So Wired decided to publish this pair of breasts on their cover. After seeing it, Texas State’s Cindy Royal declared that after decades of reading Wired magazines and not seeing much about women who impress men with their brains and not their bods, she was breaking up with Wired.
By the way, I hate seeing this image on my blog but just wanted you to see how bad it is and why she isn’t just being too sensitive. Anyway.
I checked Wired’s Quantcast data. You’d think that Wired would skew very heavily male, but it really doesn’t. Only 59 percent of their readers are male and 41 percent are actually female. That’s why it’s so vexing they would jeopardize their relationship with these 41 percent. I mean, who wants to get caught reading a magazine with this cover in the gym, male or female? It’s worse than GQ and Maxim covers.
Chris Anderson responded by asking people if they actually read the article. The innovations covered were indeed amazing…but, doesn’t that mean they wouldn’t have to sink as low as publishing cleavage on the cover to get people to read it? I mean, it’s about how advancement in breast augmentation is improving stem cell research, which will help cure cancer and a host of other ailments. I can’t speak for everyone, but you don’t have to pull the sex card on me to sell a cure for cancer. What I can say is that Anderson did a great job of potentially alienating over 50 percent of the population. The Wired cover sparked controversy on sites around the web including the Huffington Post and Mediaite, just to pick up the morons who would not choose to pick up Wired had they not seen a digitally enhanced wrack staring them in the face. Smooth.
Just because something sells, it doesn’t mean you should sell it. It’s called having integrity and self-respect. It’s the same reason why millions of women choose to work hard every day and keep their dealings with men at a professional level rather than just putting the twins out on display to get a promotion. We know it could work–we choose not to go there. It is an unsound long term strategy.
So here’s my plea:
Mr. Anderson, I fit the target demographic for Wired both on income level and educational level. Your advertisers want to reach people like me. I’m kindly asking you to avoid publishing pictures of cleavage and half naked women on your covers. It’s cheap and embarrassing, and represents Condè Nast very poorly. It’s also not asking for much, really. If your advertisers don’t appreciate that such low-brow tactics scare off people like me who just want to read Wired in the gym without looking like Larry Flint, then maybe you should go after a different demographic so you can hit your numbers. People shouldn’t feel relegated to read your content in the privacy of their bathrooms.