GQ goes barely legal with Hayden and Rihanna

Look, I don’t consider myself
a prude. Sure, I sometimes furiously fly my feminist flag, but otherwise I’m pretty hard to
shock. And I’m the last person on the planet to tell consenting adults
what they should and shouldn’t do in the privacy of their own homes.
Still, when I saw these pictures of Rihanna and Hayden Panettiere

for the latest issue of GQ, my only thought was “Ewww.” Like,
seriously, ewww.

Now, it’s not just the
poses that give me pause. It’s the context. Ah, isn’t it always
the context? Let’s start with Rihanna. The magazine took the 19-year-old
pop star and bent her over the knee of 30-year-old fellow singer Robin
Thicke, whose hand is mid-spank. Nope, nothing creepy about that.
And
nothing creepy about these either.

And then there is Hayden. Cute,
blonde, just-turned-18 Hayden was named Obsession of the
Year
by GQ.
Which means that up until her birthday in August, she was the magazine’s
underage obsession of the year. But even if I gave them the benefit
of the doubt for holding off until she was legal, I can’t give them
a pass for posing her in with such Lolita-like lasciviousness. And,
again, it’s all about the context. A young girl in a see-through
nightie holding a teddy bear with teen-idol posters on the wall? This
is this the kind of women the men at GQ obsess about?

What bothers me the most is
these shots are for GQ, a magazine for men and — if the title
is to be believed — gentlemen at that. So this isn’t a magazine for
teenagers or young men like Maxim and FHM.
It’s for full-grown adults who should know better than to fantasize
about teenage girls. And they should definitely know better than to
so grossly objectify and infantilize them. And I’m not the only one who thinks it’s gross. This is
Gentlemen’s Quarterly
, after all, not Barely Legal. So, what
do you think? Am I being a prude? Or do you share my ewww?

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