Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Radical Transparency?" Yeah, okay, Wired.

Insert eye roll here.

It all started as it usually does: I was reading Feministing. This article about the revolting cover of the latest issue of Vanity Fair caught my attention. As I was scrolling through the growing number of comments, I noticed one that suggested I "check out this month's Wired." So I did.

Here is the cover of the April 2007 edition of Wired magazine:

First part.

Second part.

Here is the article, which I did read before writing on anything on this matter: "What We Can Learn From The Office." If you click on the image to enlarge the words, you'll notice that Jenna/Pam has absolutely nothing to say in the article. Michael Scott is quoted extensively, as he is the star of the show. So why isn't Steve Carell posing naked in Wired with random white male hands sticking Post-Its on his body?

I am disappointed. In the same way that I was disappointed by this Vanity Fair cover from last year. Though I did enjoy Salon's astute commentary, "Topless bodies found in brainless magazine," about the issue's twisted compilation of photos. I am also disappointed in the same way whenever I watch almost anything on BET. Have y'all seen College Hill? Eek.

My reaction remains the same to whomever I am disappointed in at the moment: You can do better than this. If you have enough star power to headline a blockbuster movie or a critically-acclaimed hit television show, and you can therefore sell truckloads of magazines because your face is on the cover, YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO BE THE NAKED GIRL! Yes, I AM SHOUTING! I have yet to see a magazine cover with John Krasinski or BJ Novak posing partially nude. And somehow these guys can sell last month's Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair with only their faces and hands left bare. Yet many women of the same caliber are under the impression that they need to take off their clothes to move product.

I'm not saying that Jenna, or Scarlett or Keira for that matter, are bad people because they disrobed for magazine covers. I'm not saying those particular magazines are bad for continually putting semi-clad young women on their covers, while all of their male models are always fully clothed, older, and arguably less attractive. Because that is another post for another time.

I am saying that if you are encouraging others to "Rule the World"--like the placard covering your apparently naked body is ironically telling us to do--you, and your obvious talent, might be taken more seriously if you put your clothes back on.

1 comment:

Stephanie Quilao said...

I totally agree with you about Hollywood actresses not having to be the "naked girl" any more. I blogged about this Wired magazine cover also because I was just so appalled by the lack of sensitivity to the female readers of Wired magazine. And like you, I think these media people can do better than this. Any hormonal college guy could have done the Wired and Vanity Fair covers. Why can't people be creative without using gratuitous sexuality?