Esquire editor: Women are ‘there to be beautiful objects,’ ‘ornamental’ & ‘objectified’

Cameron Diaz

For many years, I kept a subscription to Esquire and only recently cancelled it late last year. Of course, they’re still emailing me weekly about renewal fees because magazines are so pesky like that. Why did I finally cancel? I got tired of their avant garde interview style, which was disconcertingly juxtaposed with endless cheesecake photo spreads. Esquire’s own, self-desclared motto is “style and substance,” and I was starting to feel that there was far too much style and not enough substance to warrant paying even $1 per issue of their renewal fee. You know that magazines don’t even care about the subscriber revenue anyway — it’s all about total subscriber numbers, which lead to increased advertising dollars. So I counted myself out of their demographic for good.

At any rate, Esquire’s editor-in-chief, Alex Bilmes, recently gave a little speech at a European advertising conference, and he’s attempting to “come clean” in regards to the mag’s treatment of women. If you weren’t already up to date on recent Esquire features on women, just witness the magazine’s absurd recent pictorials of Cameron Diaz, Mila Kunis, Megan Fox, and (to a lesser degree) Rachel Weisz. It must be noted that Cameron was totally down with being photographed by gross Terry Richardson for the magazine and even subsequently declared, “I think every woman does want to be objectified, and I think it’s healthy.” Now Bilmes is freely (and finally) admitting that his publication freely and openly treats women as a means to objectification:

Mila Kunis

Esquire editor Alex Bilmes has admitted that the magazine uses pictures of “ornamental” women for male readers “in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars.”

Bilmes, who moved from rival men’s title GQ to edit Esquire in 2010, said that his magazine’s policy was “more honest” than that of the women’s magazine industry, which he claimed perpetuate negative images of women.

“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”

Bilmes, speaking on a panel hosted by Cosmopolitan editor Louise Court about feminism in the media and advertising, added that men “see women in 3D” in many different roles in life “but at certain times we like to see them sexy”.

“[Esquire] provide pictures of girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars,” he said. “It is ornamental. Women’s magazines do the same thing.”

He said that in his view Esquire was “more honest” than many titles, citing the “anti-feminist” example of a newspaper using a picture of model Naomi Campbell next to a financial story “because she shopped at Marks & Spencer once.”

He argued that Esquire was, in fact, “less rigid” in its portrayal of women than women’s magazines. “We are more ethnically diverse, more shape diverse,” he said. “In fashion magazines women are much thinner. We have older women, not really old, in their 40s.”

He went on to cite the example of actress Cameron Diaz, who is in her 40s, as an “older” women used on the cover of a recent issue of Esquire. “Most women’s magazines don’t put them [older women] in their magazines.”

He said the women’s magazine industry and advertising targeting women were primarily responsible for perpetuating stereotyped and negative images of women.

[From Guardian]

My knee jerk response to Bilmes’ words was to acknowledge that, hey, at least he’s being honest about his magazine’s objectives in regards to the female species. However, I also conceded that this is also Joe Francis’ rationale in overseeing the “Girls Gone Wild” videos as well. I really don’t want to seem like a prude because I do like a good display of female objectification on occasion. However, why is Esquire so stingy on male candy? Whenever they do a male-oriented feature or cover, we only end up with a dried and withered Sean Penn whining about how women done him wrong.

Regardless of the presence of Penn on Esquire’s recent cover cache, I do have to admit that Bilmes does have a point about women’s magazines. As far as restricting models to a certain age and size, women’s fashion rags are much more discriminating than Esquire could ever manage to be.

Megan Fox

Cameron Diaz

Rachel Weisz

Sean Penn

Photos courtesy of Esquire

 

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177 Responses to “Esquire editor: Women are ‘there to be beautiful objects,’ ‘ornamental’ & ‘objectified’”

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  1. T.Fanty says:

    Wow. That is appalling. And it still blows my mind that so many women think that feminism is an outdated issue.

    • Cherry says:

      Appalling, but hardly news. Anyone with eyes can see that the women that are featured in Esquire are ornamental. Should we applaud the editor for being honest about it? No, of course not. He’s right, but I would applaud him only if he would DO something about it.

    • Jenny says:

      It’s true, but I do agree with his point about the diversity of ages and shapes they offer as opposed to fashion mags, in which women are objectified and commoditized as well, only in different ways.

    • Liv says:

      Does he compare us to cars!? Lovely.

      His diversity argument is a joke! As if! Is he really thinking that putting Diaz on the cover would be like putting older women on the cover!? And who’s supposed to be the “fuller” woman? Mila Kunis? Ridiculous!!

    • MrsB says:

      Well he is being honest, and it’s a cultural problem. He didn’t start it. Women in Hollywood don’t starve themselves and get tons of work done at the plastic surgeon’s office to NOT be objectified. There are plenty of women out there who want to objectified. If there is going to be a change, it’s going to have to come from women themselves, not a magazine editor.

      • T.Fanty says:

        That’s completely not true; he’s selling an image of women in the mainstream press. He is an active producer of images that saturate my daughter’s consciousness everywhere she turns, right down to the grocery store where these magazines are sold. While I will give the chicken/egg argument some weight, I can’t protect my daughter from thinking she is a man’s object unless some men step up to the plate and take responsibility for their part in perpetuating this culture.

      • Zimmer says:

        I think we are kidding ourselves if we think that objectification of the opposite sex can be changed. It is absolutely part of our human nature. Both sexes do it and if we erased it (impossible) our species would never survive or have survived thus far.

        For me feminism is not about changing that, rather it is about women having access to the freedoms and opportunities that men have traditionally had.

      • MrsB says:

        Yes he is selling an image, but he certainly is not the only one. He’s just the only one admitting it. He is giving his paying customers what they want. Why can’t we get criticize the starlets that agree to pose like this and be objectified? People like Cameron Diaz definitely have enough power to have a say in what kind of photo shoot they have. She agreed to it. If she is willing to be objectified, why wouldn’t a man objectify her? The ladies posing are giving them a thumbs up to do it!

      • Troubadour says:

        Is there a magazine that features strong, classy modern women of substance that reaches the hands of the majority of America’s girls?

        Are there websites touting the abilities and true power of women in an entertaining and appealing way?

        TV shows? Movies?

        You’re fighting reality shows and the lowest common denominator cash cow ladies. That’s your problem.

        How about programming for empowering women? Or celebrating the strongest women you know in your social life? Praising those qualities in the younger women you know, reminding them they have much more to offer then they’re taught by this trash?

        Just some thoughts for you strong women of celebitchy.

        P.S.-I keep promising myself I won’t get on my soapbox. I just can’t seem to help it. I can be a bit of a blowhard, sorry.

      • bluhare says:

        Zimmer, on one hand I agree with you. Objectification is a biological imperative. However, women are objectified for their looks, which fade, while men are objectified for their hunting abilities (today wealth), which does not fade. Therefore, they continue to be valued, but women do not.

      • Jules says:

        @MrsB- I 2000% agree with you. A lot of it comes down to what the women will allow. I blame men too, don’t get me wrong, but women need to put the brakes on it by not participating, instead of feeding into it. No one is handcuffing these women and dragging them to the photo shoots. But some women love being objectified so I don’t expect it to stop any time soon. Beauty is female currency rightly or wrongly- I think wrongly but I don’t control the world. They want the ego boost of being desired. I have a friend who cares more about getting her male coworkers to desire her more than anything related to her career. When she gets another one on the line, it’s just another notch on her belt. She doesn’t actually sleep with them or anything–she just leads them on to stroke her ego and get favors–whether they are married/single/whatever. I can’t even have a single conversation with her without her mentioning some guy (who is not her husband) falling all over her. She lives for it.

      • lee says:

        I’m frankly a little bit shocked by some of the comments blaming women who want to be objectified. Is that a problem that feeds this type of publication? of course. but if your body and looks are the only currency you’ve ever had and the only thing publicists tell you can maintain your fading career (Diaz), do you really expect them to be the ones to stop the cycle? of course I’d rather they didn’t pose for these mags in this way, but they certainly can’t shoulder ALL the responsibility.

        My bigger concern, which I feel like many people are ignoring or failing to see, is that Esquire in particular doesn’t target women. These images are meant for a male audience. They’re not trying to make us feel bad about ourselves in order to sell make-up (which yes, is also terrible) but they’re teaching boys and men that the value of a woman lies wholly in aesthetics and that we can and should be treated as objects. Of course I’m concerned about self-esteem issues that stem from female images targeted towards women, but my concerns about these images (and the statements the editor made) relate far more to how men begin to view women as objects to be used as abused if they are only exposed to this sh*t.

