Is 'Wired' Naked Breasts Cover Bad for Women?

wiredWhen I first saw the cover of the latest issue of Wired -- showing some killer cleavage and two naked breasts -- I was outraged!

Here was yet another magazine idealizing an unrealistic image of physical beauty! My small chest and I will never live up to this impossible standard of perfection! Why would Wired prey on my insecurities like this?

Oh, wait.

That's not the correct knee-jerk feminist reaction this time around ...


Wired's cover is drawing fire from some female technology writers who claim it's objectifying women. The article is about a new natural form of tissue regeneration; therefore, the critics argue that Wired should have chosen a different image to represent the story, and not one that highlights only one part of a woman's body -- boobs -- and ignores all the rest.

Initially, I was tempted to agree with this critique. But then I read the accompanying article -- a fascinating piece about the use of stem cells found in fat tissue to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs. Because it's so new, the technology is being used in clinical trials to rebuild breasts, simply because breasts aren't as vital to life as, say, kidneys or the heart.

In effect, should this new form of tissue re-engineering prove a success, then breasts will be the gateway to more serious medical breakthroughs. Understood through this lens, I can see why you could argue that the cover is appropriate and -- dare I say it -- empowering?

That's not to say Wired is a feminist's dream come true. I think one aspect of the detractors' complaint is valid: That the magazine rarely features women on the cover. Perhaps, if the magazine were generally more sensitive and inclusive of gender, it wouldn't have been called out in the first place.

But as far as this particular image objectifying women ... nah, I don't understand it that way.

So is Wired's breast cover bad for women? I would argue that if it encourages people to read the article, then the cover is really good for women.

What do you think about the cover?

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