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August 3, 2009

elephantjournal.com’s comment on Westword’s comment on 303 Magazine’s portrayal of naked women.

Objectification, anyone?

Westword, Denver’s indie rag, just poked some fun at 303 Magazine, a little glossy that (apparently, I’d never look) doesn’t mind showing women in various states of undress:

303 Magazine comes up with a brilliant new concept: nudity ~ Joel Warner

303 Magazine, the local glossy lifestyle mag known for pretentious fashion photo spreads chock full of nearly nude models, is supposedly going in a whole new direction for its August issue: pretentious fashion photo spreads chock full of COMPLETELY nude models.

According to the marketing mavericks at Denver Egotist303 Mag will debut its first annual “Gentlemen Issue” next week. As one can expect from the title, the publication will be chock full of celebrations of steak, beer and, yes, boobs. More precisely, 20 pages of boobs, all of which reportedly belong to nine “real, professional” Denver women.

We here at Westword are appalled by such licentiousness. We, for example, would never stoop to such degrading prurience to lure in readers. Shame on you, 303 Magazine!

What’s that you say? Westword‘s website is jam-packed with gratuitous shots of T-and-A? Like here and here and, last but not least, here?…

…for the rest, and the We love 303! comments, click here.

I left a comment on the blog. Here’s the gist, which I’ll adapt and expand somewhat here:

“Photos of nearly naked women (or men, for that matter) may not be entirely healthy (or original)—but it ain’t entirely unhealthy, either. That said, Denver’s 303 magazine could try and put more “meaning” in with the softcore tease—interviews with said amateur models, etc. In any case, keep up the good work, hope it only gets better.

I think Joel’s got a good, tongue-in-cheek point—it’s not exactly original to show women naked, or nearly naked (and it doesn’t hurt one’s circulation). Westword does the same and worse, from time to time, as comments have pointed out. So it’s good that Joel took care to poke some fun at himself, and Westword, for its own occasional dips in the prurience pool (and he links to it—a sure traffic driver).

Now, elephant would never, ever do the same. And if we did, we’d be sure to insult those who did so while doing so ourselves. We’re ‘mindful,’ after all—and our readership is 85% female—so while we may want traffic, we don’t want to offend our own constituency, and we want to advance our mission (building enlightened society) even as we engage in the slime and muck of the dark ages. A few samples of our recent attempts to both take advantage of and comment upon objectification include:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/04/vegan-food-is-a-real-turn-on-strip-club-gets-nude-for-animals-sake-video/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/07/eco-objectification-anyone/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/10/i-wanna-intern-for-peta-animal-rights-nsfw/

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