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"And on the day the words flimsy excuse were redefined, we stood in awe, and watched."
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February 11 2011

Summer Glau is the March Esquire's cover girl. She'll be featured in her own provocative photo feature.

I want that house.

Summer's so cute. I love the sweet/shy awkward thing she has going on here. I think it makes her incredibly interesting.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2011-02-11 09:50 ]
I only looked at it for the article! Seriously, though, it seems to be pin-up day of the week, which may not be everybody's cup of tea, but there's a nice interview with Summer on the page, too.
I want to go to there.
That was charming and also re-enforces, in much the same manner Black Swan and basically all other pop culture ever, that ballet destroys people as a price.

Though she did raise a point I found interesting, just because someone is labeled a show-killer doesn't in any way reflect negatively on them as a person right? I mean for the most part that suggests that there's some sort of quality to them as an actor that some people with an artistic vision are drawn to, it just those visions don't happen to connect well enough with wide audiences.
A very nice and tastefully done video, especially if you compare it to the next one in the que. I want that house too, btw.
Really not a fan of this sort of thing. However, I think the photographer captured something of Summer's personality, and it looks like she was having fun during the photo shoot--which makes them much better photographs, IMO, than the recently-linked pics of Michelle Trachtenberg.

(Just to be clear, I would fault Michelle's photographer, not Michelle herself, for the difference in quality.)
What's not to like? The whole presentation felt to me like a celebration of a gorgeous, sexy woman. This is effortless sexy. Summer isn't contorting her body into uncomfortable poses to show off how tiny her waist can look from the side. She laughs, she jumps in the air, she doesn't worry about her hair looking perfect. She's beautiful.

(Just to be clear, I would fault Michelle's photographer, not Michelle herself, for the difference in quality.)


The difference to me is that MT's shoot came off as all about The Sexy, where as Summer's comes off as a portrayal of a beautiful woman. And yes, I agree it is due to the photographer, but I suspect it's due to the magazine, too. Each photographer no doubt delivered what their respective magazines wanted.
Home for a couple of weeks. Last year we did a barbecue crawl and voted on the best. It's gotta be brisket. With white bread and a Shiner ó it's a beer made in Texas. Magical combination.

Oh yeah - that's Texas BBQ! Now I need to know what BBQ they voted #1. My personal favorite is The Salt Lick near Austin, but when I go to Houston I'll make do with Goode's. Mmmm....Shiner Bock....
And yes, I agree it is due to the photographer, but I suspect it's due to the magazine, too. Each photographer no doubt delivered what their respective magazines wanted.

Yep - that'd be classic Maxim vs. Esquire you're picking up on right there - two very different animals, as they say. Esquire's about as close to classy as US men's magazines get while Maxim is, well, Maxim... (Every magazine has it's particular look and - believe you me - when you're on a payroll you're gonna give them what they want.)
Esquire's still plenty sexist, though. Their "dirty joke told by a beautiful woman" makes me cringe. Look, hot women don't just lounge around in lingerie! They can be bawdy while lounging around in lingerie. Maybe they watch SportsCenter, too!

[ edited by bonzob on 2011-02-11 22:30 ]
Man, I just got out of my bunk from the Maxim cover and now I have to go back.
That was a good humored video. Yes, it's all about getting cast in a better series than The Mask, but, it didn't lower anyone's standards. Good show.
Esquire's still plenty sexist, though.

Notice how I said close. :)

As much as I dislike the whole obsessed with shallow sex appeal business model at work in most every gender-targeted publication these days, I get a sort of perverse joy in seeing specifically Summer do stuff like this for the precise reason that she is so good at projecting a strong sense of genuine character that it's nigh-on impossible for the mindless sex object mold (sorry Michelle T.*) to really stick. Imo if - after staring at one of these images for a dozen seconds or so - you can't recognize that there's an actual person staring back there is definitely something wrong with you. It kind of puts the lie to the whole shallowness of it all, while still attracting her the eyeballs that shallow advertising is all about.


* Speaking from a point of extensive personal experience I really feel for her. Anyone who thinks modeling is easy obviously hasn't done it, and - contrary to what you might think - being an actor hinders more than it helps.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2011-02-12 00:49 ]
Good video. Summer is so adorable. And it isn't like she was wearing something ridiculous. I have seen girls wear bikinis in real life...fine, maybe I just read about them. ;o)
I get a sort of perverse joy in seeing specifically Summer do stuff like this for the precise reason that she is so good at projecting a strong sense of genuine character that it's nigh-on impossible for the mindless sex object mold (sorry Michelle T.*) to really stick. Imo if - after staring at one of these images for a dozen seconds or so - you can't recognize that there's an actual person staring back there is definitely something wrong with you. It kind of puts the lie to the whole shallowness of it all, while still attracting her the eyeballs that shallow advertising is all about.


brinderwalt, my thoughts exactly. Props for saying it.
after staring at one of these images for a dozen seconds or so - you can't recognize that there's an actual person staring back there is definitely something wrong with you.


