'Glee' goes provocative for 'GQ,' and we ask: Ugh, why?

Lea-Michele-GQ-TERRY-RICHARDSONImage Credit: GQGlee is officially overexposed, and we’re not talking about our exhaustive coverage of the passion-provoking Fox music-com. We’re talking about the photo shoot cast members Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Cory Monteith did for this month’s GQ. While there’s no doubt the portfolio is provocative, it provokes me in all the wrong ways. This is hardly some little show dying for publicity (which would make this shoot at least an understandable, if not ideal, course of action) — and yet we have the leading ladies treating us to crotch shots and an explosion of cliched fetishism not seen outside the cheap Halloween costume aisles. Knee socks! Lollipops! Pink high heels! Schoolgirl minis! We get it! It’s a high school show! And high school girls are hot! Because they’re young! And they, um, go to the library in their underwear!?! If only Miley Cyrus had been able to cite this shoot in comparison to her hotly contested Vanity Fair shoulder-exposing debacle two years ago, no one would’ve questioned her point that her photos were the subtlest of serious art. Hell, these photos even make the Britney Spears episode of Glee seem as understated as a PBS special.

Now, I’m all for being sexy. I love a sexy star, and I don’t oppose sexy stars being in various states of undress on camera. But does everything have to be sexed up? Glee isn’t exactly a wholesome family show as it is, what with its “Push It” covers and premature ejaculation storylines — it has no reason to get defensive like, say, a High School Musical star or former Mouseketeer who wants to show folks he or she has grown up. So why Glee‘s strain to prove to GQ‘s target demo of straight white men that it’s sexy? So sexy, apparently, it could become soft porn (or at least a hair metal video) at any second. Conveniently, of course, the only thing standing between this shoot and soft porn is the heavily layered clothing of the one male featured, Monteith, who seems more covered up here, swaddled in various cardigans, than he even is on the show. (All the better for GQ readers to identify with the center of the threesome, I suppose.) Even more convenient is the choice of three stars to feature in the menage: Apparently, when Glee goes “sexy,” the whitest and shiniest stars come to the front out of a huge cast remarkable for its diversity.

I happily tolerate Glee‘s over-the-top antics when I watch the show because of the kick-ass musical numbers and the great messages (even when they get a little heavy-handed). There’s just no reason, however, for it to go this far.

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    • Sobaika Mirza

      WOW, this photoshoot was gross. The lollipops, school-girl outfits, high school setting, Lea’s so thin she looks like a pre-teen, the only male in the shoot is totally covered up, this was done by Terry Richardson, etc.

      Men love women dressed up as little girls, that coupled with the fact that Lea’s arguably trying too hard in the pictures makes it a VERY uncomfortable and almost pedophilic shoot.

      • ger

        I’m tired of the Lea’s too thin crap. She looks great, lard ass.

      • Jones

        Lea Michelle is in fantastic shape – obviously she takes care of her body through proper nutrition and exercise. You think because she’s thin she looks like a child? You must be really fat.

      • Moira

        Somebody thinking someone is too thin does not mean they’re fat. Jump to conclusions much? I think she looks fine personally. I don’t really have much of an opinion on her body. It’s not my place to have one. I know she’s a celebrity and they’re job description includes being judged by the public and scrutinized by magazines for his or her body, but still…

      • UGH

        Wow. Lea Michelle in Spank-o-vision.

      • Brett

        No, she so thin that she looks like a child because…she’s so thin she looks like a child. I polled Auschwitz survivors who overwhelmingly agreed. Then I asked the US Gymnastics Team. They all said so. Finally, all three Jonas Brothers offered to buy her a sandwich. STFU, ger and Jones.

      • UGH

        haha. Too thin? Ridiculous. She’s at the right weight and shape for someone her size. Maybe some of you fatties should take note.

      • Jennifer

        i agree about her being in great shape but I don’t find her face to be that pretty. Am i the only one?

      • Dustin

        One. This is Gentlemen’s Quarterly, not Lady’s High Horse Quarterly. So I’m sorry, but most guys who read this magazine could give two sh*ts about the singing. I can speak for myself in saying this is the one single piece of press that actually interests me in anything Glee related(including EW’s exhaustive coverage. EW is singlehandedly overexposing the show.)

