Monday, January 31, 2011

The checkout stand: protecting your children from gay adoption and gynecologists

Last night I was wandering through Fred Meyer and trying to run my brother's heels over with my shopping cart, as one does. He's something of a novice at the whole shopping thing, which means he got the wrong size of petit sirloin beef containers first time around and then he guided his cart towards an actual cashier stand instead of heading for the cold, blessedly human-free embrace of the U-scan checkout.

As we pulled up to the conveyor belt, we entered the Great Tunnel of Candy and Magazines. It's literally impossible not to look around -- I'm sure there have been extensive studies that led to both the Tunnel's strategic placement and the graphic design of every single magazine cover -- so I did my requisite shuddering at the National Enquirer's obsession with celebrity bodies ("BEST AND WORST BEACH BODIES," with helpful arrows pointing out the cellulite), flipped off In Touch ("LINDSAY TELLS ALL: 'I'M DATING TOM HARDY'"; hard money says they've never met) and stared in vague horror at OK! ("TEEN MOM JENELLE -- BEATING HER MOM -- SMOKING POT -- LOSING HER BABY FOREVER!"; the exclamation point makes it extra-classy).

Then my gaze wandered over to Cosmopolitan and stopped. There was a little black plastic flap over the cover. It didn't say anything on it, but after the recent news about an Oklahoma grocery store that censored a US Weekly cover showing Elton John, his male partner, and their brand new baby boy (pictured to the right in all its non-shocking glory) I recognized a "family shield." Glancing around, I ascertained that yes, every other Cosmo in the store had been similarly covered up.

Pulling the family shield away, I examined the magazine cover for myself. Mila Kunis stared back at me. God, she's hot. She was fully-clothed, though, so unless they're trying to keep her scorching image from damaging the heterosexuality of women everywhere, that wasn't why the family shield had been brought in.

I took a look at the headlines. "BAD GIRL SEX: 75 VERY NAUGHTY MOVES TO TRY ON A MAN." Well, that's very forthright. The family shield didn't even go high enough to cover that headline, though. "MILA KUNIS: THE ATTITUDE THAT MAKES HER EFFORTLESSLY SEXY." Yeah, right, effortless -- I'm sure it was totally effortless for the 500 stylists, makeup artists, lighting technicians, blotters, fanners, and Photoshop designers who put this image together, let alone whatever crazy diet and exercise regime Ms. Kunis puts herself through in order to look like she does. "GREAT GUY, LAME SEX?" Hah, we can't have men questioning themselves, too, can we?

My bet's on the little one down in the left-hand corner, though: "8 THINGS YOU MUST TELL YOUR GYNO." Everything else is pretty standard fare for the Great Magazine Tunnel, and certainly not anywhere as disturbing as Teen Mom punching out her mother, smoking pot, and losing her kid. But giving women important advice about their vaginas? Whoa, nelly that is just as destructive to society as two happy gay men showing off the new baby they have taken into their home!


  1. Siiiiiigh

    (actually my favourite thing on that cover is the final headline. I bet they just got to the end of the list and went "oh god, fuck this, i want to go home and watch TV. look, can we just write HAIR? Do we have to get more specific? does anybody care? no? sweet, we're done!")

  2. They also put it in a truly awkward place. Are they trying to say that Mila Kunis needs a touch-up on her Brazilian or something?

  3. hahaha I did not even notice that. they just need a little arrow like on You Are Here signs.

    ...oh god you have to go and vandalise that magazine now xD