Outside the realm of masterbatory fodder, will most people stare at these pictures for more than a dozen seconds? She'll be seen as just another young attractive actress wearing very few clothes (props to the desensitizing nature of the lad's mag culture for that one).
Actually I thought she looked refreshingly natural in that video, not like she was trying to look sexy, and certainly not attempting to be seductive; just natural beauty.
It is interesting to read the difference in comments on this thread v. the one about pics involving Michelle Trachtenberg; those are more critical of her (MT) choice to do the shots (for both reasons involving the feeling that starlets need to do the shots to advance their careers, and the over-photoshopping of some of them). I can only wonder if this is due to (1) difference in ages, and (2) the fact that we see teenage Dawn and not 20+yo Michelle.

My own feeling? I feel bad that both of these fine actors and good people felt it necessary to do this at all. It makes them sex objects (subject to our gaze), not people.
My own feelings is that March 2011 is possibly the finest month in the history of publication. Sorry, Gutenberg bible.

What I think is lost here and in the other thread is the dirty little secret that... they both seemed to be having a ball. I've read Michelle's interview blurb and watched her "making of..." video, and apparently nobody told her that she was biting the bullet to making this demeaning and tawdry gesture just to advance her career. She am having teh fun.

Summer, for her part, seems to be doing either some of her finest acting ever* or is just genuinely having a good time in what is, in point of fact, about the most wholesome little photo shoot video thing you could possibly make. I mean, zombie puritans could watch that video, read some of the reaction, and go "u mad?" :)

*She may not have been trying to be seductive. Just happened :)

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-02-12 16:15 ]
My own feeling? I feel bad that both of these fine actors and good people felt it necessary to do this at all. It makes them sex objects (subject to our gaze), not people.

It's objectifying, borderline to outright distasteful,and part and parcel of their chosen careers. The truth is that every good performer has to have at least a bit of an exhibitionist streak somwwhere in their psyche. There's a reason why respectable culture/religion has traditionally shunned the actor/singer/dancer performer community - it's all about expressing oneself in public in ways which would normally be considered innapropriate.

That doesn't mean you have to be outragious and off the wall (definitely a less is more situation) but it is what it is.
It is interesting to read the difference in comments on this thread v. the one about pics involving Michelle Trachtenberg; those are more critical of her (MT) choice to do the shots (for both reasons involving the feeling that starlets need to do the shots to advance their careers, and the over-photoshopping of some of them). I can only wonder if this is due to (1) difference in ages, and (2) the fact that we see teenage Dawn and not 20+yo Michelle.

My own feeling? I feel bad that both of these fine actors and good people felt it necessary to do this at all. It makes them sex objects (subject to our gaze), not people.


Technically, it could be argued that the squicky factor is applicable to both actresses, since Summer played 16-17 at 21 & 24 years old (the series and film, respectively), and any potential attraction could have been muted by the question of how old the actress is.

Plus, even class act magazines like Vanity Fair have technically made use of her beauty in questionable fashions, since she was one of the actresses chosen for a retro pinup-style photoshoot a year or two ago, though I don't remember that shoot as the main piece of that issue. Hell, I would have classified the interview and photoshoot she did with a fitness magazine where she was photographed in Lycra or Spandex workout clothes and photgraphed in certain exercise poses to be more titilating that this effort from Esquire, if sheer emphasis of Summer's physical form is the main yard stick.

Personally, I've always found comparing magazines like Esquire to periodicals like Maxim is like comparing apples and oranges, in relation to how the person being photographed is presented...but I will admit those apples? One of those tangy, sharp-tasting kinds that have similar tongue-tingling effects as a nice navel orange ;D
Well, MT is 25 and SG is 29, so the age difference is minimal. For me, these are people younger than my own older kids, and I have no interest in looking at nearly naked women my kids' age, not when I find people like Jorja Fox or Katherine Keener attractive. Y'know, older woman who have not done lad mag vids.

But here is the truth. When the Summer clip is on, where does your eye go? What is it looking at? The film is shot very specifically to get you to look at parts of her body; your eye will go there almost on its own, in part because it is sexually exciting, and in part because the filmmakers know how to make your eye go where they want it to. I hope that the woman did find it fun, and of course, they do not know how the people who ultimately do look at the clip do that. I am no prude, but I tend to shy away from stuff like this; I think it is demeaning, and will think that despite whatever rationalizations others, including those involved, may offer. But that is me, of course.
...and of course, they do not know how the people who ultimately do look at the clip do that


Wait, what?

To clarify, Summer and Michelle don't know that the aforementioned eye is going to go hither and thither?

C'mon.

In the accompanying interviews, Summer goes out of her way to mention she sleeps in the nude. In Michelle's interview, she says, regarding revealing her breasts in the shoot, "Just a bit. Just to tease. I was actually really, really happy with the shoot. There was an element of sexiness but still an element of mystery. I donít want to show you too much, because, you know, thatís for me in the bedroom." In the video, she talks up the "fetishy" theme for the shoot.