      • @Jennifer

        Yeah, she’s butter-faced alright.
        Still kinda hot though.

      • Beatrice

        I would kill up to three people to look like Lea Michele. She. Is. Gorgeous.

      • jmcg

        Lea looks off because her head is too big for her body; and so’s her boobs. She’s just out of proportion–like she needs to add a little more weight to her frame. And I get that these actors are not high-school age, but they are portraying high-school kids on tv; this photoshoot is not appropriate and unnecessary.

      • B

        I think she has lost a lot of weight from last season to this season. She’s too thin.

      • tina

        i’m not saying she is or isn’t too think but can you offer up an actress who is an ok weight? all of them seem to be too much or too little depending on what you read.

        example, please.

      • murley

        “This is Gentlemen’s Quarterly, not Lady’s High Horse Quarterly.” dustin, ha! hilarious and true. is the school girl look borderline trashy and super cliche? yes. is gq a men’s magazine, where all that is trashy and cliche goes to flourish! the shoot isn’t to my taste but in my opinion but those girls are beautiful.

      • scyren

        Her head is just way to big for her body. And she tries way to hard in posing and in acting.

      • Huh?

        Pedophiliac? Lea Michele is 24 years old. Hardly even CLOSE to pedophilia, and kind of sad that anyone would think that.

      • jt

        Go to Google Scholar and search for “women” and “Social comparison theory.” Read a few published works in psychology journals and eventually you’ll come to the conclusion that any time someone says “X actress is too thin” it’s just a deflection to boost their own self esteem. In reality, there are very, very few actresses that are or have been anorexic (Tracy Gold is the only one that comes to mind). Actresses have the money and time to workout constantly, have their own personal trainers, and basically build their bodies in a damn near perfect manner. Get over it.

      • Jack 2211

        It’s pretty not sexy to me…

      • Rick

        Search Lea Michele I Love Rock-n-Roll on YouTube where she showed up at some club to sing.
        Wow. Sexxxy.

    • SKR

      “enforces gay values”? What the heck does THAT mean? There’s one gay kid in the show, and he gets bullied all the time. I don’t think that’s going to make a lot of kids want to run out and be gay…

    • onlymystory

      But um how is it that EW wants us to be offended and horrified at the idea of these photos, yet they deliberately send us to the photo albums? Seems more than a little hypocritical.

      • Ella

        Well, we kind of need to see the pictures to judge for ourselves, right?

      • Miss Talk

        Actually, I don’t mind the pics. They got the GQ cover, what do people expect? Glee kids are just actors milking their success, nothing new here. And now I get to understand why Lea lost so much weight lately. Go back to food, sweetie.
        People, please don’t try to turn this show into some kind of Disney show. Glee has been clever enough so far, don’t ruin it with that “role model” stuff. The pics are just pics. Moving on.

      • murley

        does anyone consider that lea has lost weight since she now has a job where she is constantly practicing, dancing, moving, touring etc. seems pretty natural to me.

      • Az

        huh? how is that hypocritical? how are we supposed to understand what the article is talking about if we can’t see any pictures? nice try, onlymystory

      • MikeyNYC

        This story is a wonderful exanmple of how ridiculously stupid, petty and idiotic so many Americans seem to be. There aer actually REAL issues in our world to deal with, such as the wars we are fighting, yet people babble about some pictures in a magazine. I didnt’ think that people could be so shallow, but this issues sure proved me wrong!

    • Carmen

      The cor fandom audience of Glee is probably teens and gays and I think they were looking into expanding their viewing public to include more hetero young males who read GQ. I think they’re succeeding. Many of my young male friends who never watched the show seem more interested now that I’ve shown them these pics.

      • saint of E. 69th st

        yep…i wish these photo bashers would lighten up..most guys (that includes your dad, brother, friends, lover) like hot teen girls (tho these actresses are well past legal age and in their 20s

      • santana

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. This article went on and on about how this show doesn’t need to publicity but I’ve definitely heard some men whining about how this show is only for “girls and gay guys”. Seems they are just trying to show those type of guys that there may be something of interest to them on this show too. Not to mention this is GQ, and stars do this all the time. And these girls are both 24 years old so there was no need for them to make a Miley Cyrus comparison.

