#NotBuyingIt: GQ’s “Woman of the Year” Cover

by Imran Siddiquee


On the multiple covers of their latest issue, all of GQ’s “men of the year” are dressed exactly the same, while their singular “woman of the year” – singer Lana Del Rey – is not dressed at all. The implication is that the men here are valuable for something beyond what they look like (since they are all presented almost identically), but that the woman is valuable only for what she looks like (since she is visually presented so differently from the others).

It’s not the first time, this year, that GQ has relied on the hyper-sexualization and objectification of women on their cover. So let GQ know that you’re not buying their continued efforts to demean women by sending them a tweet:


  1. Sara says:

    It’s not just the cover that’s demeaning….

  2. [...] Miss Representation posted this collage of GQs men and woman of the year. [...]

  3. Benny says:

    I think this is really nonsense. Women take this offensive because they wanna take it offensive. Equality is one thing, over-emancipation the other. Its a men’s magazine and men want to see the fairer sex naked, we are so sorry.

    • Grackle says:

      I didn’t actually realize that someone could be “over-emancipated”.

    • Kaitlin says:

      The problem is the implication that women are ONLY there to be ogled at and that men only value women if they are naked. So what if it’s a men’s magazine? There are lots of women’s magazines out there that don’t demean men, why can’t men’s magazines not demean women?

      • reefdog says:

        Hmm, I seem to see half naked, six pack wearing, buff men in most if not all womens magazines, men having to do strips on shows such as beauty and the geek, the bachelorette, but no strips on the bachelor (cant get a female to strip that would be outrageuous!!) This constantly setting unrealistic body image tones…
        But that ok to have one half of population portrayed topless and not the other isnt it?
        If you will protest sexualisation protest both sides not just the one that suits. Its a mens magazine, like cleo is a womens magazine!!! they will have an emphasis on nude pics of the opposite sex to the reader demographis the magazine is aimed at!
        as always if offends dont buy!

      • monique says:

        because men are feeble minded.

      • Budz says:

        You’re right Kaitlin, women’s magazines demean women too!

      • some dude says:

        you are a confused and i am shocked no real woman has gave some real insight. . .men like nude ladies ohh theres a shocker . . ladies like clean cut men in a suite maybe. . again nothing new. the only people who have a problem with nudity male or female are ppl with low confidence who believe they can not compete when also nude. but that is the best part competition is over they already won that is why they are on the cover and you are on the internet hating.

        • May88 says:

          Here is the thing, Some Dude. We live in a world that is also populated with children. This issue has NOTHING to do with “she’s hotter than me so I’ll hate.” The fact that in the media BOTH sexes are sexualized so much it is bothersome. I know that I would never want to see my son or daughter seeing this sort of magazine cover because of the message it sends. Children learn from everything they see or experience and this is the wrong sort of lesson.

        • Jim says:

          You should know that the only people who throw out the “you’re just jealous” excuse typically don’t have insight that goes much deeper that this junior-high grade cattiness. Dude.

        • Ave dizzle says:

          to ‘some dude’: this has nothing to do with competition… nor should you confuse every women or man “competeing” for the best physical appearence when nude. Because any damn person would look hot after being air-brushed and slapped across a cover of a magazine. And another thing- we’re on the internet to speak out against mind-set’s like yours; “people who have a problem with nudity male or female are ppl with low confidence who believe they can not compete when also nude.” not to hate (unlike yorself). Nudity is a problem when the message to the public is twisted for the appeal of men. And even though GQ is a male magazine- why should it be accepted and expected that women are only truely appealing when they’re naked??

  4. [...] after this, I don’t know what will convince you. Full blog from Miss Representation here Share with friendsShareTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponEmailRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  5. ryan says:

    good thing lana del ray sucks

  6. Valerie says:

    I agree with Benny. That woman said ok to posing that way. She could have said no. her choice not ours to judge her choice. Again if you want equality in decision making you have accept her decision.

    • Micaela says:

      Hahaha. Seriously? You agree with Benny’s enlightened view that the real problem here is the “over-emancipation” of women?

      ps. I’m not sure that the point is whether we should judge this particular woman who agreed to pose nude… but that the image of her in her birthday suit is juxtaposed with those of four distinguished gentlemen looking very dapper in their suits.

    • StacyRogers says:

      Who says that her decision making was free from pressure from magazine editors, photographers, her publicist, etc. and society in general?? Society has socialized women to feel as if their worth is based on their looks so yes I agree it was her choice to pose in this way but was it really a free choice? or was she simply playing along in the feminine script that she has been fed since birth. It is a lot easier to take the path of least resistance as a women and remain favourable then to put yourself in the spotlight and withstand the backlash and criticism.

