You Could Do Better, Terry Richardson…
21/10/2010 § Leave a comment
At this point you’ve probably either seen the Glee GQ November 2010 photos, or heard about the controversy surrounding them. Essentially, people are mad at photog Terry Richardson, GQ and the Glee actresses (note: not the actor, but we’ll get to that) for the very suggestive shoot, claiming it is tantamount to pedophilia because the actresses, while of legal age in real life, play high schoolers on the teevee. And now Dianna Argon, one of the actresses, has sort of apologized for offending anyone on her Tumblr. This moral outrage is more of the sort we saw when Britney dressed up like a schoolgirl and Miley showed her back in Vanity Fair. Except these aren’t even underage girls. Personally, I think if we really want to get concerned about overly sexualizing young girls, there are a million better things to get upset over than photos of adult women in an adult men’s magazine…but that’s just me.
GQ has come out in defense of their photos, but GQ knew what they were doing. No press is bad press. They hired Terry Richardson to do a Terry Richardson shoot, and that is what they got: girls in various stages of nekkidity — there is not one shot where a bra isn’t showing — posed in a blatantly suggestive manner (I like to call the above pose: “spread eagle in little girl panties with a bench standing in for a !!PENIS!!“) , sometimes sticking things in their mouths, etc. Of course, the treatment of Cory Montieth, the male actor, is quite different. GQ is a men’s fashion magazine and it’s to be expected that he wouldn’t be running around in his mesh boxer briefs making sexyface (he’s styled wearing oxfords and ties and sweaters and overcoats). As a stand-in for the reader, Montieth is frequently draped with his hot-to-trot costars as he smirks at the camera.
Personally, I’m tired of Terry Richardson when he can’t be bothered to do anything outside his harshly-lit, porny, American Apparel-like stuff. And how did everyone forget he did this same exact thing to the cast of Gossip Girl last year for Rolling Stone?
Richardson is a very talented fashion photographer, but he’s also pretty damn lazy. Witness his identical photos for Nous Sommes | Pendant and Reebok sneakers. To me, his most exciting work is when he pushes his own boundaries as an artist, not the boundary between pornography and fashion photography. I especially loved his August 2010 shoot for Vogue Nippon with Freja Beha Erichsen.
But if you know anything about Terry Richardson, you know that he takes quite a bit of delight in the lecherous persona that he’s cultivated. He loves that Jezebel hates him. He enjoys singing songs about child molesters. He likes being on Page Six.
You could hope all you want he might evolve, but in the meantime, I hope you like boobies and lollipops.