Yesterday, I committed the unlikely occurrence of visiting my mailbox. Sometimes, I forget that I even have one, and so I probably collect mail every 3 weeks, at most. But yesterday, since my House Council meeting got moved to Craig 107 (right near the elevator), I decided to check my mail… and boy was I in for a surprise(s)!
My favorite surprise was a postcard from one of my best friends from home. She is currently taking a gap year abroad in Peru, and to hold her letter with the Cuban postmark just made me smile – I felt like I was that much closer to her. She even sent me a friendship bracelet straight from the island off of Lake Titicaca!
Coupled around the postcard were two periodicals, both of which I was initially beyond excited to receive: a J.Crew catalog and the April issue of Glamour magazine. Glamour is my favorite magazine and after scratching my cuticles to pull the magazine out (apologies and thanks to the postman who has to intricately roll my monthly magazines so that they always fit), I felt like I’d finally dug out the hidden treasure. I flipped the magazine over, excited to find out who this month’s cover star was, and I couldn’t be more disappointed.
I didn’t have a problem with who the cover star was, but rather what she was wearing. Better stated, I had a problem with what she wasn’t wearing-a top. Yes. There on the cover of my magazine was a naked woman. You can call me old-fashioned or maybe a little too sensitive, but I think there are way too many issues with this cover:
1) I have been a subscriber to Glamour for about 3 years and can’t ever remember being this horrified by a cover. Certainly, when I received the May 2012 issue dawning a topless Lauren Conrad, I did have some qualms. But I brushed off my sentiments, as it was the “swimsuit issue”. Lauren was near a pool, and, maybe most importantly, she was sideways with half of her back turned to the reader. But this issue is different. This cover, with it’s full frontal of a nude Kate Hudson covering her breasts with one hand, outrightly draws attention to Kate Hudson’s sexual appeal. In fact, the magazine is using this sexual appeal to sell issues. Isn’t that why she’s on the cover?
2) You may be thinking: well, yes! Isn’t that what a magazine does? Strategies like these that make up the Playboy Franchise as well help magazines like Maxim and Sports Illustrated to thrive. But that’s exactly my point. Those magazines have created and established their brands and are consequentially aimed at a different target audience: males. (My qualms with those magazines would have to be addressed in a different post!) Glamour’s media kit specifies that 95% of its audience is comprised of women. If this is the case, to whom is Glamour trying to appeal? Or are they simply joining in with the plethora of other magazines in objectifying a woman’s body?
3) According to their website, Glamour is “our guide to the latest fashion trends, outfit ideas, hair + makeup how-to’s, and celebrity scoop.” I don’t understand how Kate’s image is selling that aim. Her minimal clothing seems to draw attention away from fashion. The headline “Damn Kate, You Look Good,” simply reaffirms my belief.
I have yet to read this month’s magazine issue, but I don’t see how I can read it and take anything Kate or Glamour, as a matter of fact, says seriously. For a magazine that claims to stand up for women’s self worth, body image, and so many other self-affirming ideals, I couldn’t feel more objectified. And, perhaps, hearing it from Glamour, as opposed to Maxim or Sports Illustrated, makes it hurt even more.