The “Glee” girls join a long, and infamous, list of stars who are accused of being too sexy for their intended teen audience. Reuters reported on Wednesday that “Glee” cast members Lea Michele (Rachel) and Dianna Agron (Quinn) appear in the November issue of GQ in provocative poses while wearing short skirts, high heels and scanty panties (I will let you consider how the lollipops were used).
“Glee” is the Emmy-winning runaway hit about a high school choir that features songs from such stars as Madonna and Lady Gaga. The show also deals with heavy subjects such as homosexuality and teen sex. One can argue that the show has adult themes, and the cast members are adults (both in their 20s). However, the show is directed toward, and about, teenagers. Based on other incidents involving sexy teen stars, GQ can apologize or not – – it will still get great free advertising.
Miley Cyrus felt the sting of scrutiny when her “artistic” photos for Vanity Fair caused a hailstorm of criticism. The “Hannah Montana” star was only 15 years old when photographer Annie Leibovitz snapped the sexy pictures of Miley with only a sheet covering clutched to her chest. The provocative pictures of the teen star caused uproar about the deliberate sexualization of teen girls in entertainment and media.
Cyrus apologized to her fans, saying she was embarrassed about the photographs. Dianna Agron (“Glee”) also has apologized for the GQ photo shoot, issuing a statement that the pictures are not representative of her as a person. If the young actors both felt the need to apologize for the photos, then one might wonder why they would pose for them to begin with. Miley claimed that you do not tell Annie Leibovitz no, while Agron stated she was not happy about the photo shoot.
Is entertainment shoving teen sexuality down the throats of America because it is a natural progression of our society, or because it just sells great? It definitely does sell, and it definitely does create a media buzz. Taylor Momsen’s music video for ‘Miss Nothing’ featured her, at 16 years old, crawling, standing and lying on a banquet table offering herself as a “meal” for men twice her age. The men, seated at the table, are free to feast their eyes upon the teen star dressed in a white micro-mini silk bodysuit, fishnets and garters.
Again, one might argue that this is art and Momsen is free to express herself artistically; however, she is also a star of the hit television series “Gossip Girl” (based on the novels by the same name) that airs on the CW network. Momsen may not want to be a role model for teen girls, but by starring in a show directed at them, it is difficult not to be considered a role model. At least Momsen does not apologize for her overt sexuality, as other teen stars who either choose to participate in racy photos or videos or just get caught red-handed (or red-faced), as with Vanessa Hudgens.
Vanessa Hudgens did not pose for her nude photograph, but she did snap and share it (they were leaked to the Internet in 2007). Hudgens apologized to fans in a statement, claiming the photo was to be private and she was embarrassed and regretted having taken the picture. Hudgens became a teen star in Disney’s “High School Musical” movies as a wholesome, innocent high school student whom young girls idolized. It was unfortunate this private matter was shared with the world; however, it at least was not (we hope) a deliberate use of sex by the entertainment industry to make money from a young girl.
Serjeant, Jill. “Glee” actress apologizes for sexy GQ shoot” (Reuters, 10/21/10)
Serjeant, Jill. “Racy “Glee” photos in GQ kick up storm” (Reuters, 10/20/10)
Marikar, Sheila. “Leibovitz Defends Provocative Miley Cyrus Photos” (ABC News, 4/28/08)
Roberts, Soraya. “Taylor Momsen’s ‘Miss Nothing’ video for Pretty Reckless band puts teen on a platter for older men” (NYDailyNews.com 7/21/10)
Healey, Kelvin. “Teen star Vanessa Hudgens in nude Internet scandal” (HeraldSun.com.au 9/9/07)