      • MrsB says:

        @Lee I agree with you that the women should not bear all responsibility in this issue. I think they should take equal blame as the magazine editors though.

        As for the argument that these ladies are “forced” to do it or they won’t have a career? Give me a break. If somebody wants to compromise themselves just for a little more fame or a little more money (particularly people like Diaz who could retire and live VERY comfortably the rest of her life)then nahh I have no sympathy for that. Also, you can do sexy without looking like a common stripper.

      • Jules says:

        @Lee, I’m not sure if you were referring to my post. I may not have articulated my actual meaning very well. I just feel like, for instance, if someone is victimizing or using you in some way, it’s definitely not your ‘fault’, but you have to be the one to stop tolerating the behavior. You can’t just stay and take it without enabling more of the same. Like saying ‘stop, stop’ is probably not going to work, you have to take action and absolutely not tolerate it, much less participate in it. We can only control ourselves. It SHOULD be the other party that should change, but in reality, they probably won’t (users and abusers typically don’t) and the victim continues to suffer. I want women to be empowered, not victims, and empowered people have to take responsibility for their well being in any way they can.

      • lee says:

        @Jules, very good points.

        @MrsB, I definitely agree with your points and didn’t mean to imply these women were actually forced to do these shoots, just that they may believe it’s the only way to maintain their career or status. I would say that I don’t know that it’s possible to do sexy without looking like a stripper when Uncle Terry is taking the photos. yuck! That is also on Cameron for agreeing to the shoot though, so you’re right there too.

        I do agree with you guys that the willing participants should be held accountable for their part in the continued objectification in these magazines. I may have misinterpreted the previous comments, but I just wanted to make sure the editors and execs got their share too.

        I think a lot of women THINK that their only power comes from being sexualized and desired (and in large part, these types of magazines are the ones feeding that idea) and I think that when that is the case, it gets a lot murkier and harder to expect them to be the catalyst for change.

        As for Diaz, I wish she would just retire comfortably. I have no real reason to dislike her, but I certainly do anyways.

    • Vickyb says:

      Totally agreed. Objectification of the highest order – women, just like cars.

      And agree about the feminism point – clearly indicated by the style of the male/female front covers. As long as they need to have a jelly-lipped Cameron Diaz, legs open, everything on show to sell a magazine *and think that’s ok* then we’re not equal. IMAGINE what people would say if Diaz turned up like Sean Penn has – in comfortable jeans a faded old t-shirt.

      And, note, I have no problem with beautiful images of women. What I struggle with is the blatant objectification, and double standards. And how gratuitous it is – pictures of beautiful objects, devoid of substance and merely there to titilate, rather than a celebration of the beauty of people.

    • Lilo says:

      In all fairness, there are a LOT of women who let thenselves be objectified. Just looks at the covers. You don’t even have to look hard, the covers scream ” drool and jerk off”. Those women can claim to only just show their power, but real power or empowerment does not mean one has to take all your clothes off.

    • Jamteezy says:

      It tells you a lot about the status of women that he chose to parallel women with cars. Functional objects. This sort of crap is what lets Steubenville happen.

      • Zimmer says:

        @Bluhare. I’m glad we’re discussing this and I see your point, but biology also dictates this. It can be argued that women no longer have a monthly cycle after a certain age to diminish interest from men. This gives women a chance to be valued for something other than their looks and just because the media says they are not, I think they are. I see it in the love my husband has for his mother, the love and appreciation my dad has for my mom and the friendships between women that perhaps would have been competitive when they were younger.

        Also, I think women encourage, even demand objectification, as awful as it sounds. Look at the way we pour over fashion magazines with scantily-clad women, get plastic surgery, buy expensive clothes and make up, not to mention disect every aspect of the stars wardrobes. I am as guilty of this as any which is why I often come to this site. I think most everyone is guilty of it, even Michelle Duggar, who wears her hair in a way her husband dictates b/c he is attracted to it.

      • lee says:

        agreed. this is a far more concise version of what I was trying to say above. I get too wordy a lot of the time. oops.

        @zimmer, I think there’s a difference between wanting to be seen as attractive and wanting to be seen as an object. I see your point, but I think it’s really important to think of the historical context in which women have been told for centuries that their only worth is in their looks and child-bearing abilities while men have always been allowed to have a voice and a personality.

        as for the biology of it, I think that has more to do with the increased rates of birth defects after a certain age and the fact that we weren’t expected to live as long as we do today so there was no evolutionary advantage to continuing menstruation.

      • babbego says:

        If we change the word ‘women’ by ‘gay’ or ‘people of color’. Do you think it would pass this easy? No. It is not politically correct (and morally for starter). But why talking about women that way always have a free pass?

        Sorry for my really bad english

      • LittleDeadGirl says:

        I totally agree with your point Lee.

        For me it’s not that I don’t want to be seen as a sexual beautiful person but there’s a difference between seeing me as someone attractive and seeing me as an object that has no emotions or thoughts of my own. I never liked esquire. If I wanted to read a men’s magazine I always like GQ more, and I’m not sure why but they felt less raunchy.

        I agree with Bedhead. I don’t mind if the women are posed a certain way but you never see the men posed in the same manner giving us eyecandy. In the end the editor is just giving more justification for why women are treated like objects. It’s a bit blaming the victim.

  2. Lizzie says:

    Jeez Cameron…..close those legs, girl! lol! I didn’t like that Cameron Diaz shoot. Just trying a little too hard for my liking. Her legs are a million miles long though! Lucky thing.

  3. Hannah says:

    I can’t actually scold him for what he said because, as you pointed out, he is being honest. Also, the women who agree to be photographed for Esquire know what they’re getting themselves into. This isn’t the New York Times Magazine. Esquire and GQ don’t advertise themselves as anything other than lads magazines.

    I am much more bothered that so many female celebrities actually do agree to this kind of thing.

    • Amelia says:

      I remember reading an interview of Mila Kunis’ and she mentioned that she pretty much *had* to do the shoots, otherwise she wouldn’t get as much work/advertising deals, etc.
      It’s a sad state of affairs, really.
      To a certain extent, I appreciate the guy’s candour, but it really doesn’t cut the mustard with me.

      • Sam says:

        That’s sad. Being forced into a position of having to appear as a mere object for the satisfaction if men so that you can get work. I suppose it’s a vicious circle really. Who needs to stand up and go against it first? Women, the audience, the magazines? That’s definitely not a nice position to be in.

      • Bijlee says:

        I read an interview where she said that there was some magazine that she didn’t want to do, but was basically forced to do the shoot. I read that interview in THIS magazine, Esquire. Everyone suspects the actual magazine she didn’t want to do was GQ, possibly the one with terry richardson.

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        Amelia

        I remember that interview. It sounded like passing blame. This is what actresses have to do to get work in the jobs they want. Not work overall. Her talent isn’t enough to carry her so she willingly posed.
        At least Diaz admits it all. She knows the level she’s on and knows what she has to do to stay in the public eye.

    • bluhare says:

      I can scold plenty of people for being honest. White supremacists, race baiters, Adolph Hitler, Kim Jong Il, the list is endless.

  4. marie says:

    it’s true, Blimes is right about womens magazines, but it is just so disappointing..

  5. Heather says:

    Those women know what they’re doing when they shoot for this magazine, so while his comments irritate me, it’s ultimately their choice to take their clothes off for this magazine. So I can’t really disagree either.

    • Oops says:

      +1, some women (I met some of them) like to be objectified. They think (for the women I talked with) that physical apparence is the most important and want men to desire them and in fact that’s all. I can’t understand

      • Alexandra Bananrama says:

        Oops
        So right. I had a conversation with 2 girls from Manswers in an elevator ride. 1 seemed like an idiot, but knew because she wasn’t smart her body was the asset she should flaunt. The other enjoyed the male attention, but felt in control because she was the one putting herself in that situation and allowing it. I don’t agree, but I get it.

    • Liv says:

      But I disagree. There’s much pressure for actresses to participate in this crap, it’s a shame. Actresses with more power like Rachel Weisz may have a word in it and get a “classier” shoot, but aspiring actresses have to eat what they get. And it’s a male driven industry.

      I don’t think that he’s right just because he speaks the truth. Actually it’s a shame that women are still forced to do shoots like this (there are probably actresses who like to be objectified, but I’m talking about actresses like Mila Kunis who don’t really want to be in it).

