Monday, August 24, 2009

An Apology -- Now That's Edgy...and Refreshing

After writing to The Maine Edge about their latest cover (see last entry), and with the help of our friends at the Packaging Girlhood blog and you, we've received an apology from publisher Michael Fern. We understand from others that Mr. Fern responded personally to everyone who wrote in to complain about the cover, addressing a variety of concerns.

After explaining how the image made it's way to the cover, Mr. Fern writes: "We do appreciate your feedback and take responsibility for our work accordingly - we certainly missed the boat on this one. I apologize for that and assure you we will show more due diligence for our future covers and story presentations. As a reader you deserve that from us, and I hope you'll forgive us for this error."

Mr. Fern tells us that the cover has been a teachable moment for his staff. "As part of the community and social fabric, we have a responsibility to do better."

In addition, the offensive photo has been taken down from The Maine Edge's online magazine site.

Thanks for the apology and the follow through, Michael Fern. Truly refreshing -- like a milkshake on a hot summer's day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Maine Edge Has Gone Over the Edge

The Maine Edge Has Gone Over the Edge

If there’s any question about the increased sexualization of girls and general pornification of the culture, check out the cover of The Maine Edge, a publication out of Bangor Maine that seems so desperate to be “fresh and edgy” that they’ll sell out your daughter and mine for sales. The current issue’s cover has a young teen girl in a bikini straddling a milkshake. Everything is suggestive about this image — her body position, the location of the whipped cream and the straw, the red cherries, the “Milkshakes aren’t just for kids any more. Beat the heat with a grown up treat” title of the article, and the online sidebar “Inquisition Survey” that makes it all so clear: Does your milkshake bring all the boys to the yard? Possible answers? Yes. No. Um...what?

More like “Um...what are the editors at The Maine Edge thinking? Why does edgy have to mean sexing up young girls? How “fresh” is a lame reference to a dated and cheesy rap song (Kelis’ 2007 song “Milkshake”) about breasts? Want to be really creative? Try putting your heads together and coming up with something clever and smart that doesn’t make teen girls into sex objects. These days using pornified images of girls to sell products is as common and lazy as it is offensive.

Tell the Maine Edge to use their imagination!

Michael Fern
Edge Media Group
PO Box 2639
Bangor, ME 04402-2639
Phone: 207.942.2901
Fax: 207.942.5602