Sexy, sexy inequalities

So, I’m going to add my two cents to the racy Glee photoshoot zomg1!!!1 chorus. (Among others: here, here, here, here and here.)

No, I’m not going to side with the holyshitpaedophilia furore; my opinion is this:

YAWN. Change the fucking record, why don’t they? Because all the defenders saying “oh but the saturated colour hues, and the strong theme!!”; nup. This is such a stale cliche; and I wasn’t shocked to find out that Terry Richardson, slimeball extraordinaire, was the photographer. It screams Terry Richardson.

My first reaction was pretty much this

Of course he didn’t dress all of them up like porn fantasies, just the girls. Guys don’t do sexy. Guys have sexy done for them. Guys stand or sit fully clothed while girls are meant to writhe and gyrate and spread their legs in their underwear. That’s the way of things. Great message there, morons.

and this

Richardson, as usual, was highly original in his concept: Mostly-naked chicks. Or, more specifically, have all the men fully clothed, but make sure the girls are in their underwear.

It was the first thing that jumped out at me; oh, here we go again, the fully clothed dude gets to have his hands on the asses of two much less clothed chicks. Oh, clothed dude gets to play the drums and lurch awkwardly forward with a baseball bat on his shoulders, and one of the women is sucking a lollipop in her underwear. Sigh. And the argument that “oh, it’s GQ, that’s a dudemag so of course the chicks would be in underwear and the guy clothed” doesn’t really fly with me, because as many commenters have pointed out, there are sure to be men reading GQ who would appreciate a shirtless dude. And more than that, I’m sure most men who saw a shirtless guy in a GQ shoot with scantily clad ladies wouldn’t freak the fuck out about it. Although there will always be that special kind of bigot who thinks that seeing another man partially undressed is some sort of freaky gay thing, and lashes out. So maybe GQ is just cowardly or thinks topless men will scare away their readers? To be honest, it seems like more of a case of “this is the dynamic, and this is how we do things here: man touches ladies/women get touched; man gets to be clothed/women’s bodies are there to be exposed and looked at; man gets to be active/women get to be sexualised”. That’s why I hate this photo spread: yes, it is tacky and boring and such a “sexy cliche” that it becomes unsexy; but moreso it reflects the roles that men and women get to fill, the things they get to do and the images they can portray. It reinforces ideas about who is sexualised and who is objectified, and it says hey, this is how things are, and this is normal.

I’m not a “prude”, I don’t care about “racy photos”, and I don’t think it is “borderline pedophilia”. I’m just seriously frustrated by the ideas about men and women that these photos reinforce.


  1. Boganette says:

    A woman dressed as a girl in a school girl outfit? Wow that’s a pretty original concept.

    • steph says:

      Sucking on a lollipop too! I groaned with annoyance at it, because it is just such a boring cliche.

      • Boganette says:

        I suppose it could have been worse. I have seen one with a banana. And I thought “nobody licks a banana”.

        • steph says:

          Oh man, yeah, they could’ve had a sexy banana eating/blow job allusion shot.

          I’m pretty sure licking a banana is the best way to “eat” it without actually eating any, thus avoiding the calories.

          • Katherine says:

            Whenever I eat a banana, I make sure to bite as hard as I can on the first bite, just for the benefit of any men watching ^_^