Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don't make molestation hip

Since when is sexual molestation a good excuse for a sexy photo shoot?

Vanity Fair this month is running an exclusive article about 'Desperate Housewives' actress Teri Hatcher, in which she admits to being sexually molested by her uncle. Her comments helped put him in prison, after the guy was busted for molesting other young women.

So the question is, why did Vanity Fair choose to accompany a STORY about sexual molestation with photos of Hatcher wearing not much more than women's underwear on the cover, and in what are arguably sexually alluring positions on the inside pages?

What message is intended for readers?


At 6:15 PM, Anonymous katy s. said...

This can actually be a tricky issue. My intial reaction is, of course, how dare you sexualize molestation. But then I got to thinking...

It seems to me that it is the right of any person to have some sexy (whatever that means) pictures taken of themselves if they so desire. And I think it's a bit revolutionary for survivors of sexual assault to be comfortable with their bodies and their sexiness. One of the greatest lies that we should be working to dubunk is that rape is about sex, rape only happens to sexy people, only attractive people can be victims. For a woman to know that a crime was not committed against her because she was sexy is huge. For her to see that being sexy is not an invitation for assault is wonderful.

THAT being said, I certainly don't know if most people get that message. What bothers me the most is the cover picture. The implication seems to be that her body is something that she's been trying to hide her whole life, she's clutching at the sweater and making that face like the reader or passerby just walked in on her changing. If you're making the choice to get some hot pictures taken, don't pose like you're surprised. Show us that sexy is confidence in your body. The real problem I have is the passive sexiness.

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Mags said...

I had the same issue as you with the cover - so much so that the photo, to me, detracted from her message of "I'm a molestation survivor." I saw the cover photo and thought, "what is she trying to plug now?"

I agree too with Katy that perhaps this picture is her way of empowering herself - reclaiming the sexuality that was taken from her at a young age.

But still. I agree. Don't make molestation hip.


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