So why are so many people upset by the pictorial in the current issue of GQ?
Because of “Glee.” Those half-naked schoolgirls with the come hither eyes aren’t just any models. They’re the girls of “Glee.”
I’m a Gleek, I admit it. In fact, I was an early adopter, faithfully following the scrappy show choir at McKinley High before it became so fashionable. My tween daughter and I curl up together to watch it every week. We even made a pilgrimage down to Radio City Music Hall to catch them in concert (which I wrote about for Women’s Voices for Change). The show has always pushed the envelope, but has also dealt with a lot of difficult topics — teen homosexuality, teen pregnancy, racism, kids with physical and mental disabilities — and done so with candor, understanding, and affection.
The GQ pictures themselves are uninspired. The school locales are overlit and practically sterile. The costumes are silly, such as the combination of over-the-knee athletic socks and high-heeled pink pumps. Really, who styled these? The boys of Delta House? Legs spread wide in the locker room with a wet red lollipop, Michele seems to be channeling her inner blow-up doll. Agron looks uncomfortable. Monteith is grinning (hey, he’s got two half-naked chicks hanging on him), but he’s hardly present.
Here’s what bothers me most. I’m trying to raise my daughter to admire people for the right reasons: intelligence, honor, talent, skill, determination. I’m trying to help her understand that when it comes to people, you can’t judge a book by its cover. What’s inside really does matter. Until these pictures came out, “Glee” was helping me with that conversation.
Eventually I’ll also try to help my daughter understand that women are sexual beings just as men are. So why are the two women undressed while the man isn’t? Why are they judged on how good they look in lingerie while he’s just lucky to be there? As my daughter grows up, I want her to understand that depicting someone as a ‘sex object’ is not a compliment. I don’t want my daughter to be objectified, even if she turns out to be one of the fortunate few deemed beautiful enough to be tarted up in magazines.
There have not been formal statements about the GQ story from Michele, Monteith, Fox Television, or “Glee”’s producers. However, Dianna Agron posted the following on her blog, explaining that this was her reaction and hers alone …
GQ, they asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters … At the time, it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away. I must say, I am trying to live my life with a sharpie marker approach. You can’t erase the strokes you’ve made, but each step is much bolder and more deliberate. I’m moving forward from this one, and after today, putting it to rest. These aren’t photos I am going to frame and put on my desk, but hey, nor are any of the photos I take for magazines.” “Nobody is perfect, and these photos do not represent who I am. For
This is an articulate response from a bright young woman, and I look forward to hearing more from her in the future. Her character found her voice through McKinley High’s glee club. Perhaps this experience will help the actress find hers.