Welcome to Week Twenty-Four of Flashback Fridays where the old and new collide on everything from books to movies to first loves to favorite vacations. This week I'm taking a look at the Glee photo controversy.
So the entertainment industry is buzzing with news about the infamous Glee GQ photo spread. One the one side, Glee is a show beloved by teens and tweens and what kind of message does it send to them to see high schoolers so sexualized? On the other, it's the fact that all three actors are twenty-something adults posing for an adult magazine like GQ.
The Parents Television Council, in a statement from president Tim Winter, criticized the cover and spread Wednesday for hypersexualizing actresses who play high-school age students, saying the shoot with a high school backdrop "borders on pedophilia." While Dianna Argon, who plays Quinn Fabres, released a statement apologizing for the racy spread and said "the show's rooting-for-the-underdog sensibility wasn't echoed in the GQ photos and noted that although the concept of the shoot wasn't her favorite idea, she didn't walk away."
As a HS teacher, a lover of Glee, and a feminist, I thought this made a very interesting post for a YA writer.
Here's the cover. Notice how instead of showing off his pecs by going shirtless with a tie, or showing a little leg in a speedo, Cary Monteith is fully clothed--so much so compared to his cast mates he might as well be wearing a parka and scarf. Yeah, yeah, I know GQ is a men's magazine, but still.
Okay, I guess I should hold up for a second and not let my feminist ideals get the better of me. I mean, really, are the photos really that scandalous and "unrepresentative of high school". Let's take a look.
I mean, I'm not sure what the problem here is. Didn't we all pose seductively by our lockers while suggestively licking a lollipop and wearing panties?
And who didn't chillax around the locker room wearing a peek a boo bra and Christian Louboutin heels? The HS I attended was about 30 years old, and we had the nastiest locker room, and I wish our lockers had been that big. Freshman year, I ended up having my PE clothes stolen...who steals sweaty PE clothes? After I graduated, they built a new, state of the art gym.
When I was a cheerleader many years and pounds ago, our skirts were longer than our pom-poms, but this doesn't seem to be the case here. And we usually tried to throw some spirit fingers rather than angsty sex kitten poses. Yeah, and the shoes are totally not regulation, and the basketball coach would've yelled at us for messing up the floor. Plus, they're totally impractical for doing stunts.
Just an average day in class. I mean, when I was in high school, I totally ran around in bra, panties, and high heels while creating mayhem in class. And I could venture to say my classes look like this now. "Let's get CRAZY over Shakespeare!" Seriously, the only thing that resembles high school in this picture is the classroom itself.
*Once again notice how Cary looks like he's straight out of a Leave it to Beaver episode.
So, here's some food for thought. Let's Flashback to the 80's shall we with Pop Princesses Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Man, what a difference a few decades make. They sold millions of records, sold out arenas, and gave us some pretty good tunes, right? And when I was searching for pics of them, not one appeared with cleavage, bare midriffs, jacked up skirts etc. Okay, yes, it did disappoint me greatly when I learned that both gals took it all off for Playboy in their late 20's and early 30's, but I guess I can give them props that they didn't do it in their teens.
So, I wanna hear what you think. Is it much ado about nothing? Is it a growing trend that is sexualizing young women too much, too soon? Is it a woman's body and her prerogative? Or is it teaching young women that the most important thing are looks and sex appeal rather than brains and ambition?