Recent photos in GQ magazine, which showed Glee cast members in racy dress and positions, had parents’ groups in a flurry. And with good reason too – these are actors who play high school students, and who have a wide following amongst impressionable teenagers. I suppose this is just yet another example of fame going straight to the head of young go-getters, to be heaped onto the pile with Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan…

But raunchy and pedophilia-endorsing photos aside, what I found interesting was the way the articles following this story went. As I had assumed most of them thought that the photos were appropriate since the actors themselves were of legal age, and as they were in a men’s magazine (where, in an ideal world, the kiddos wouldn’t get a glance). What I didn’t expect however was how the photo-shoot was generally viewed as a failure by multiple writers.

Over and over the word “unoriginal” comes up, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s sad but true, we are used to women undermining their talents and judging their success instead by how good they look in their underwear or lack thereof. As for two scantily clad women acting brainlessly over one willing male – yup, we’ve seen that too. This doesn’t do much for the male species either, who are always portrayed with the inability to respect a woman.

This “rite of passage” stuff is going too far. It’s ironic that they take their clothes to gain respect and that’s exactly what they lose in the process. The other cliché in the photos was the suggestive lollipop-in-mouth pose… and I have seen way too many of these on Facebook profiles to think that it doesn’t have any impact on young viewers and fans.

But at least I no longer feel like I am the only one with these views. If the current media can face up to the fact that the young actors are “sexing it up ” so much that it’s getting boring, then maybe things will finally start to change.

 

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.