Last Tuesday, Michael Bublé, who is typically known for being the non-douchey version of Robin Thicke, tarnished his reputation by posting an Instagram picture of himself posing next to a stranger’s large butt—a picture that the woman was unaware that was being taken.
Many fans felt uneasy about the nature of this picture and spoke out about it on Twitter, pointing out that Bublé’s action was a form of body shaming and objectification of a woman’s body, not to mention disregarding her consent—or lack, thereof— to be photographed.
In response to the criticism, he released the following statement:
“Anybody who knows me would never misinterpret the message of the photo my wife took in Miami that seems to have caused unexpected rage by some people. I do not court controversy. But I realize that a photo that was meant to be complimentary and lighthearted has turned into a questionable issue. For the record, It hurts me deeply that anyone would think that I would disrespect women or be insulting to any human being…I was not brought up that way and it is not in my character. I regret that there are people out there who found the photo offensive. That was not and is not my intention. Women are to be celebrated, loved, respected, honored and revered. I’ve spent my life believing that and will continue to do so.”
Now, here’s the issue: Bublé is basically saying “sorry not sorry.” He is choosing to ignore the many responses from women who have expressed their discomfort with the fact that he took a picture without the person’s consent and commented on her body. He believes that objectifying a woman’s body is a form of flattery, which is erroneous.
We are not men’s props. Our bodies’s purpose is not for men’s amusement. I find it insulting that he says it hurts him deeply that people think he is disrespecting women, yet he doesn’t consider the feelings of the woman whose picture he took. It is never okay for someone to take pictures of others without their consent, much less share them with millions of people and discuss their body parts.
This is yet another example of how men use their privilege to objectify women of color’s bodies. If he truly cared about respecting her, he would not have posted the picture, nor defended his right to post it. His argument for his decision to post it is the same one that street harassers use: flattery. There is nothing flattering about a man making a woman feel unsafe or not respecting her consent (even in a non-sexual setting).
This type of behavior is not acceptable for anyone; however, Michael Bublé is a public figure who should know better. While this may be simply an act to keep himself in the public eye (I can’t even remember the last time Michael Bublé did anything newsworthy), it’s certainly not the proper way to gain attention.