  6. linlin says:

    He’s not really proofing his point about featuring a broader range of ages, when he uses Cameron Diaz as an example, since she has been of the covers of several big womens magazines in 2012 as well (I think InStyle US, Harpers Bazar UK, Elle UK?).

  7. Mayday says:

    I wouldn’t doubt that they are also trying to keep up with mags like Maxim and FHM.

    None of this is surprising tho. With the exception of the occasional peek at Vogue, I stopped reading magazines years ago for pretty much all these reasons + the damn things are like READING commercials at this point.

  8. Buckwild says:

    I just finished reading a great article about the worth of female bodies in context of the rape case and how the victim and her family is being attacked….I can’t take this Esquire article or attitude as entirely harmless. It’s part of the problem. And pointing to women’s magazines and saying that they are better since they objectify slightly-larger than model size female bodies does not make a good argument to me.

    • Ranunculus says:

      Agree with you. It has gotten worse in the last 10 years regarding how men see women and more importantly how women want to live up that image. Sad examples like Rihanna/Brown make me think that, what generations of brave intelligent women fought for is being flushed down the toilet by shallow celebs and their greedy and dangerous attitude.

      I have no problem with women being photographed in a sexy or even provocative way, but I have a big problem when female sexiness is being combined with attitudes like submissive, obedient and mere objectification.

    • DesertPoppy says:

      +2

      I am also bothered by how many people don’t think we need feminism or think feminism is a bad thing. It particularly bothers me when its women doing it.

  9. Kaye says:

    Is it okay that I’m madder at women like Cameron D. and Mila than I am at esquire? I mean, duh. Of course the top brass at a men’s magazine feels this way. It is ignorance personified, but these are powerful influential and well known actresses. This sort of objectification and commodification should be beneath them.
    Sigh. I can’t believe in 2013 we are still dealing with this nonsense.

  10. lucy2 says:

    He is being honest, but being honest about doing a jerky thing isn’t really something that should be applauded.

    I wish more female celebrities would start putting their foot down and not doing photoshoots like this. There are probably some who have no issue with it, but I have to think that most of the others wince a bit when they see the photos published (Cameron Diaz, really? What are you doing?)

  11. Lolly says:

    How revolting does Cameron Diaz look in that picture? The granola bar I ate for lunch is about to make an appearance. So gross!

  12. poppy says:

    the women they feature have zero problem with being objectified?!?!?!
    why do they print interviews with theses women if this is the case? they don’t interview cars but do put out the specs. why not for women as well then? why not just rate them?
    can’t give this guy a pass. he’s a PIG promoting PIG culture.

    • Amelia says:

      Don’t insult the pigs ;)
      I had pet pigs (yes really) as a small kid and they were *adorable*.
      I will not have the good name of my porcine friends dragged through the dirt!

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Aw! Did you have a pot-bellied pig or just regular pigs, Amelia?

        I’ve always wanted a little pig. I don’t generally approve of teacup anything but the mini teacup pigs are soooo cute!

        Totally off-topic..sorry ;)

      • marie says:

        my cousin had one when she was younger and lived with us. the pig pooed in a litter box and squealed really loud at night. we also had a dog. a dog who liked to fish from the litter box and dance around like he wona prize. the best part was when he tried to lick folks after fishing.. ahh, good times.

      • Amelia says:

        We had a pair of Gloucestershire spots :) They were pretty much like dogs, I grew up on a farm and so they were best buddies with our border collies. They started picking up dog habits actually, they used to come to whistles for their food and would roll over sometimes.
        They’re quite time consuming though. Because they’re so intelligent they need an awful lot of attention to keep them occupied, and quite a large area to roam, unless you want your potatoes dug up prematurely!
        Teacup pigs are my kryptonite! They’re so dinky and gorgeous, and whilst I’m not a fan of animals being bred to be pocket sized, they’re so sweet natured I make an exception for them!

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Ha ha..oh no, marie. I think you effectively cured my desire for a pig…or maybe I still want a pig but no longer want a puppy…

        That’s awesome, Amelia. I’ve always heard that pigs are highly intelligent (remember Wilbur?). ;)
        Do you know if the mini pigs make good indoor pets? Are pigs really hyper and active or are they chill? I seriously want one…not sure if my cat would be down with that arrangement though.

      • Amelia says:

        It sometimes depends on the breed, or even just the pig itself. For the most part they’re quite chilled out animals, but can get quite excitable when happy or if food is about.
        I don’t know much about micro pigs, but I had a friend who lived down the lane from us who bred them from a short time and they were such dear little things!
        When they get excited they can get all squeaky and skittish, and can be quite difficult to catch if they’re running circles around the kitchen table, but compared to a lot of breeds they’re fairly low maintenance. As far as I know, a lot of people keep micro pigs indoors to keep them warm or to keep them away from foxes so I think you could quite easily keep one indoors as long as you let it out to root around in the garden for a bit. I saw pig leads for sale the other day, so you could probably take it out for a walk if you wanted!
        As for cats, I think it really depends on your animal’s temperament. We had a stray barn cat who moved in for a bit after roaming around the field all lost and lonely for a bit, and he couldn’t stand humans but he loved Monty!
        And of course a micro pig could share your cat’s litter tray ;)

      • Poink517 says:

        I love pigs! They are so cute!

  13. elceibeno08 says:

    Non of us should be really shocked about Mr. Bilmes statement. Men generally react to visuals of young beautiful women acting like sex kittens. That is how evolution throughout millions of years has perpetuated the species. It is kind of sad that women are still seen as sexual objects despite of their intelligence. Sorry ladies but as long as men are men, they will continue to look at you through the lenses of sexual desire.

    • Smaug says:

      Inernalized misogyny combined with pop psychology- you go girl!!!

    • chris says:

      Baahahaha yes cave men loved looking at cave women doing pouty faces. How could humanity have survived without this?
      I hope youre joking but you really do sound stupid hahah

    • delia says:

      @elceibeno08 You are absolutely correct.

      smaug and chris are excellent examples of rude, dim creatures who see/hear what they want to be true rather than what actually is true. They also don’t believe that one should be allowed to express an opinion that they do not like without responding with childish insults. Neither appears to be capable of constructing a cogent argument.

      Esquire is and has always been a men’s magazine. It says that on the cover. It has other articles, of course, but the target demo has always been male. Most straight men like to look at pictures of pretty young women and context is neither required nor desired. It baffles me that anyone would regard Esquire as, primarily, either a fashion or gender neutral pop culture mag. It also baffles me that women who accept porn, with its increasingly violent, degrading and truly misogynistic activities, get upset over something as tame as Esquire.

      • Seagulls says:

        On a continuum of pornographic images, Esquire and similar magazines are entry level. They are part of the culture, and part of the problem.

      • Smaug says:

        I am not being rude. I am only hoping that the OP looks a her comment from another angle. I hear this pop biological bullshit a lot- and it is almost always used to justify patriarchial values. Unfortunately too many of us wmen buy into it- propagating a

      • Smaug says:

        I am not being rude. I am only hoping that the OP looks a her comment from another angle. I hear this pop biological bullshit a lot- and it is almost always used to justify patriarchal values. Unfortunately too many of us women buy into it- propagating a cycle. Instead of calling me rude and dim, why don’t you try affording me the same right to an opinion?

      • Smaug says:

        @Delia: Another problem I find with your verrry cogent (cough cough) arguement is that it veers dangerously close to the ‘boys will be boys’ territory. Esquire and other such magazines will exist because it is culturally celebrated for women to be valued for only their suxual currency.
        I like looking at beefcake as much as the next girl- but if you really look at the ground reality- men’s portrayal is very very different from women’s. And equating women is cars? Are you really ok with that? Really??
        (sorry for all the typos)

    • LAK says:

      Anyone who doesn’t think men are visual creatures is an absolute idiot. Yes, you are. You only have to look at gay men objectifying other gay men to see it. It’s not something that is a gay thing, they are just open about it. Hetero men are taught not to be as blatant about it, but if we truly thought hetero men were immune to it, we wouldn’t dress up for a night out, even if we were out with our girlfriends.

      • Smaug says:

        @LAK: I am a big admirer of your posts and agree with you about almost everything you write- so being called an idiot by you hurts that much more. That said, no one is denying that men are visual creatures. So are women! But does that mean objectification to a degree where women are equated to cars? There are plenty of ways of taking a beautiful picture which are both sensual and respectful. Dressing up for a night out of town is all well and good- but don’t we all expect the men who notice us to be decent people who will treat us more than just objects? Unless we, as women, start demanding more, the culture of ‘boys will be boys’ will thrive.

