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How Bella Thorne Is Reclaiming Her Image

Bella Thorne in Game of Love/Time Is Up 2, with a man staring at her.

Bella Thorne is refusing to sign autographs on images of herself she deems inappropriate, particularly those of her when she was a teenager, and I love that for her. She recently told The Hollywood Reporter about an exchange she had with an autograph seeker at the Sundance Film Festival:

It was this guy and he was shoving photos in front of me and I looked away for a second and looked back and there was a photo of me from my GQ magazine cover. It’s super sexy and my butt is out and I’m wearing lingerie and I’m topless. I said I wouldn’t sign that and he took it away and then put it back in front of me again. I said, “No, I’m not signing that.” He pulled out another photo of a magazine with another sexy image. He was like, “Come on, Bella. Sign it for me.” I didn’t like it. It was inappropriate. There was some stuff there from a Candies campaign that I did when I was 16 and it was clear that he wanted me to sign things that were viewed as sexy and even underage and I was like, “Give me something else.” He said, “Aren’t they all sexy?” No, enough is enough.

The Hollywood Reporter

We all know how this works. The most expensive single autograph on eBay of Bella Thorne is a nude shot from her GQ shoot referenced above. Why should other people make money off of her image, and specifically her body, without Thorne getting a cut of it? It’s her body; she should be the one to choose how it’s used.

I’ve never understood the celebrity autograph industry, specifically signing your name to an image you know someone will turn around and sell on eBay for a profit. If I were famous (and I’m sure there are celebrities out there running this grift, and I salute you), I would be selling my autograph and stuff I didn’t want anymore on eBay to make a few bucks because better me than some random I have no connection to.

Add in the fact it’s incredibly creepy to have a grown woman of 25 sign images of when she was a teenager that she deems “inappropriate.” It’s clear that this particular autograph seeker was looking for an angle in the images he wanted her to sign, which she recognized. Bella Thorne has directed an adult film, has an OnlyFans, and released nude photos of herself. (After they were stolen from her, rather than have them leaked by the people who violated her privacy, she decided to take control of the situation.) This is all to say a specific type of person probably feels entitled to her body when they F-ing shouldn’t.

She understands the name of the game and is willing to play it. It just has to be on her terms, and her rules, per the above article:

But I get it, they have to make money and everyone has a job so I get that. It was just that I was under 18 and it’s inappropriate.

That’s why I love that she’s refusing to allow anyone to monetize her image without her consent in this specific way. I hope more celebrities follow suit.

(featured image: 01 Distribution)

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