There don't seem to be any blinders on from either of them exactly where the viewer's eye is going to go; it rather seems to be the point of the exercise. Whether they enjoy the photoshoot for some hypothetical thrill of sexual empowerment from holding the fickle but intense Male Gaze for a month, or whether it's purely business driven self-promotion, I don't get the impression that either Summer or Michelle have any illusions about the prurient interest photoshoots like this hold, and seem to get a kick out of it.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2011-02-12 20:26 ]
I think most women feel empowered - or good, anyway - by feeling/looking sexy. I'm not saying I'm on board with the whole subject - these aren't the kind of magazines I personally read - but it's a two way street.
"To clarify, Summer and Michelle don't know that the aforementioned eye is going to go hither and thither?"

Well, that was not really what I meant.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2011-02-12 21:05 ]
But here is the truth. When the Summer clip is on, where does your eye go? What is it looking at? The film is shot very specifically to get you to look at parts of her body; your eye will go there almost on its own, in part because it is sexually exciting, and in part because the filmmakers know how to make your eye go where they want it to. I hope that the woman did find it fun, and of course, they do not know how the people who ultimately do look at the clip do that. I am no prude, but I tend to shy away from stuff like this; I think it is demeaning, and will think that despite whatever rationalizations others, including those involved, may offer. But that is me, of course.

And you're right to point this out, Dana5140. Both MT & SG's shoots were done with certain purposes in mind, to target a certain age range...which I guess I fit into at 27 (right in the middle of the age split between the actresses in question). Is Summer's shoot classier than Michelle's because it was Esquire? Maybe, but it's definitely personal opinion, even if both Michelle and Summer had fun doing it. And it is for titilation or for pushing a certain "view"...which is admittedly counter-productive in certain ways toward achieving certain goals.
And it is for titilation or for pushing a certain "view"...which is admittedly counter-productive in certain ways toward achieving certain goals.

Precisely. And - much as I said earlier - these things can even end up being subtly more productive towards those same goals as a counter-balance.
Doesn't seem any worse than any of the marketing for Dollhouse, which was always very heavy on sexing up Eliza.
BrewBunny for the win. Dollhouse was a show where the network had a remit that the show was targeted at 18-34 year old males (coincidentally, the same target audience as these magazines), which lead to promos like this and this.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-02-12 23:59 ]
Ok, I'm a 36-year-old straight female. I looked at both of these shoots, and spent more than 12 seconds looking, because I like the actresses, think they're quite attractive (Joss does have that knack) and like to see actors "out of character," because I feel we tend to "lock" actors into certain roles and can't "see" them outside of that character.

For instance, there were a few folks here recently saying they'd have a hard time accepting the young lass from HIMYM (I don't watch the show so I'm afraid I'll get her name wrong) in the role of a comic book character, because they're used to her sitcom character.

So, for me, looking at photo shoots, even if I don't care for the magazine they're in, helps to..."un-characterize" an actor. I'm not saying I support "sex shots;" in fact, I prefer spreads in magazines like PEOPLE, where the actor has a chance to be more themselves as opposed to an object. Like...several years ago there was an article on Harrison Ford in PEOPLE. There was a shot of him that I absolutely loved - he was in a denim shirt & jeans, sitting with his chocolate Lab. Being Harrison. Certainly there was makeup and hair and lighting involved, but it was a casual, relaxed, normal picture. Not a "Ooh, look at my manly muscular body" shot. He looked like a person with a private life.

Another picture I love is of Tony Head & his partner Sarah Fisher, sitting in the barn, their backs against bales of hay. One of their dogs is next to them, and Sarah is holding a ball up for another dog to jump at. They're not looking at the camera, they're watching the dog. They're being a couple, not an actor and an animal massage therapist. (The article was about Sarah, btw, not Tony.)

I think both Summer & Michelle were lovely in their respective shoots. I didn't find Michelle's pictures "too intense," as others did. In fact, I quite liked the second shot, where she's looking full into the camera. I found that one quite striking, actually. She reminded me a bit of another actress I like, Jodi-Lyn O'Keefe.

Sadly, that old adage "sex sells" still holds true. Even Joss played into it to some extent - the only "ugly" villains were the demons. Even the vampires were attractive - Spike, Drusilla, Angelus and Darla. Others, like The Master, not so much. It all had to do with how evil they were, and if we were supposed to like them or want them staked.

I'll look at the pictures online, marvel at how pretty they are, at how comfortable with their bodies they are to be able to pose in next to nothing, but I won't buy the magazines. Not my cuppa.
Come on, I'm sure it's not that special... It's just a normal photosho... YOWZHA!!
...
...
Nice pictures...
...
I'll be in my bunk...
Tempted to say "wow" again - big day for Whedon vets and high-profile promo slots!

Little surprised, as Summer has seemed kind of shy - really, a bit surprised by both of these shoots, just in a wasn't-sure-we'd-see-the-day way - but happy for her for how at ease she seems with herself in the video. Cool for her getting such a major mag, too.

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