        Portrayal of women in media does have a bearing on society’s treatment of women- that we cannot deny. And magazines like Esquire are doing a really poor job at that.

        My point of internalized misogyny was exactpy this- Hey! Men are visual creatures! Let them look at women in a purely sexual way! It’s biological. And I stand by it.

  14. Bobsta says:

    It’s not just fashion magazines. Sexism and the belief that women are merely things to be looked at is still entrenched deeply in our societies, the severity depending on which culture you are from.

    I came to Celebitchy just as I’d finished reading this – http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/us-news-blog/2013/mar/20/i-love-science-woman-facbook?CMP=twt_fd

  15. Caroline says:

    Maybe men don’t necessarily want to see some better-looking guy taunting them from the pages of a magazine? The more grilzzled and rough the better. Put a hot guy on the cover and all they see is competition. But an accomplished guy that doesn’t look that great, maybe it’s easier for their egos to handle.

    Maybe men aren’t obsessed with “bettering” themselves like women are so a men’s magazine is trying to appeal to a different type of reader. One that wants to see attractive things (women, cars, gadgets, etc) vs tell them how much they are doing wrong (like women’s mags).

    I guess I’m not offended by his comments bc it’s reality.

    • Dhavynia says:

      +1
      You do have point. We women are more open about appearance more than men and I bet if there was a magazine of the same level as theirs displaying half naked male artists Im sure men will be just as disturbed..

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      “Maybe men don’t necessarily want to see some better-looking guy taunting them from the pages of a magazine?”

      Yep. This is also why most male porn stars are f*cking disgusting-looking. They want a guy that they can relate to, not a good-looking dude that makes them feel inferior. Male pride-it’s a dangerous thing, ladies.

    • Kezia says:

      Men “aren’t obsessed with bettering themselves” physically because until fairly recently they ran every facet of society and so they could look like Joe Schlub, they’d still be in charge and run everything regardless of their looks.
      Women “aren’t obsessed with bettering themselves” because they’re shallow empty vessels, it’s because society as a whole, the media and a patriarchal society have said you have to look a certain way and improve because you’re worthless as you are in your natural state. Women feel (unfairly) enormous pressure to look a certain way which leads to their shitty self-esteem which leads to posing for these god-awful magazine covers.

    • Kezia says:

      Also just because something is *YOUR* reality doesn’t make it ok!!

    • Jamie says:

      A++ post, completely agreed. His comments didn’t offend me either, because it’s the truth. Don’t want to be objectified, then don’t pose for these types of magazines. Learn to say NO.

      • Seagulls says:

        Surely you have been wolf whistled, or had sexually demeaning remarks made to you by men over the years. I certainly have, and it’s genuinely unwelcome. That’s the point about objectification – we don’t really get a say in it. It’s acceptable in our culture – witness all the many commenters here saying how normal and natural objectification is.

        What many posters are missing is that there is a vast difference between appreciating someone’s appearance and sexuality, something that respects their humanity and their agency, and objectifying them, which literally means they are reduced to being a thing.

  16. Merritt says:

    He is being honest but it is still disgusting.

    Men are treated as subjects while women are objects. Enough people need to change so that both are viewed as subjects.

  17. Ann says:

    By reducing women to “ornaments”, you put them in their place. This constant emphasis on looks is a way to power trip women. It works, too! Even on this site women routinely rip women’s looks apart while giving ugly guys a waiver! Think about it, girls!

    • anneesezz says:

      I disagree. No one gets a waiver here. Everyone is always saying that but it’s simply not true. Everyone gets called out for their BS regarless of their looks.

      • Ann says:

        Not true. Old/er men CONSTANTLY get a waiver here in regards to their looks (or lack thereof) whereas women are put under the microscope. I get that it’s “Celebitchy” but women and men are judged by different standards and shouldn’t be. Just yesterday, Patrick Stewart got a waiver for marrying a woman young enough to be his granddaughter. If a woman married a man young enough to be her grandson, I GUARANTEE the reactions would be VERY different.

      • Amelia says:

        I don’t ever recall Helen Mirren being ragged on for not ‘toxing her face or nip/tucking every other corner of her body.
        Granted, she’s usually very well put together and so there isn’t a lot to rag on, but I like to think that most of us on C/B are capable of being objective in different contexts.
        Like Anneeesezz, people are routinely called out for their BS, whether they’re good looking or not. Mirren tends to come out with odd, wacky sound bites, and I know not everyone agrees with her on those points and to use a more recent example, Liam Hemsworth. Just because he’s decent looking doesn’t mean he gets a pass for his sketchy behaviour (although that’s still to be confirmed, of course.)

      • Lyn says:

        Just look at all the comments on this article saying that the male editor is just tellin’ it like it is and the women – who he explicitly says he is objectifying – are the real problem because they “allow” it.

    • Kezia says:

      So true! And @Amelia Liam Hemsworth is getting a SERIOUS pass over on the Miley/Liam thread because grown women would “Hit That” etc.
      Also wish women would stop talking like that about men it’s hypocritical when trying to further the cause of women not being objectified when women objectify the Liam Hemsworths’ of the world.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        How is it “feminist” to dictate how women describe men or the way they talk about men?

        I really don’t understand some of you. Why does feminism have to be so rigid? Why can’t it be a fluid concept for women to interpret in a way that works for them?

        I might not be seething with outrage over this guy’s comments but it doesn’t mean I’m not a feminist or that I’m somehow working against the feminist movement.

        Feminism for me is about FREEDOM. Don’t tell me that’s not the technical definition because I don’t GAF-it’s how I see it. So for me, I’ve lived my life the way a man does. I go where I want, when I want, ALONE if I chose to (yeah might not be smart but I’ve lived this long) and I don’t allow myself to be intimidated or afraid of men. I work in a male-dominated field and I’m making twice as much as I was 6 years ago when they first hired me. That doesn’t mean I’m complacent or unaware of the obstacles women face-it simply means I stick up for myself and I don’t let fear control my life.
        I educate myself and I arm myself with all the tools I need to succeed in this world, I don’t tolerate men talking down to me or disrespecting me and I’ve had a pretty good run at life so far. Does that not count for anything because I use the phrase “I’d hit that?” instead of “I would enjoy making love to him?”
        Really??? Is it a matter of semantics for y’all or are we just “not allowed” to talk about wanting to bone a dude? Am I “part of the problem” because I just used the word “bone”?

        I just see all this shit as a distraction and a way to keep women fighting among each other, instead of recognizing our differences as HUMANS and what we accomplish individually, within OUR own subjective view of feminism.

        I’m not opposed to opening up the door to discussing the importance of using phrases typically heard from a man’s mouth but I think some of you are WAY off-base with the accusations and YOUR definition of feminism.

  18. anneesezz says:

    Why do these successful actresses continue to strip down and agree to photographed looking like common wh0res? Female empowerment my a$$. I can understand Megan Fox because she has no common sense or talent for that matter, but Cameron Diaz and Rachel Weisz? That’s disappointing.

  19. L says:

    Ugh. No. “He’s being honest?” I guess that’s supposed to make me feel better-but you know these are the same guys that create a environment for slut shaming-they are only objects after all. And who call a woman who doesn’t want to pose for these kinds of pictures a femi-nazi/prude/feminist/to ugly anyway.

    Just no. Women and men are people. NOT objects. I’m not going to applaud someone for celebrating that.

  20. sarah says:

    Objectifying women is wrong… OH hey, here’s dongs. Lets objectify these men all day long. Whoo hoo, sausage party.

    So ladies, the lesson is- Objectifying women = bad. Objectifying men = good.

    • T.Fanty says:

      You say that like it’s a bad thing!

      Seriously, though, I have less of a problem with sexualization. There’s another paradigm at work though:
      Objectifying women = Esquire magazine and the Oscars
      Objectifying men = tumblr, fanfic and gossip blogs

    • Zoid says:

      I would also like to point out that men’s objectification can get a little bit disgusting. I’ve been on other gossip sites where they describe how much they hate a certain actress, think she is worthless, and then go on to describe all the sexual moves they would make on her, only to say theyd leave right after. Women generally go after men they are impressed by as well.

