Well, this is something you probably didn't expect to hear. Singer Michael Bublé has been taking heat from some of his followers and feminists alike for a certain photo he posted on social media. Specifically, Michael Bublé is being accused of sexism on Instagram for a photo he posted of himself standing next to an unnamed woman's butt and a caption that includes a lot of questionable hashtags. Bustle has reached out to Bublé for comment, but has not yet heard back.
The photo shows Bublé with a deadpan expression on his face and the woman in the background. Her back is turned, and she is wearing a pair of short shorts that show the very bottom of her backside. She appears to be the next in line at a register, perhaps at a café or a store. Either way, she seems to be unaware that she was the subject of this particular photo op. Bublé captioned the picture as such, "There was something about this photo lu took ,that seemed worthy of instagram. #myhumps #babygotback #hungryshorts #onlyinmiami #picoftheday #beautifulbum."
Not long after posting it, he was called out by some of his followers, who found the image sexist. He also specifically got called out by feminist Instagram account @feministastic, who accused him of objectifying the woman without her consent and showing his objectification to his 999,000-plus followers. Looking at the photo, it is not hard to see why it has been labeled as such by some. It is quite problematic.
After all, the photo is essentially a snapshot of Bublé checking the woman out. It is one thing to notice something about someone while out and about in the world and keep it to yourself, but it is quite another to broadcast it to the whole world. As the feminist account pointed out, it is not clear that she gave consent for her photo to be distributed among nearly 1 million followers. Maybe she was not even aware that her shorts had ridden up and revealed that much skin. But even if she was, that does not make this picture OK.
In any case, her body is literally in the background of this photo, making it seem as though she is the subject only to be stared at and commented on by a stranger. It does not help that her back is completely turned. It is almost as if her consent to have her photo taken does not matter, or was interpreted as a given, because of how she was dressed. And that kind of thinking can be dangerous. As we all know, saying something like "beautiful bum" in real life could not only potentially be seen as sexist but could also potentially be seen as harassment if it is unwanted or unsolicited. And if we're saying this is OK online, aren't we also saying this is OK offline as well?
I'm willing to give Bublé the benefit of the doubt that he was not aware of the potential harmful repercussions of his actions. But that being said, intention does not change impact. It does not seem that he has issued a statement about it yet, so we will have to stay tuned to see how he responds. Hopefully he can take some time to learn about why people are upset and think twice before posting a similar photo.