Posted by: kelliroesch | October 15, 2012

Voyeurism escalates to creepshots in our “paparazzi culture”

We love to look. The Greek understood the human “love of looking” so keenly they created the word scopophilia to summarize it (O’Shaunessy, Stadler) and Freud argued that one of the key human drives or desires is the desire to look (Mulvey, 1989). Beyond scopophilia, voyeurism and “the desire to look secretly at events, to spy on people” (O’Shaunessy, Stadler) allows for sexual gratification of viewing objects or acts, according to Dictionary.com.

In the internet age, scopophilia has coalesced with websites such as Reddit to create a thriving online subculture to escalate voyeurism from a creepy individual pursuit to a collective resource for sharing photos and bragging rights to “creepshots” (a.k.a. upskirts),  which can be described as the deliberate and secret photography of women’s crotches, breasts, and rear ends in everyday life.

Is the creepshot any different than “The People of Walmart” photos where unaware shoppers are photographed for public ridicule?  One might argue that it is the lack of a woman’s consent in creepshot photos that reality and fantasy collide to create a technological place of control and fetishisation. Voyeurs can find photos of willing women who expose themselves, so why are creepshots so popular?  Kira Cochrane of The Guardian says, “the answer involves a familiar combination of desire and humiliation. There is an interest in seeing not just any breasts, but all breasts, a sense that female bodies are public property, fair game– to be claimed, admired, and mocked.” What’s your perspective on the phenomenon of voyeuristic photos publicly posted?

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