    • Chordy says:

      Plus, there’s not an entire system of valuing men solely on their sexuality. Talking about the Hammaconda might be sophomoric, but at the end of the day, John Hamm is accepted as more than the sum of his part. Plus, it’s not just his massive trouser snake that makes us love him. As Zoid pointed out above, men are appreciated as a whole. We may admire them piece by piece, but it is not solely the bulge in his pants that makes us notice John Hamm. If he didn’t also appear to be charming and intelligent, we wouldn’t care about him at all. On the other hand, when men are looking at women, the only personality trait necessary is DTF.

    • Jamie says:

      Pretty much, gotta love the double standards. “Don’t objectify us, but let us objectify you!”

  21. Aud says:

    I don’t even know what to say about the actresses who allow themselves to be featured on covers like that (cheap? desperate? pathetic?). I don’t care what magazine it is, what reputation it has. I thought Esquire had some substance, but I’m guessing the tarty and cheap covers say it all – with the exception of Weisz’ cover, which doesn’t resemble a porn dvd cover shot.
    Sometimes it’s not just an editor, but it’s the ‘easy’ celebrity that facilitates objectification.
    And no, I don’t buy the excuses (that they need to do the covers to get the other deals). Their inner narcissists needs this type of cover because they do have other options of getting proper attention, but they’re just lazy and think that by posing with their arses out, they’ll remain relevant – sure…relevant ‘wank’ fodder for men. So what?

  22. NeNe says:

    I don’t understand why some people find what he is saying to be disgusting. He’s telling the truth. He’s keeping it real! These women are choosing to pose for these magazines. Their choosing to objectify themselves. That’s on them. Stop posing in these magazine as sex objects, and then you won’t feel like an ornament. If all women stopped posing in these magazines, they wouldn’t sell. Sex sells, and they all know it.

  23. fabgrrl says:

    Yes, he has a point, but ug! This makes me twitchy.

  24. Diana says:

    Why can’t we have a female equivalent of Esquire, though? Not that it would necessarily be a good thing, but why are all men’s mags about the joyous celebration of the heteronormtive male gaze, but women’s mags are all judgmental diet tips and slut-shaming and “your kids are screwed because you’re a terrible mom”?

    Like, I can’t even with some of the female mags out there. At least the ones I’ve seen; maybe I am looking in the wrong places. But they are 90% advertisement, 10% “you should be doing this to please your man”/”buy this expensive outfit”! Where is the sisterhood solidarity? And the insightful articles and female bonding?

    • j.eyre says:

      “Why can’t we have a female equivalent of Esquire, though?”

      I think this is basically where I am with this. I am hesitant to comment because I do not read Esquire, or I haven’t in years, and don’t know what it purports itself to be. I am fine with Playboy existing, it objectifies women – that’s it’s intent. And when people read Playboy, generally they are doing so to look at well endowed women in sexual situations (yes, and read the articles, I know). So, if Esquire purports to be more along the line of FHM, then this guys comments are in keeping with the magazines image.

      And I really don’t mind being objectified by my own doing. But I do have a line. I will throw on a corset and stilettos for the sole purpose of turning Mr. Rochester on. His reaction does make me feel good – Like Cameron Diaz was saying. But, if Mr. Rochester ever dismissed my opinion of ideas because he “doesn’t care about my brain”, I would drive one of those stiletto’s into his manhood.

      And I know that someone reading a magazine with pictures of sexy women cannot be policed to make sure they respect the woman’s thoughts, but if the magazine doesn’t, that is where I am having a problem.

      • Seagulls says:

        You’re confusing wanting to be objectified with wanting to be a sexual being. I don’t think anyone minds (well normal people, anyway) that women feel freer to be their true sexual selves. That’s laudable. But objectifying women is something totally different.

      • Diana says:

        “But, if Mr. Rochester ever dismissed my opinion of ideas because he “doesn’t care about my brain”, I would drive one of those stiletto’s into his manhood.”

        +1000, to your whole comment — but most especially this!

  25. Lin says:

    For anyone saying stupid crap like, “But these women agree to be in the magazines!!!!!” you are so so so missing the point. Very few women have the klout or star power to turn down these things. Maybe only Angelina Jolie could get away with it. Any of these other actresses like Mila or Megan, if they refuse to do these “sexy” shoots for men’s mags, they are labeled “Hard to work with” or “whiny” or “difficult.” Mila herself (I think) said she can’t say no to these things or they effect her ability to get work.

    And everyone excusing this douchebag for “just being honest” is part of the problem.

  26. A~ says:

    Giving him a pass because “he’s being honest” is like the rapist saying, “Hey, it’s a cultural thing. It’s fun. It makes me feel powerful, and it keeps the women down. At least I’m being honest.”

    • carol says:

      yah. I thought society would be farther along with things like equality etc. by now. I guess not and i dont know how to change it for the better :/

    • Tapioca says:

      Woah, hold it right there! There’s no comparison at all.

      Skeezeball editor here can’t put a picture of a mediocre semi-nude actress sucking on a lollipop on his front cover without her explicit CONSENT. If she wants to be seen as an object it’s her CHOICE, whilst rape victims get no such courtesy.

      And to those saying women have to do this to have a career, would you kindly post a link to Meryl Streep’s FHM bikini shoot?

      • Bijlee says:

        While I agree the analogy may be a little to offensive, i’m of the opinion that it just reinforces rape culture. So I don’t think the analogy is completely off.

        Meryl comes from a different time and she’s already been established as a highly talented actor of very high calibre before these magazines became this disgusting. They used to use super models for their covers, not actresses and it was before porn culture was so mainstream.

        Now even serious actresses (to ensure longetivity and diversity in their roles in this industry) HAVE to do such covers. Case in point: Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Rachel Weisz, Amy Adams, Michelle Williams, etc etc etc. All of them are seen as serious actresses with multiple award nominations from prestigious academies.

        Yes, it was their explicit consent. But is it really enthusiastic consent when you feel like you have to sell your body to solidify your career or even make it stable enough that you’ll always get work? I don’t think anyone would appreciate being told sleeping with executives is the only way to get a job in the industry. but that’s done and tolerated to, again because women feel like they have no other choice. it’s such a difficult industry to even get a foothold and some kind of staying power so why wouldn’t they do whatever they could to maintain their status. to ensure to the producer that yes in fact mr. producer I am indeed f***able (LIKE YOU REQUIRE) so I would be perfect for your film.

      • dagdag says:

        If a woman feels to pleasure the producer in order to maintain whatever, that is her joice. Many women do not want to pleasure the producer and still make a living and are successful. Women have a joice.

      • Bijlee says:

        @dagdag it’s not really an equal choice when actors don’t have nearly the same level of objectification and trading for sex as the actresses. And it’s not much of a choice if some powerful producer says you’ll never work in this town again if you don’t sleep with me. No one wants to jeopardize their career, especially if you’re starting out.

        also here’s the thing why is this even a choice to be made??? there should be none of that. if a producer offers he’s a disgusting pig abusing his role as a producer. my heart goes out to these women. yes, i don’t like a lot of them, but the fact of the matter remains they are torn down and scrutinized for nearly everything, have to trade on their sexuality to ensure their careers, HAVE to do endorsement deals to make the same salaries as their male counterparts, and have to go through the dreary routine of dressing up/makeup/waxes, etc etc etc just to stay relevant. and even then none of that is a guarantee they will succeed. men not so much.

        yes men do have problems, especially men of color, but nowhere near the number of problems and “choices” women face. Lets not diminish the issue at hand. that reinforces everything and helps no one. make it an actual choice, not one they feel pressured to do, or one they feel is risky to not take.

      • Jamie says:

        THANK YOU! Thought I was the only one who found the analogy extreme.

      • dagdag says:

        @Bijlww,

        I think, I understand your train of thought regarding actors and actresses.

        Where I disagree is the level of show business.

        Let´s say, Mila Kunis playing successfully Lady Macbeth on broadway, would she be doing this cover? No (assume).

        She wants to be a Hollywood actress and a hottie (assume)? Yes, her coice.

        For instance, Tina Swinton, an actress and in show business, to some level, but never a ´hottie`. A relevant woman? Yes.

  27. Micki says:

    As long as there are women there, ready to be objectified and men ready to buy such mags I don’t see how anything’ll change.

  28. TheOriginalKitten says:

    “I really don’t want to seem like a prude because I do like a good display of female objectification on occasion.”

    Ha ha..I love that :)

    Yeah…ugh. Reading this I was simultaneously nodding my head and rolling my eyes. I guess I appreciate the honesty but it’s still all so bleak and dismal.

