Sunday, March 29, 2009

Should "Childlike" and "Sexy" Go Together?

This is the current cover image of Rolling Stone magazine. From a feminist perspective, I have two problems with the way the women are pictured here.

#1 Infantilization – This is a common technique used in advertising/fashion photography. Women are photographed in child-like poses that are meant to convey a sense of innocence. I find it creepy that as a society we are so outraged by pedophilia, yet we continually portray grown women in child-like poses and think it’s sexy. There is something deeply disturbing about sexualizing childhood.

#2 Lesbian Reference – Again, this is commonly used in the media. We seem to have no problem showing two beautiful young women in a sexual pose together – yet we never see two butch women, two regular-looking women, a butch with a femme... etc. We only see beautiful models together. And don’t even get me started on that fact that we never see male homosexuality in our media. You know our society is fucked up when we feel more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than two men holding hands.

Anyhow, I digress.
My point is that this image is completely lacking in creativity (it’s been done a million times before) and it also continues the North American media legacy of degrading and over-sexualizing women. Final verdict: two thumbs down.

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