Monday, September 29, 2008

How desperate are they?

Is it just me or does anyone else find the most recent TV Guide cover (a fold-out double cover, no less, like a centerfold) problematic? I could probably spend an hour trying to qualify why it bugs me so much but I'm not sure it's worth the effort, and I probably would just be stating the obvious. Or, isn't it obvious?

(click to enlarge)

What do you all think?

This posting brought to you by a very different sort of desperate housewife, courtesy of Simone de Beauvoir:
In this insanity the house becomes so neat and clean that one hardly dares live in it; the woman is so busy she forgets her own existence. A household, in fact, with its meticulous and limitless tasks, permits to woman a sadomasochistic flight from herself as she contents madly with the things around her and with herself in a state of distraction and mental vacancy. And this flight may often have a sexual tinge.

4 comments:

Brianna J said...

It's obvious.

When are we, as a society, going to get past this kind of thing, anyway? (Sigh...)

Britni said...

Ugh. While I love 50s fashion and Vargas girls, its the hint of innocent sexuality and NOT the implication that women should crave housework that I love. Feminine Mystique, anyone? (I'm not even gonna mention the amount of Photoshop on that cover).

I had to make a collage today (don't ask) from ads in magazines about what I "wanted to do when I grew up" when I was a child.

I couldn't find a realistic ad to save my life, and the assignment was such a joke, I almost cut out the pregnant lady, the mop, and the washing machine and said, well, the only think my magazine will let me be is barefoot and pregnant. I want to be a housewife!

I refrained and instead cut out Will and Grace and decided I wanted to be a fag hag instead :)

AD Miller said...

I, too, found these images pretty unsettling. Sure, retro is good fun, particularly when combined with the show's decision to "flash forward" this season. However, these images make the women look like mindless, robotic (or blow-up?) sex toys. I've tried to watch Desperate Housewives and have never been able to like it. The characters seem as empty to me as this cover suggests. In fact, I see some connection between these images and the ones in The Story of Menstruation that Aviva posted a few weeks ago, though that little housewife isn't sexualized. I've used that Disney film in class several times and students are always amazed at "how far we've come." The parallels between the TV Guide cover and the 1946 video on menstruation suggests that perhaps we've not come very far at all!

P.S.
@britni. I would have given you an A for the mop, lady, and washing machine collage! I think that such images, combined with your claim that this is what advertisers are suggesting you should strive for, speaks volumes about the media.

aviva said...

The blow-up sex doll image is particularly apt, AD, and it frustrates me to no end that the ad implies women are DESPERATE...either for housework or sex or both in some French-maid-esque-halloween-costume combination. The magazine has been staring up at me from my desk for a week now and every time I look at it I exclaim and audible "ugh." Why do actors even agree to be in spreads like this?