Sisterhood Blog

Rethinking That Infamous 'Glee' Photo Shoot

By Elissa Strauss

gq.com

I, too, thought “uh-oh” when I saw the now infamous “Glee” photo shoot in GQ — see our earlier, related post here — nodding my head in agreement to the chorus of critiques deeming it sexist and even pornographic. But then I remembered what I used to dress like in my early 20s and realized that perhaps I had been too quick to judge. Fine, I never wore underwear as pants while suggestively sucking on a lollipop like Lea Michele does in the photo shoot, but you could certainly say that my wardrobe as a married woman is considerably more modest that many of the Friday night get-ups I used to wear in my early 20s.

Because I am slow to learn, I had a similar knee-jerk reaction when reading Dodai Stewart’s response to the article “The Truth About Beauty,” by Amy Alkon on Pyschologytoday.com. I instantly sided with Stewart that the article, which encourages women to remain mindful of their outer-beauty and promotes the damaging messages put forth by mainstream women’s and men’s magazines.

Like Stewart, I was revolted by the closing line from Alkon’s piece.

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Jewish Girls of 'Glee' Gone Wild?

By Leah Berkenwald

gq.com
Glee stars in a provocative pose.

Earlier this week, Diana Agron and Lea Michele of “Glee” were on the cover of GQ with co-star Cory Monteith in what can only be described as a hypersexualized spread. Diana Agron plays popular cheerleader Quinn Fabray. Lea Michele plays the know-it-all Jewish girl Rachel Berry. Both actresses are Jewish. (See other “Glee”-related posts here, here, here and here.)

The high school themed photoshoot, shot by Terry Richardson, features the Jewesses half-naked, in sexy, “come hither” poses. In one shot, Lea Michele is provacatively licking a lollipop. Jezebel calls it “porny” and reminds us that Terry Richardson has been accused of sexual harrassment by his models in the past. Jezebel also notes that Cory Monteith, who plays the football star Finn, is wearing clothes and his poses are active rather than passive. Another blogger noticed that GQ chose to feature only thin, white actresses when “Glee” is all about being pro-diversity, even if it deals with the issue in a lightweight, superficial way.

The photoshoot has sparked debate about whether “Glee” is a show for children or adults. The Parents Television Council said the shoot “borders on pedophilia,” despite the fact that the actors are all 20-somethings. Also, “Glee” has hit record ratings among adults and has featured plenty of sexual content that did not provoke statements from the Parent’s Television Council.

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Leah Berkenwald is the online communications specialist at the Jewish Women’s Archive, and a contributor to its Jewesses With Attitude blog, which cross-posts regularly with the Sisterhood.

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