  29. Bijlee says:

    GROSS. REALLY REALLY GROSS. I am a prude and proud of it. If people can reclaim the word slut, Imma reclaim the word prude. The fact is actresses have to do these covers. It’s essentially part of their job. They really have no choice in the matter. It’s part of how they stay relevant. A male actor with similar acting abilities to a female actor won’t need anywhere near the same type of publicity to stay relevant.

    also sean penn is a disgusting wife beating ahole. gross gross gross. just GROSS.

  30. Ranunculus says:

    Its a failure on the whole cultural, educational, political and jurisdictional side that brings out these attitudes. From parents and schools not teaching their kids about respectful relationships, from a jurisdictional system not being hard enough on brutal male behaviour, and stricter alcohol laws for teenagers – to the entertainment industry rewarding submissive behaviour in women and macho behaviour in males.

    BTW the Cameron Diaz shot is actually very bad. Not artistic at all – just low brow and uninteresting.

  31. Daisy says:

    Cosmopolitan is the worse. I stopped reading because it had the stupidest advice and every. single. article. was about pleasing a man. I remember how I read an article about how women should be superheroes and thinking oh that’s nice, literally the next article was about how a woman can go watch a football game with her man and the guys, but she can’t get TOO into the game, or she will seem just like the boys. I was so annoyed and disgusted. Another one was like never wear sweatpants in front of a man or the sexiness goes away. How is that realistic? Like all a relationship involves is prancing around like a sex object. Okay, rant over.

  32. El Kiddo says:

    I hate Cammy’s photos the most. They are so gross.

  33. Sweet Dee says:

    The sole reason I come to this site is to look at objectified women AND men. Mostly men…Hamm dong, ASkars, Liam, Liam’s brother Thor, Thor’s brother Tom Hiddleston, occasional RDJ, and of course the list goes on…

    What was I talking about? Oh, right. And then there are the women and the fashion and their bodies, etc., yes I like that, too. This is life. We are human, we judge, and we like to be visually stimulated.

    Fact is (yes, FACT, spare me your anecdotes about how we are all different–there’s a spectrum), men in general are more visually oriented, while women are more tactile and imaginative. This is why men’s magazines are full of sexy ladies and pr0n is marketed at men. All the while, women are buying romance novels and sex toys are marketed at women. Of course there are some of us pervs out there who like all that stuff.

    Anyway, a hypothetical magazine marketed at women where the main content is buff, shirtless men would never succeed to the same degree of Esquire or Maxim. Not everything can be exactly equal because men and women are actually different in what appeals to them.

    As for women’s magazines? Personally, I stick to actual literature. I don’t need some vapid twit telling me what’s wrong with me, selling me the BS that I’m too fat and have an inadequate sex life, and then comparing me to some equally vapid starlet on page 76. That goes for Alba and GOOP’s lifestyle books as well. I don’t seek out help from those unqualified to give it.

    • Ranunculus says:

      I guess we ARE different, because I don’t care much for Hammdong, Fassdong, Meatdong …… whatever. Unless they have something clever and funny to go along with the dong I fall asleep.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        Oh good, someone came along and totally missed the point of everything I said.

        I’m talking about selling sex, not your imaginary relationship with people you will never meet.

      • Runs with Scissors says:

        I agree Ranunculous, about the DONG thing.

        While I see the sort of ironic wink of objectifying men by constantly referring to their “dongs” (part of the joke being that men aren’t diminished by such objectification like woman are and are, in fact, elevated by it) I still find it a turn off and sort of like trying to be ‘one of the boys’(“look, we can be funny and crass too!!!”)

        Also, can we PLEASE retire “hit that” (another male phrase that implies literal violence and literal objectification).

        And yes, I get tired of pointing this shit out, but not as tired as I am of dealing with sexism EVERY DAY. It’s up to women to change things by being louder, men never will, why should they? Every little bit counts!

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        100% in agreement with Sweet Dee. The idea that talking about dongs is a way to “get back at men” by objectifying them completely discounts the idea that some women actually DO enjoy checking a guy out.

        Is it just difficult for women to accept the idea that some females might genuinely enjoy depersonalizing men and regarding their physical attributes only? Or is it just because we’re women and we’re “not supposed to do that” and we “must act appropriately at all times”.

        Listen, there’s a time and place for everything. I’m not gonna talk about Fassbender’s dick to my coworkers but I enjoy coming here and laughing with some of my girlies, while ogling manparts, and I don’t feel bad about that.

        Honestly, I’m a proud feminist but sometimes I find the parameters *as-defined-by-my-feminist-counterparts* exhausting.
        Why can’t we just take the “different strokes for different folks” approach?

        What might be “off-putting” to you might be “all in good fun” to your sistah ya know?

        That being said, I certainly don’t think this discussion is unwarranted, and I do respect the above comments, even if I disagree. It’s good to talk about it-in fact, I think we have an obligation as women to analyze the social components that work against feminism. I just happen to think that crotch-watch is a rather benign and enjoyable activity, given the greater atrocities against women that I see on a daily basis.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        Thanks, TOK! Always appreciate your eloquent words of support (even laced with dong!)

        While I understand and respect the argument made by Ranunculus/scissors, snark aside, it’s for a different thread, though it sort of proved my point, though it was missed entirely by them.

        My specific post was in regard to the marketing of sexuality and why equal but opposite magazines that objectify men don’t exist. In general, women are stimulated differently.

        Now, what I’m trying to do is separate feminism from sexuality, because no matter what your ideologies are, they may change and your sexuality is programmed. You like what you like. Things that make your biscuit tingle…just do.

        This means that you can be aroused by BDSM and even rape fantasies as a feminist (NOT the same thing). You can like to feel helpless, subservient or overpowered in bed and then go and be Senior Vice President at your company.

        So excuse me and others if we are just a bit more visual, and if we come here to poke fun and look at sexy man/dong pics. Please excuse us if we don’t take ourselves seriously enough for you. I like dongs, I’m sorry. This site, for me and many others, is for fun.

        Please also excuse us if we use terms you find crass, or if our senses of humor are unlike your own. I have one of those funny, brilliant, feminist guys who seems to think I’m hilarious, dong jokes and all.

        Lastly, please excuse me if I don’t take an “us vs. them” approach to feminism, and I don’t think men looking at sexy pictures fuel a rape culture. I just don’t.

      • Ranunculus says:

        OK, my point was that just physical appearance, muscle men, a nice butt, a good dong, is just not enough for me to get worked up. Just like I find it boring if a man is just interested in me because of how I look like.
        I like it if a man or woman or me is regarded sexy, hey nothing wrong with sex. But there are lots of other qualities that need to go along with that.

      • Runs with Scissors says:

        Hey Kitten,

        look, like I said, when we do it to men, it doesn’t hurt them in the same way it hurts women, they aren’t diminished in the same way by it. Frankly, it’s the same argument men use, “it’s just a bit of fun, boys will be boys.” But that doesn’t make it right.

        If we want to be treated fairly and equally, then we need to act fairly. I just think there are more interesting, and entertaining ways to get your rocks off with the ladies than to publicly ogle c*cks; and I still maintain that that’s what’s at the core of the fun of it: turning the tables for once – which only brings us back to emulating men = snooze.

      • Ranunculus says:

        @ Sweet Dee
        why the hell do you want to separate feminism from sexuality. And no, I don’t get off on BDSM (actually had to google it to find out what it is) and fantasies about being raped.
        Look, I have no problem with you liking those things as long as you don’t enforce it on people who are not into things like that, but please feminism and sexuality are not mutually exclusive! I also think that sexuality is a lot more than a program or being programmed.

      • Sweet Dee says:

        Ranunculus this has to be my last response to you because I’m going to start talking down to you if I say anymore besides “you just don’t get it” because you don’t. Nobody forced rape fantasies on you, and that’s just the most glaring misunderstanding on your part.

        In the words of the comic book guy, toodle-oo.

    • MGray says:

      I agree that men and women are stimulated by different things, but it response to your hypothetical women’s magazine, it would be equally attractive if it had an audio component to the interviews- hearing the deep gravelly voice of a featured actor would DEFINITELY boost sales.

  34. Itsa Reallyme says:

    What a huge jackhole! Yes, he was being honest but he said things VERY harshly. I wish that his condescending statements would stop some of these celebrities from posing for this rag. It’d be nice if they stood up for themelves a little when this douche says he has no interest in a woman’s mind. I know that won’t happen though. “Old” women like Cameron Diaz will do whatever they have to to make a dime.

