Gleeks gone wild? If you hadn't heard, GQ's newest issue has a story and pictorial dedicated to the all-time greatest TV show ever, Glee. But hold on to your show tunes, everyone. We're not in a high school glee club anymore.
The Parents Television Council is up in arms over the sexy display, saying that the cover borders on pedophilia considering the three featured (Quinn, Rachel and Finn) play high school students on the show and GQ is a magazine geared towards grown men. The GQ editor-in-chief responds by saying that in real life, these three are in their mid-20s and are old enough to make their own decisions.
I was kind of surprised at first to see these pictures and I can see how the Parents Television Council would take offense considering how popular the show is with kids these days. But then I think about it and I just don't see that big of an issue with this cover or any of the pictures inside.
This isn't Highlights for Kids or even Teen People or YM (do those still even exist for teenage girls to read like I did?) we're talking about. This is GQ magazine. And the PTC contradicts their own case in a way by saying a magazine geared towards grown men shouldn't objectify girls who play high school aged characters. The magazine is for grown men. That's the audience and thus the market that you're catering to. Lea Michele (Rachel) and Diana Agron (Quinn) are beautiful and frankly I think it was only a matter of time before we were going to see it. We kind of already did with the Rolling Stones issue that came out a few months ago.
If your kids are getting a hold of a GQ magazine, it might be time to re-examine yourself as a parent. And if they see it in the market and ask why their favorite Glee characters are in their underwear on a magazine... Well I'm not a parent so I don't know what you would respond with but I'm sure you'll think of something.
This begs the question of just how young is too young to be watching Glee? I've had this debate with my friend and her mom before as we watch the show together sometimes and I'm not gonna lie, some of the stuff that's been on the show isn't always suitable for kids younger than high school age. Sure the singing is fun, but there's also a good amount of adult content that isn't appropriate for elementary or even middle school-aged kids. I honestly don't think I would let my child watch Glee if they were younger than high school. How are you supposed to explain to a second grader why Finn is praying to Grilled Cheesus for the chance to touch Rachel's boobs and why this is something so important he wants to pray about it and why he's so glad when his prayers are answered? I just get it. A high schooler probably just gets it. A sixth grader? Hopefully doesn't.
Yes there's the whole "they're role models now" aspect of it, but their fanbase isn't just screaming preteens. Do you know how many Wednesday morning IM conversations take place between me and Julie about how hot Finn and Puck are? Not gonna lie, I wouldn't mind a Finn and Puck shirtless spread in Cosmo or something. But just them. I'm good without Artie and Kurt. They have adult fans too. They have plenty of guys in their 20s and 30s who think the girls are hot. You have to meet both markets.
At the end of the day, why is it okay for kids (and I mean younger than high school age) to watch a show that shows high schoolers engaging in bullying and taunting and sex and dealing with very real and heavy life issues, but it's not okay for these same kids to see the same characters in their real life roles promoting themselves and their show? Am I contradicting myself? Because I don't see much of a difference. You can't condone one then lash out at the other.
This has opened my eyes as to just how tough it is to be a parent these days and actually have to explain stuff like this to your kids. So I give the PTC props for recognizing that we have some impressionable youth out there that will see that magazine cover. But maybe drawing that line between fantasy and reality isn't the worst thing you can teach your kids how to do either.
The moral of the story: I still love me some Glee.