Here’s a quick scenario – that nude photo you took in private for private purposes ends up on the internet and the whole country is discussing it. Your jealous ex is getting their way. After publicising the visuals, everyone is calling you names because they are not impressed with your ability to be naked sometimes, especially as a woman. How do you deal? And more importantly, how do you bounce back? For Pulane Lenkoe, you hold your head up high and you move on. Of course it’s a scary thought, but once the pics are out there, they are out there. What else can you do, roll over and die?
That might seem extreme, but the number of people who are taking their own lives because they can’t deal with the traumatic aftermath of having one’s nude making the rounds is concerning. One such famous case in recent memory is that of Jessica Logan, who hanged herself in her bedroom after her boyfriend leaked the private photo. For weeks building up to the tragic suicide, the 18 year old had been the subject of ridicule at her high school and suffered a great deal of harassment from her schoolmates.
Don’t be mistaken, the aftermath of this sort of thing is very real.
But, it’s been a rough journey for the 32 year law student. “I’m literally shaking right now”, she told Times LIVE at the time. She also added that she that she felt people were looking at her as if she was a “whore”, and that she had leaked the pic deliberately to get attention. Yeah because that’s what people do to get a bit of attention…
It should not be surprising then that one of the biggest fears shared by mortals living in the age of digital media is that of one’s nude photos being leaked onto the internet, where they shall live forever for pervs to feast on and for unknown enemies to circulate inside the comfort of their private spaces. As if it’s not bad enough that we are already terrified by the somewhat lingering prospect of being thrown in a situation where others can see us naked.
Admittedly, we might be just about so done with the question of whether or not taking snaps celebrating one’s physique in all its birthday suit glory is a smart move to begin with. The bottom line is, we do it. We just do. So when naked pictures of Pulane Lenkoe hit the internet late last year went viral on social media, all the decent segment of the population could think of was – how will she even be able to look at people down the road?
We asked ourselves the tough questions that haunt us whenever the idea of our naked visuals suffering the odd leak; how does one bounce back from that sort of thing? Can you be taken seriously as a professional when your genitals are out there for all to see? And that’s not even thinking about the glares when you walk down the road. That you have a degree but you also have a tendency to be naked. That your family has raised someone who sometimes gets naked and actually has genitals is a thought that seems to confound a lot of people.
As such if anything, Pulane’s re emergence to the public eye with her confident appearance on the Dlala Ka Yona music video can be read as one of the most courageous moves we have seen in recent times. It’s inspiring in many ways, the most valuable being the message of never giving in to harsh judgement. There, she reclaims her body and seems unafraid to do as she pleases with it, a year after the smearing campaign happened.