Let’s Talk About the Double Standard of the Lenny Kravitz Wardrobe Malfunction

Edmonton Oddball Productions guy Danny Fournier brings up some very good points about the recent sighting of Lenny Kravitz’s bejeweled family jewels.

Lenny Kravitz’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was pretty much headline news this past week and in all the coverage I noticed something, an obvious double standard.

When covering the incident, female news anchors (the ones that I saw covering the story) reported it as a positive story. Some of which were genuinely excited about the ‘wardrobe malfunction’, going as far as to allude to how easy it is to find the unedited pictures online, bragging that they not only already saw the photos but enjoyed what they saw.

So what would happen if the roles were reversed?

What if a female celebrity had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ that was caught on video and there were pictures posted about it and a male anchor reported it as positive news encouraging viewers to go find the pictures online?

That actually happened a while back when a variety of female celebrity selfies were leaked out on the internet. Did you see any of the male or female anchors reporting on the story suggesting people check them out online or allude to how good the pictures were? This story was reported in a completely different fashion. Private nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Victoria Justice, Kate Upton and more getting leaked out onto the internet wasn’t just referred to as a scandal, but was even called a sex crime and many even went as far as to say if you searched out and looked at these leaked pictures you too were committing a sex crime against these celebrities.

I’m not disagreeing with that. Those actress had every right to be upset about those pictures being leaked and I think the media and others condemning the leaking of the photos was commendable, although one could argue that simply by reporting it they caused just as much damage as the people who leaked the photos–but that’s a discussion for another blog.

So why wasn’t the same approached used when the photos of Lenny Kravitz ‘wardrobe malfunction’ started getting shared on the internet?

Read the rest of Danny’s post here. Anyone care to weigh in?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About the Double Standard of the Lenny Kravitz Wardrobe Malfunction

  • August 11, 2015 at 10:36 am

    I don’t totally disagree with him, but the comparison to the celebrity nude photos scandal isn’t an apt comparison. That was a case of someone hacking into password-protected iCloud accounts, stealing private photos, and releasing them to the public. In Kravitz’s case, it was a public performance where people are expected to be taking photos and video and then they got more than expected. Two very different cases and one is definitely a greater violation of privacy and property. That said, if reporters were gleefully talking about seeing Kravitz’s business, that is definitely unprofessional and in poor taste. I think a more apt comparison would be Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl incident years ago.

  • August 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Kravitz was in public, so the comparison to the Leaked stolen images isn’t quite the same (though the suggestion that people search them out online certainly is). This is more like the shots of Britney and the others getting out of cars with no underwear. Lets be honest, the Jackson fiasco was completely intentional.

    However, since when is it acceptable (or legal) to take a photo up a woman’s skirt? And yet, the media took great glee in publishing those photos. Were those photographers random perverts at the mall, they would have been arrested.

  • August 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for the comments!

    Mike…I agree, you can’t compare hacked/leaked stolen photos to a wardrobe malfunction. That’s not where I see the double standard happening. Once the photos are made available online, how the media covered the incidents is where the double standard appeared. For one the media implied that you are just as guilty as the hackers if you search out the photos in the other situation they commented on how much they enjoyed the photos and alluded to how easy the photos were to find.

    Kerry…I also agree, you can’t compare this wardrobe malfunction to the Janet Jackson incident. Not only was the Superbowl incident likely planned, it happened in 2004 when we weren’t as linked in to the internet as we are now. The iPhone wouldn’t arrive for another 3 years and in 2004 some people were still using dial up. The Britney “crotch shots” are more comparable as one could argue that the photographer was simply at the right place at the right time in both situations. But you also brought up a very valid point about a photographer taking crotch shoots in a mall. But even in the Britney crotch shot incident, I remember the media condemning her for not knowing better, for not wearing underwear and it was used almost as a Britney Smear campaign. Where as with Lenny, it was almost like the media was commending him on his ‘man-hood’


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