Sarah Michelle Gellar strips down, but would Buffy approve?

Sarah Michelle Gellar is the
Woman of the Year. But wait, wait — before you get all excited, let me
clarify. She is the 2008 Maxim Woman
of the Year
. Yeah,
kind of puts a damper on your wooing and hooing, doesn’t it?

Oh, Buffy, Buffy. Maxim? Really?
What happened to “Are you ready to be strong?” How can you be strong
while clutching your cleavage? That can’t be a good fighting stance.

As much as I think it’s every
woman’s prerogative to use her sexuality however she pleases, these
shots disappoint me. Sarah in black lacy bra and fingerless
gloves does not scream, “Strong! Independent! Woman!” to me. It
screams, “Hello! Still here! Remember me?”

Sarah basically admitted as
much when she told Maxim why she agreed to be its cover girl:

“I’m 30, and I’m promoting a bunch of
different kinds of movies. I like to shake things up every once in a
while. It’s good to leave people wanting more, but I don’t want to leave
them waiting too long or they’ll lose interest. Besides, how could I
not do a Maxim shoot when I have a movie coming out in which
I play a porn star?”

Uh, I don’t remember any rule
that says, “If you play a porn star, then you must pose for Maxim.”
Is that in the fine print? Someone call a lawyer. Next thing you know,
they’ll slip in a clause changing Casual Friday to Midriff Monday.

I guess what disappoints me
most about this shoot is the message it sends to women, particularly
young women. If you want attention, take your clothes off. In fact,
if you don’t take your clothes off, you’ll be forgotten altogether. Paging
Gloria Steinem. Gloria Steinem, please pick up a red Feminist Emergency
Telephone.

As Buffy, Sarah was an unparalleled
example of female empowerment. Yes, yes, I know the actress is not the
role. And I have no problem whatsoever with strong being sexy. But shots
like this just don’t give me the “I am woman, hear me roar!” vibe.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

In the end, I guess it just
makes me sad that women feel they need to play the Maxim card to further
their careers. Sarah is certainly not the only actress to have cheesecaked
it up for the lad mag’s glossy pages. But a publication whose motto
might as well be “Watch it jiggle, watch it wiggle” should not be
a required resume-filler. We’re women, not Jell-O. Buffy knew
that, but it looks like Sarah may need a reminder.

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