  35. Katie says:

    As a woman, I’m obviously disgusted by his statements, but at least he’s being truthful. An overwhelming majority of people of both genders/sex (whatever the correct term is) feel the same way as he does. Feminism has become a dirty word. Men’s magazines may view women as decoration, but women’s magazines are solely about pleasing men, which is far more offensive to me.

  36. Mhmm says:

    Oh, come on. The honestly is refreshing. Do we need to be babied with lies? Sometimes we like to look at some man candy. Of course we care about more than men’s bodies, but sometimes we just want to look at someone hot. I think it is respectful that he can admit that the same is true about men sometimes just wanting to look at women. What I WOULD be offended by is if he did the opposite and tried to explain how the hot girl parade they feature is some deep, true reflection of women. Now THAT would be ignorant.

  37. Miss Jupitero says:

    Oh please. Don’t say that we also objectify men the same way we objectify women. This is a rape culture we are living in, and men do *not* as a rule walk down the street at night wondering if they will be assaulted and raped.

    Men will *never* no matter how hot they are, *ever* be accused of sleeping their way to the top, not deserving their success, or be hated for their success or beauty. They will continue to be taken seriously. Esquire does not treat the men they interview as empty vessels, or compare them to cars.

    There is an inherent menace in the way we objectify women– desire mixed with hatred and resentment. The more beautiful the woman, the more likely she is to be slapped down, cut down, humiliated, and denied her humanity.

    It is worse in other countries perhaps: I lived in Turkey for a time,and men there often made it a game to grab women’s asses on the street, extra points if you could get a hand up the skirt. People generally shrugged it off as boys being “naughty,” and girls were expected to take it or were told they brought it upon themselves for being beautiful. We may not be that extreme (any more) but we still expect women to take this crap as their lot in life. It does *not* have to be this way, and I accept no excuses. /rant

  38. Chordy says:

    Personally, I don’t find a damn thing refreshing about his honesty. He’s saying that he fully understands the system is rigged against women, but instead of using his position to help heal it, he’s just cashing in on it. Plus the whole, “women’s magazines are worser than me!! *foot stamp*” garbage is so intellectually lazy I’m not surprised in the least that he stripped Esquire of it’s last shred of dignity when he took over. On the otherhand, GQ has significantly improved since this dudebro left.

  39. Happy21 says:

    While I find it surprising that in this day and age someone would say that, I’m not surprised that Esquire protrays women this way. It is afterall a men’s magazine and men buy magazines with scantily clad women featured in them. Period. What I do find annoying though is that women’s magazines that target women objectify women as well. Like I don’t care to buy a magazine with a half naked Kate Hudson on the cover and in its features (ahem, Glamour). That does not make me inclined to be said magazine. I’d rather see a woman in a killer outfit than half naked.

  40. Gemini08 says:

    This isn’t shocking if you look at the covers of Esquire. My respect for an actress that poses for this dressed up girly magazine always drops a notch. Anyone shocked by this comment is naive.

  41. bluhare says:

    Hilary Mantel anyone? I don’t want to make this about Duchess Kate, but she made the same points about how she’s trotted out as a mannequin yet her personality is sublimated.

  42. OhMyGawh says:

    Hey, at least the editor is honest. He has an audience to cater to.

  43. Ann says:

    Pretty amazing when you get women to agree with what’s detrimental to their own well-being.

  44. HotPockets says:

    This is always a debate I am having with people. Anyone who wants to watch a dark physiological thriller exploring how being overexposed to violence and sexuality effects your psyche on a subconscious level should watch the movie, Videodrome. It’s a little outdated, but it’s an interesting take on how desensitized we have become to in your face sex and violence. I know this is a bit off topic to the discussion about the esquire editor, but it goes back to a bigger, underlying problem. The media, as we know, sells sex, so of course relatively famous celebrities are expected to show the goods. Of course they’re being objectified and ornamental, this isn’t groundbreaking, this has been going on for centuries.

    I hold the entertainment industry accountable for promoting this type of culture, not to mention the porn and sex industry. As a society, we have normalized these kind of spreads and half naked posing, not to be a prude, but overtime, it isn’t enough, so we demand something more provocative and shocking and the machine keeps feeding into that. I always loved when porn stars, strippers, etc etc would claim that what they did was empowering as a woman, but in reality, we have normalized being objectified and have empowered the misogynist culture.

  45. I Choose Me says:

    He gets no points from me for not being a hypocrite. But I’m glad his quote has sparked a conversation. I know that some women don’t mind being objectified. I’m fine with that if it’s on HER terms. What I resent is the expectation and the pressure to be seen as physically hot, desirable etc., Sadly we have a long way to go as a species before that will change. Awareness though is where it starts.

  46. Mango says:

    I am not an Esquire reader so would someone kindly me tell me: to whom does he refer with the ‘diversity’ comment? Cameron Diaz (‘older’) had several magazine covers last year, Kate Upton (not thin, big boobs) did Vogue. Does Esquire really feature a range of ages, races and ethnicities, shapes and sizes etc on it’s covers, as he states in his self-congratulatory speech?

  47. blah says:

    Here we go again, that girl really should just STFU now. I read that stupid mag she featured in – and the girl will NOT stop complaining about everything! She’s made millions which all of us could just live with 1 million yet and here she is again complaining and complaining, whining about how ‘bad’ she’s got it.

    Sorry Megan Fox but unless you were in prostitution since you were twelve years old – grow up. You make you stupid irrelevant living playing pretend ( awfully ) and you get millions to do it – yeah GROW UP.

    Ugh nobody complains as much as she does. ” I’m not as satisfied with my career” She’s just nothing without Micheal Bay and she knows it. But if I made the kind of money she had – yeah no complaining from me.

    As for the objectifying of women – it’s OUR choice in the end. Beyonce is a prime example she objectifies herself and dances the most hideous and grotesques ways i have ever seen – but she chooses to.

    • Seagulls says:

      So she deserved it, huh?

      It helps to read the article, by the way. There is a picture of Megan Fox, but no quotes.

      • blah says:

        I was referring to the context of her and this story. She was complaining in the same manor about ‘objectifying’ women – while posing the way she was. The point behind what I said is simple:

        They CHOOSE to pose the way they do they aren’t forced to in the slightest; and I’ve seen photoshoots out on the beach for swimsuit mags – those women have fun. You don’t see any of them complaining or filing suits or even lobbying to create a law that mandates women work in the industry as long as they want and how. Yet we’re supposed to be angry when a person states the obvious?

        How did child labor laws for example happen? Because people passed a law that stated as such – so if it’s sooo bad for women in the industry today why haven’t they passed a law? Because it’s factually not that bad.

        People like Megan Fox just know how to complain, because they simply are resentful narcissistic people who reach a point where they think they are beyond photo shoots and ought to be basically given gross welfare checks to the tune of millions – for just being who they are.

        Sorry but we girls who actually have careers and WORK our butts off for crumbs aren’t objectified; though because of Hollywood women men would love to see just about all of us look like objects. That’s the only injustice in this equation. But Hollywood women have no reason to complain about anything – specifically women the likes of Megan Fox. I mean her net worth alone could feed haiti for 15 years. So I have no sympathy for anything of the “objectified” Hollywood woman type – they get compensated handsomely.

        And if they hate it so much – pass a law.

  48. Kelly says:

    Yep and as long as woman continue to allow themselves to be objectified, it will keep happening.

    • Seagulls says:

      So, when I was propositioned at the gas station after a long shift waitressing, told in the filthiest language what I could do to this guy’s genitals, and exactly how, that was my fault?

      You might be talking about how the actresses depicted officially “consent,” but it doesn’t seem like they have much choice, either, considering that their livelihoods are threatened if they don’t participate.

      So much blaming the victim today.

  49. Seagulls says:

    Ridiculous. Someone with the power to change how the media presents women, and he basically falls back on the boys will be boys (lads will be lads?) trope.

    Objectification is different from women being sexual, or looking sexy, having any sort of agency, or an inner life. Both sexes appreciate attractive members of the human species, that’s a fact, but only women get boxed into mattering only as much as they arouse.

    And as for having more diverse women in men’s mags than in women’s – so only very, very barely that it isn’t worth bragging about. They’re mainly white, quite young, very thin with very large breasts (either naturally, surgically, or through photoshop), very scantily clad, mouth slightly agape… Basically, in my father’s phrase – bull roar.

