Many moms have twisted their granny panties in a wad over an uber ramped-up, camped-up photo spread in GQ Magazine that features "Glee" stars Lea Michele and Dianna Agron licking lollipops in locker rooms and straddling benches, all while scantily clad.
Apparently, many "Gleek" moms, including Katie Couric, felt compelled to state how disenchanted they were with the whole sitch, as many teens watch the show, and -- who knew? -- it has a stealth audience of 8- and 9-year-olds! Couric said she watches the show with her 14-year-old daughter and was disappointed because the GQ photos were "un-'Glee'-like" and "raunchy."
They are! They are totally un-"Glee"-like and raunchy, but I believe that was the point.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of giving an Associated Press reporter my two cents about the whole "Glee"/GQ backlash. I told her it's up to parents to filter what their kids come across, and that if I were Agron and Michele, I'd be out there working my fine self as well!
Here are my three remaining thoughts on the matter:
First, let's put this in perspective here, mmm'kay? When Britney Spears first hit the scene, I'll never forget tsking away at this huge photo shoot she did with Rolling Stone -- a shoot VERY similar to this one -- wherein she was in naughty high-school-Lolita garb, panties in plain view, beckoning the camera to twist her into all sorts of illegal shapes and sizes. I tsked because this happened when she was 16 years old.
But I tsk not in this instance. Why? These women deserve the right not to wear whatever they want in a photo shoot, because contrary to popular belief, they are not really Quinn and Rachel. These are ACTORS people -- ACTORS in their 20s, where one of their most valued commodities is how good they look. For a young actor, living within the confines of a single character is not only limiting, it's potentially damaging. Photo shoots like these are mini acting opportunities that allow them to portray someone other than themselves or their characters, and potentially get cast as leading ladies or ax murders in their next projects, for instance.
Second, I actually kind of beg to differ that this shoot is "un-'Glee'-like." Ryan Murphy created this show as a send-up of high school for adults or teens close to adulthood, and it's chock-full of provocative scenarios each and every week. Just last episode, Brittany and Santana were making out for sport and referencing a lesbian sex act known as "scissoring." I would shield my kids from this -- not at all because it involved same-sex action, but because it's action, PERIOD. I would shield them from Rachel simulating a blow job, also! Aside from the musical numbers, "Glee" is mostly for grownups.
Finally, if your 8- or 9-year-old comes across this photo spread and is aware of it, mom-up and consider it as one of those "teachable moments." As much as we may want to, we can't possibly shield our children from sex, drugs and rock-and-roll forever and ever, but we can pay attention to what they see and do and talk openly with them about things they see that they may not be equipped to understand.
Ask your 9-year-old daughter how she feels about the clothing and whether or not she thinks it's cool, then insert your two cents there. See it as an opportunity for open convo whereby you can learn where your kid is at and gently guide them in whatever you consider the right direction.
What do you guys think? Do you find the photo shoot offensive?