SUPREME POST-SCRIPT: Peen there, done that

ARMY OF ME - The Philippine Star

In a way, it’s a pissing contest done 21st-century style, and one that escalated rather quickly. Shortly after a furious search for nude images of Orlando Bloom paddleboarding with Katy Perry on an Italian beach made the British actor a trending topic, photos of Justin Bieber skinnydipping with models in Hawaii surfaced online. The timing was uncanny and the circumstances, well, nearly identical.

First came the censored versions, splashed across front pages of tabloids across the globe and across social media. Then, as the modesty boxes disappeared, their high-profile penises became unpixelated, resulting in — pun intended — even more column inches.

Even Seth Rogen has weighed in on this Olympics of dick pics. During a guest appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, the comedian compared the stars’ anatomies, eventually deeming Bloom’s more “to scale.” Rogen was, of course, promoting his R-rated comedy Sausage Party.

Justin Bieber’s father Jeremy, meanwhile, once again gushed over the size of his son’s genitalia. Last year, when full-frontal nude photographs taken of his pop star son — then on holiday in Bora Bora — materialized, the elder Bieber took to Twitter and wrote “@justinbieber what do you feed that thing. #proud daddy (sic).”

It’s worth noting that 39-year-old Bloom and 22-year-old Bieber have a bit of history between them. In 2014, gossip site TMZ released a grainy video of the two engaging in some minor-level fisticuffs at a restaurant in Ibiza. Leonardo DiCaprio allegedly cheered Bloom on from his table inside the establishment.

A use for the eggplant emoji: Orlando Bloom was photographed nude while on holiday with girlfriend Katy Perry, and the Internet came together to assess the images.

Bieber, who was rumored to have gotten close to Bloom’s then-wife, model Miranda Kerr, in 2012, appeared to have instigated the fight by yelling, “What’s up, b*tch?” before scampering away to Instagram photos of Kerr wearing a bikini and quickly deleting it. Bloom, for his part, hung out with Bieber’s on-and-off girlfriend Selena Gomez in early 2014. A fair amount of bad blood flows between these celebrities.

While we should already be jaded about a famous individual’s naked form by now, what should cause some alarm is how willing certain stars are to do absolutely anything — letting it all hang, in this case — for a degree of publicity. Although both sets were paparazzi shots, they came across as staged and loaded with intent. Both make you wonder what either is promoting this time.

Perhaps Bloom’s public relations people decided that the actor needed to be talked about again, ahead of next year’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Bieber’s representatives, on the other hand, may have thought that the Canadian performer could use some assistance in marketing his latest singles Cold Water, with Major Lazer and MØ, and Let Me Love You, with DJ Snake. This was also probably Bieber’s way of silencing critics who claimed that his Calvin Klein ads were Photoshopped to make him look manlier.   

It’s no secret that celebrities call on the paparazzi themselves to stage shoots, even if they later claim to hate being surrounded by cameras. Taylor Swift, for example, would often leave the gym or her apartment with her hair, makeup and clothes done perfectly for the photographers she knew would be waiting outside. That’s because she likely called them ahead of time.

In the case of Bloom and Bieber, their photos seem too rehearsed and too flattering. Snapshots taken without a star’s consent normally portray him or her as looking vulnerable and worse for wear, not fit and virile.

On the other hand, that Bloom and Bieber are so prepared to go to great lengths for their respective careers might just show how professional they are. Again, nudity isn’t as shocking as it once was; for an actor, stripping down to one’s birthday suit is all in a day’s work.

In Europe, where Bloom was captured taking off his shorts, it isn’t a big deal at all. The new British dating show Naked Attraction, for instance, invites participants to choose their dates not on personality or compatibility, but on how they looked nude. Every last contour of the body is scrutinized close up, from the legs to the chest and, yes, the butt, penis or vagina.

Unless they are hacked private nude selfies, naked pictures of famous people count as currency these days, and their existence is a matter of who and when, not so much why. 


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