is typically determined by men. And if you’re on the wrong side, the fat side, then don’t you dare be “proud” of your body.

Behind these men’s disgust at the alleged Scott topless photo was a clear indication of whose bodies they deem appropriate. There was per usual, the ignoring of the realities of a real woman’s body. Yes, some women have large breasts that veer from what society considers “normal”. Oh and also breasts, regardless of size, will start to sag. It’s a part of aging and life. (You won’t always be that fine either, playboy.) But none of those things matter when a woman’s body is on display. What matters instead is how quickly she can be sliced, diced and dissected. What it translates into for plus sized women in the real world – clothed and unclothed – is that their bodies are not ok because men don’t approve of them.

But thank goodness there was a multitude of women who pushed back against this notion. Women who went toe-to-toe with these men by providing counter tweets that praised Scott’s curves. There was a ‘go on head, girl’ attitude from women of all sizes. Because unfortunately so many of us know what it’s like to be made to feel ashamed about our body. Too skinny. Too fat. Thighs too thick. A Black girl with no butt. Breasts too large. Stomach too big. We’ve all been torn down in some way. But like Jill Scott tweeted earlier today:

I will not be bowed. I have earned every inch of my life.

And so have we.

Diana Veiga is a Spelman woman, a DC resident, and a freelance writer who loves cute shoes and sparkly things. Follow her on Twitter: @dianaveiga

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