Great going, Glee.
Though Britney Spears made it clear long ago that schoolgirl fetishism is alive and well, I expected more from the stars of Fox’s beloved musical dramedy.
In case you haven’t heard (or rather, seen), Glee‘s Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Cory Monteith posed provocatively for the issue of GQ on stands now, and people aren’t pleased. Namely, the Parents Television Council, which released a statement saying the photo shoot “borders on pedophilia.”
While the actors are all of age, the PTC does have a point. Just because Terry Richardson can cash in on his creepy-genius reputation and snap suggestive shots of legally consenting stars doesn’t make it right or cool or sexy.
And don’t get me started on the fact that fully dressed Cory gets to mug for the camera and play drums during the shoot while Lea and Dianna do little more than model push-up bras, spread their legs, and suck on lollipops.
At least part of Glee‘s success is its ability to utilize smart, grown-up humor while simultaneously invoking high school nostalgia in adult viewers.
But guess what? A huge portion of Glee‘s audience is made up of kids who haven’t even hit those pivotal years yet.
Mark Salling, who plays Puck on the show, had this to say about the racy shots: “Lea is 23 years old and has every right to do that. I mean, come on! We’re obviously not in high school. It’s tongue-in-cheek that we’re in high school.”
It is? Then why does the feel-good show always make sure to impart moral wisdom and socially conscious messages as if it were striving to be the 21st-century incarnation of the After School Special?
Dianna, at least, sees what all the fuss is about. Sort of.
She wrote on her Tumblr blog, “In the land of Madonna, Britney, Miley, Gossip Girl, other public figures and shows that have pushed the envelope and challenged the levels of comfort in their viewers and fans… we are not the first. Now, in perpetuating the type of images that evoke these kind of emotions, I am sorry.”
But she’s not taking all the blame on this one. “If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention. And if your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry. But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?”
Ah, right, pulling the old “it’s not my job to be a parent” argument. Sorry Dianna, but besides reviving the cultural fascination with Catholic schoolgirl uniforms, that’s just another thing Britney did first.
— Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.