  7. selph says:

    She should have said NO, and this is bullshit, if this is a man’s magazine they should have done different photos, this is very offensive and it’s both magazine, public and Lana del Rey’s fault.

    • reefdog says:

      How do you mean different?
      It is her right to pose this way if she chooses, that what womens rights fight was all about wasnt it?
      the “groping” shot i found quite tame, especially after reading 50 shades. If she agreed it is consensual so no-one would have a right to comment if this scene was taken from a private situation. Could be a quite erotic role play game portrayed which both would be involved. Not knowing the “situation” portrayed kind of makes comments null and void.
      PS 50 shades a book that men are not supposed to read for some reason, written by a female has many bdsm undertones and what some of you would call “sexual violence” have you complained about its content?

      • Jim says:

        Why are you bringing 50 shades in to this? that’s like bringing up Twilight into a discussion about domestic abuse or something. Relevancy please. And you DO know 50 Shades is fiction, right?

    • Budz says:

      So Lana shouldn’t have the freedom pose however she feels comfortable? I didn’t realise she had to live up to your moral standards.
      That’s your definition of feminism.

      • Jim says:

        Cool Budz, thenim sure you’re totally cool with the increasing portrayal of men as emasculated buffoons. I’m sure you NEVER complain about that, do you? Because its totally the right of these actors to make a living off of portraying your gender as emasculated buffoons.

    • some dude says:

      why should she have said no cuz you would have? this argument is soo weak.

  8. [...] September 8, 2012 , 0 admin I love this perspective on the GQ magazine photo spread of Men & Woman of the Year from MissRepresentation.org: [...]

  9. Vicki K says:

    The fact is that over-sexualisation of women in the media, including men’s magazines, leads to more sexist attitudes. Studies have confirmed this. So the more men’s magazines like GQ objectify women, the more sexist their readers become. That’s why it’s an important issue. It doesn’t matter if Del Rey said yes. She should have said no. And the image inside of the creative director of GQ groping her breast is equally offensive. Whether it’s representative of the views of men or leading men into becoming more sexist, it is a problem that we should be addressing. Please, dear universe, over-emancipate us from the sexism of patriarchy.

  10. [...] is naked and looks vulnerable, is how magazines are being sold – though if the ladies at Miss Representation have their way, #NotBuyingIt will trend as people tweet GQ to express their [...]

  11. Heywood Jablowme says:

    Don’t pay any attention to Benny.
    His last name is Beatsoff.

  12. Ali says:

    Wow, this gives “dressing to the nines” a whole new meaning. I do wonder what the world would have said had all of these men appeared in the nude. Gifted artist that she is, Lana deserves much better.

  13. Suzan Nolan says:

    Women have to call this kind of trash out. We have to say no to buying products and magazines that degrade women and girls

  14. Lani says:

    I am appalled at some of these comments. Thank you Vicki K. for making a factual and non demeaning statement. What are we teaching our children? Especially our young girls? I am a teacher and I see young girls putting on makeup and trying to dress sexy, pose sexy. These ideas are put into these kids heads by magazines they see at stores, billboards, commercials and everywhere! This is not helping our society. The children of our nation have such low self esteem and need adults and communities to teach them the right way. Excuse me ReefDog would you like to tell your niece or daughter you like to look naked women in magazines and explain to her why? Are you going to also explain why the men on television are displayed wrongfully also?

  15. Jenni says:

    Comparing a small handful of covers can get tricky, because then as viewers our perspective can become easily manipulated. That being said, you can’t exactly categorize every cover of GQ magazine in one small blog post. SO…I suppose it’s up to the viewer to be careful and mindful while considering the content in this post. However, I don’t think anyone would argue that whether it’s men or women…the media loves to reduce people down to a “hot object”. Sadly, most of the time, it’s gonna be a girl. Either way…it’s getting pretty old. I’m still confused why Lana Del Rey is the woman of the year…anyone else?

  16. Spard says:

    I think the real sad part is that they had an awesome opportunity to put a beautiful woman in a gorgeous suit, and didn’t! She would have rocked the same look that the men did. It would have been both cool, and sexy. And it also would have been cohesive with the other covers! It’s also wrong to me that the men are dressed WELL, and classy, where as the woman is presented as trashy. Yes, it’s a mens magazine, we get it. Men like naked chicks, cool. But shes on the cover because of her WORK, not because of her looks. THAT’s where the problem lies.

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