Thursday 30 October 2014

The Paparazzi Photograph You in a Bikini

Signs of a problem: photo of you scantily clad appears on cover of tabloid.

The symptoms: embarrassment; rage.

You’re sunbathing in the garden of your new, top-security home, drinking cocktails with your latest toy boy. You think you catch a glimpse of a face above the surrounding wall but tell yourself you’ve had too many margaritas. That wall is almost twenty feet high.

The very next day, a photograph of you sunbathing is splattered all over the press. What’s more, the photographer has captured your worst side.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re a woman. Whilst both sexes are perfectly entitled to wear a bikini, if you’re a man, that’s a whole different media minefield.

On seeing the less-than-flattering photograph, you may be tempted to provide the media with a more flattering shot. This is a perfectly valid move, but do bear in mind that it will prolong the interest in your figure, whereas taking no action will allow the situation to blow over relatively quickly.

Taking legal action could draw attention to the picture, though it could deter the paparazzi from future privacy invasion.

Do not pose for a men’s magazine. They cannot be trusted. Remember when they computer-enhanced Gail Porter’s bum and then projected her naked image onto the Houses of Parliament?

Far better to make a joke out of it. How about, “That’s not what I look like in a bikini, this is!” accompanied by a humorous cartoon parodying the photo. Or you could write an ironic article titled ‘Judge Rules that Author’s Boobs Are More Interesting than Their Books’.

Before you do anything, consider your brand. Do you bill yourself as a slightly racy piece of hot stuff or do you prefer to let the public believe that you’re a cupcake-baking tea drinker who likes to wear a floral pinny? If the majority of your target audience are prudish conservatives then seeing your semi-clad body popping up all over the place could put people off trying your books.

At the end of the day, it’s your body and you can do what you like with it, provided you don’t take it to receive a Booker prize wearing nothing but a fountain pen. I’ve heard that’s frowned upon.

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