  50. Pirouette says:

    Ugh. Objectification is oppression. I don’t blame the women who participate. Capitalism is supply and demand. I blame the men who demand.

  51. Rai-rai says:

    I think it’s a matter of very bad wording. What he’s really saying is ”We target men, and men like to see half-naked ladies every now and then ( and by that I mean very often)! ” Which is true, and if he had said it like that, I wouldn’t have minded, also because, by extension, feminism would mean that hey, if a lady wants to be half-naked and objectified, she should be able to do it! He never said that all women are simply pretty ornaments and nothing else, just the ones they feature on the cover are. And we knew that, it’s just very unsettling to see such a remark about any woman. And we don’t like it, just like guys don’t like to hear that somebody’s girlfriend is with him because of his money. But then, with such a moron for an editor, no wonder Esquire prefers ”style” over substance.
    As for the ”being honest” and ”less discriminating nonsense”… come on. It wasn’t honesty, it was being captain obvious, a douchebag and a complete moron. It was a stupid thing to say. However, I do think that it’s fashion magazines that present an unhealthy image. Esquire may feature women with unrealistic, photoshopped bodies but at least they look less anorexic.
    But they’re not shape diverse or ethnically diverse. In any way.

  52. Mr.Smurf says:

    I think the problem (or at least a huge problem) is that these women aren’t that great of actresses to begin with. Excepting Rachel Weisz, these women are pretty much eye candy in films. I’ve never really seen any film of theirs when they took a nondescript part and made themselves stand out.

    They’re just not very good, and so they have to be known as the “sexy” ones. Which generally doesn’t give you a long career, something that they can’t really seem to figure out.

    Especially Mila Kunis. I’m wondering just how much money she has from that 70s show, and how many contacts she has in the industry. She could feasibly go out and take some acting classes, maybe do some smaller films overseas. A lot of these actresses could, instead of complaining about it.

    I’m not saying that it’s their fault they feel the need to do shoots like these; it’s just that complaining about it doesn’t do anything.

    ps.
    Am I the only one who feels that Cameron Diaz messed up her face? It got really weird around the mouth/cheek area. Is it just sun damage?

  53. jes_sayin says:

    To the comments above (lee and Zimmer) attributing this to biology… ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

    Women’s value has nothing to do with the duration of their menstruation cycles. It has everything to do with our culture training women to dress objectifying/exposing their breasts, legs, etc.

    Ever noticed that men don’t walk around with part of their penis or a testicle on display? If life (our culture) were truly equal, they would.

    “Biology” works both ways.

  54. TG says:

    I am a female and don’t find his comments offensive. It was funny.

  55. TG says:

    I am a female and don’t find his comments offensive. It was funny.

  56. bluhare says:

    I’m going to post my story as a woman.

    I am someone who isn’t classically beautiful, but I’m good looking and have presence. Like you notice when I walk into a room. Not bragging, that’s the way it is. I’ve always been the fashion plate of everywhere I’ve worked, etc. etc.

    When I would go out to meet men, they would not approach me. I couldn’t figure it out. My girlfriends would get asked for phone numbers and get asked to dance much more than I did. And I thought I was better looking for the most part, so that couldn’t be it. So finally I asked a guy. And they said they were scared to approach me because I looked like I would not just bat my eyes and look all dewy at them. That, to me, is objectifying women in a harmless way.

    So that was it. They were scared of me. Because I had poise and composure, nothing more. Underneath I was like everyone else. So when we talk objectification I think of my girlfriends getting asked for their phone numbers, because they were pretty little dolls, and I didn’t because I wasn’t.

    The really funny thing was that I really had no confidence at all, I just looked like I did. I did well in business because I can play the guys’ game. I don’t take any crap but I don’t scream if someone cracks a joke either. As I have become older I have developed that confidence I wish I had when I was younger. But here’s the kicker. If there are any other “women of a certain age” here they’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m invisible. I just disappear. Yes, I can still walk into a room and people notice, but it’s different. I can’t explain it, it just is. I’ve talked to other women about it and they all agree.

    But anyway, let’s raise our glasses to Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, and say, “Shall we join the ladies?”

  57. d b says:

    I’m fine with Esquire’s pinup girl covers – to me it’s still a men’s magazine. Now Men’s Health covers are great – and dongful

  58. WendyNerd says:

    Lots of people keep talking about chick making the choice to be objectified. While I believe that there are some women who do confuse objectification with being sexual and do make conscious decisions to simply be sexpots, I don’t believe ALL women who do sexpot photo shoots are like this and to lump them all into the same group is unfair. What people are ignoring when it comes to the “they make this choice” argument is the idea that these women shouldn’t have to worry about being pressured into making that choice in the first place. This is the climate and culture that is present and it simply shouldn’t be. And while many women don’t help by going along with it, the people who are simply going to blame every woman who does as the true problem here are perpetuating it to an even worse degree. The problem isn’t the women who go along with it, it is the culture that makes them feel pressured to do stuff like that. That scenario simply shouldn’t exist, and the more time we spend simply going, “Well, they made the choice to pose like that, so it’s their fault” are pretty much avoiding the true problem: the fact that they ever felt like they needed to make that choice in the first place.And, I’m sorry, but that sort of scenario isn’t present for men the way it is for women. And if you want to say “Well it’s a fact of life” isn’t that going along with this just as much as you claim girls like Mila Kunis are? How about instead of blaming the symptoms, we attack the actual illness?

    And as for people citing Meryl Streep: Really? Meryl wouldn’t be asked to pose like that because she’s not that young anymore. She was young during a time when pop culture was less porno-centric and now she’s older. She had a generational advantage in that respect. Sorry, but you can’t really use her as an example when having a forty-year-old Cameron Diaz pose is considered “age diversity.”

    Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar and is topless in her Dior ads. Same with Natalie Portman. So yes, even the top actresses have to do this at some point.

  59. LAK says:

    For ladies asking for an equal magazine for women, have you forgotten about playgirl? It gets a relaunch every few years and still women don’t buy it.

    • Bijlee says:

      yeah and apparently they get Levi Johnson to pose for the reissue. Gross. And literally no kind of famous male celeb would willingly pose for it now and even then. Brad Pitt was in it by mistake as were SO MANY men. A dumb second banana that was only started to make it seem like they were trying to equalize.

      Look at all these quotes from guys who talked about turning it down. How many times do we hear a woman turned down a Playboy offer? Many have likely done so and there are that have, but when we do hear about it people talk about them as being hypocrites because they have sexual poses in barely there clothing already so what’s playboy? the conversation is just completely different.

      http://www.thefrisky.com/2009-11-11/levi-johnston-shows-displays-his-johnson-other-playgirl-playmates-and-p/

      and look at the comments about male genitalia….not exactly nice. We’ve been taught it’s not a pretty thing to look at.

      Plus Women aren’t going to buy it because there is a cultural mindset that that is not appropriate for us to buy or have. I mean most of us are pretty grown up so we don’t care, but young women in their teens early twenties do feel that pressure. They will probably be seen as weird while a boy would be normal.

      And one magazine versus how many for men? A man doesn’t ever have to go anywhere near a playboy to find titillating pictures of women. Esquire, GQ, FHM, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and the high volume of nudie mens magazines.

      Playboy has fiction stories in their magazine, actual articles, even interviews with lots of famous people. Playgirl has NONE of that. I hate playboy I’ve never picked it up, but I find myself reading excerpts of their articles from time to time or even going to the article in question somewhere on the web. I hate admitting it, but Playboy does have good articles. But it’s still a disgusting magazine/empire.

      So one magazine does nothing to further your argument. Yes, men and women are different. Men are generally more visual, women are generally more “emotional(???).” I’m not sure what the word is, but! Let’s not make sexuality completely one dimensional. Maybe instead of just justifying what’s already out there we could learn from the sexes and really understand the complexities of our sexual beings.

      And if these common facts about our biology were true, then the past biological facts must ALSO have been true because they explain things pretty similarly. Like men are more logical and rational and that’s why they are better and more men in science and mathematics, while women don’t have the same capacity to do these things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that.

      It’s just biological differences that’s what the science tells you is the excuse I hear for the lack of women in mathematics or science related fields. What’s ignored is how culture affects women in this study completely. And if this biological difference were so true, then please explain the existence of the numerous MALE actors, painters, writers, poets, artists throughout history and then name the women. the latter is far and few in between so biological differences can’t be the only thing separating us.