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THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Privacy exists no more

Al Gilkes

THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Privacy exists no more

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Did you see the naked photos of Britain’s Prince Harry with his ting-a-ling exposed as he cavorted with some attractive nude women in a hotel suite in Las Vegas recently?
I did and the lesson I learnt was that there no longer exists such a thing as privacy for anybody, no matter how big or how small, in this digital age.
It wasn’t as if the young man had made his way onto the stage in a strip club and was balancing on the pole with the help of his own pole. All he was doing was privately freeing up his privates in the privacy of his suite during a last-minute binge before putting his life on the line on military duty in Afghanistan.
So how was his privacy breached in Vegas? By one of the just as nude playthings with whom he was having fun and who snapped what to him would have been innocent photos with her cellphone. To his shock and awe, he would awake to his royal jewels splashed all over the front page of a newspaper.
Coincidentally, about the same time that he was coming to grips with the deadly attack on his base in Afghanistan, his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, found herself in a similar plight in Kuala Lumpur as a result of an attack on her own privacy which saw photos of her fully exposed boobies across the pages of the French magazine Closer.
Like Prince Harry, she had not been in a public place exposing herself for one and all to see. Rather, she had been sunbathing topless in the privacy of a very secluded villa where a solo member of the paparazzi found himself and did the damage.
Meanwhile, here in Barbados last week also, a teenaged beauty queen was stripped of her title and crown because of a breach of her privacy. It seems that she opted to take some full-length shots of her naked beauty with her cellphone but, as fate would have it, she lost the phone at a fete and now her body is exposed on the Internet.
With all that, I am today counting my lucky stars for having escaped a breach of my own privacy. On one of those recent extremely humid days, I was so overcome by the stifling heat that I contemplated stripping off all my clothing and allowing my naked body to enjoy some cooling breeze that was blowing into my upstairs verandah.
Fortunately, a voice in my head told me not to do so and I harkened. For, would you believe that in the WEEKEND NATION a few days later, my boyhood school days friend Lowdown Hoad wrote about a visit he paid to the home of one of my neighbours and took the opportunity to scope out my own house? Surprisingly, the area that attracted him most was the very balcony where I would have been cooling off in my birthday suit that day.
I am not saying he would have done it but had I not listened to that voice, photographs of my nakedness might now be splashed all over the place. Not that I would have any problem with that. My problem would be the possibility of getting crushed in the rush for a thing of rare beauty and strength.
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm.