For Glee’s Sake!
The show’s stars appear on the cover and in a spread in the November issue of male style bible GQ. The said shoot features 2 of the female stars (Lea Michele and Dianna Agron) dressed as tramp school girls, sucking provocatively on lollypops, legs akimbo in scanty underwear, and draped semi-naked across the male lead (Cory Monteith)…who is fully clothed in ALL the shots.
STOP RIGHT THERE!
The Parents Television Council has labelled the shoot “bordering on paedophilia”. Media debate has raged over the fact that these actors playing teens have either a) a responsibility to their young audience to act age appropriate and set a good example to their young fans or b) these actors are in their 20s and are young adults and therefore have the right to do whatever they like. In a nutshell, that’s the for and against debate being weighed in on from everyone from the Washington Post to even Katy Couric who dedicated a full segment of commentary on it.
I get all that and can see both viewpoints but what I don’t get, both in terms of the shoot and the reaction to it, is why the girls are sexy and semi-naked and the guy is full clothed and looking perfectly innocent and wholesome IN EVERY SHOT.
Another example of the media sexualising girls and women? You bet.
And don’t tell me that these girls acting like naughty little school girls, all faux innocence, is not designed to set the pules of middle-aged men reading GQ pulsing? Oh yeah! On that note, is it bordering on paedophilia? Ummm, let’s see, promoting the notion of innocent schools girls (which the characters that these actors play are on the show) having a wicked sexy side under that school girl’s uniform all played out to a mainly male middle aged audience…..creepy? It sure is to me.
And, let’s not forget that Glee pulls in 13 million American teens every week who watch it. So, what are they going to think of their wholesome idols getting their gear off and looking as if they are about to get it on with each other? Is there a responsibility to those young fans? I would say, yes! And, let’s get this clear. I AM NOT saying that young kids who happen to see GQ will suddenly feel the urge to get about in their underwear or start taking a lollypop to school and suck on it suggestively as per Leah Michelle in GQ. The point is that is yet another example to girls, along with the gazillion or so media images they see, that promotes the notion that girls need to be sexy and use sex as something to make them cool.
But back to why are the girls semi-naked and looking like they are about to perform a sexual act on a lollypop, or about to have an orgasm straddling a school bench, when the innocent male lead gets to maintain his character’s persona of a lovely, centred, sensible boy that any mother would be proud of????? SERIOUSLY!!!
Glee has literally jumped off our screens to grab our attention because it is promoting a healthy dose of being edgy by covering a lot of taboo subjects in a really unique way – homosexuality, teen pregnancy, death, prejudice, and the list goes on. All the while promoting the premise that the characters not one-dimensional and that is cool to be unique.
To then have 2 of the female leads leap right into the media manipulation of promoting that one dimensional view of women as sexualised creatures, is downright disappointing. Why can’t girls/women who are famous leave their clothes on? You’ve gotten to where you are because of your talents Glee girls so why strip off and in the process strip away some of the respect you’ve earned for your talent?