Sarah Michelle Gellar strips down, but would Buffy approve?

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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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