      • psyche

        if you dont notice that this fetishizes high school girls in a very skeevy way, then you aren’t paying attention.

        its a desperate and completely unsexy photo shoot IMO

    • bambam

      having two first names is sooooo gay. get a last name like a man, or were you a butt baby? girl please!

    • Petunia

      Paraphrasing the great words of LOL: no one cares about your crap.

    • BFD

      1) Glee doesn’t in anyway pretend to be “Conservative limited wholesome”. 2) Miley Cyrus was 15 when she shot that and these young women are in their 20s. 3) That EW pretends to be offended by this kind of thing is hypocritical.

      • Jamie

        I agree – EW is being hypocritical. Sorry, but the actors in Glee are all of age and I think these photos are kinda funny, not erotic. I mean Lea was topless in “Spring Awakening” so I am glad she’s showing she’s not Rachel. They are all adults and anyone with half a brain knows it, so I don’t see the harm. Lighten up people – these photos will be in recycle bins before you know it and I am sure you’ll find something else to be outraged over.

      • Tracey

        EW is comprised of many writers so it’s not a valid argument to say that EW as a whole is being hypocritical. This is one writer’s opinion not the entire staff.

    • sk

      You make me laugh ALL the time Larry.

    • santana

      This dude trolls on every single topic on this site. He has something negative to say about everything. Don’t take him seriously and don’t give him a serious response, because I don’t think he’s serious.

    • Dustin

      Whats scary is how you dumba*ses continue to blur the lines between reality and fiction. Pedophilia? Both girls are 24 YEARS OLD. Also, they signed on to do this photo shoot so @nodnard, im not sure how any of this is the photographers fault. AND FINALLY, its shameful of this reporter to compare this to miley cyrus. Simply because while Miley Cyrus is an underage in REAL LIFE, once again these girls are of age. Dont really see the comparison, at all.

    • Jamie

      Why indulge this a-hole with a response? Don’t you get that is what he/she wants? Just ignore them and eventually they’ll go away.

    • Rush

      EW has four current articles today about Glee and they question as to whether or not the show is over-exposed?

    • nodnarb

      @Dustin: Then you know absolutely nothing about photography!

    • Nadia

      Everything that was just said in this article is what I was saying to my friends when they showed me these pictures. I mean, why is the only guy shown in the spread completely covered up why the girls are scantily clad… It’s like GQ is trying waaaaay too hard

      • murley

        because gq is a men’s magazine. the photos are designed to appeal to the reader. seems pretty obvious.

    • SXiPPY

      Seriously, and what makes things more pathetic, I guess…is the fact that Leah really has an amazing talent with her voice. Yet she feels the need to slut it up in photoshoots for dirty old men to beat off to on the toilet, as their wievs cook dinner for hem a floor below. She could be the Barbara of a new era, but all class went out the window with this teenage harlot whoring up the hallways of highschool spread she decided to do. I can’t be outraged ebough though to call “Glee” a “family show”, when you have two girls making out and discussing “scissoring”; I think all family values have fled by that point. I just hate to see someone with talent feel the need to sell sex when it is their voice that should matter most. Look at Susan Boyle, imagine her doing a spread like this called “XXX-Factor”!

      • MikeyNYC

        I hate to burst your bubble, but the average GQ reader is far from old and I doubt anyone masturbates to GQ. SXiPPY, you are a ridiculously judgemental fool. Doing a photoshoot for GQ isn’t exactly the same as being the centerfold of Hustler magazine and your insinuation that someone who is a talented singer can’t be sexy as well. In addition, this is one photoshoot for a magazine whose target audience is 20-something males, which doesn’t make the women on the cover a whore or a slut.

    • wakeforce

      It’s clearly a cynical way to get straight males to watch Glee. The joke among heterosexual guys is that liking Glee makes you gay, so if they play up the sexy bombshell aspect, that removes the stigma.
      Why do you think movies used the term “gay” (or the paging Dr. F***ot line in The Hangover?) Because it makes straight boys laugh.

      • Tina

        watching it does make you gay. Its why I stopped

    • btl

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I have now banned this show from our house and I am a singer myself.

    • su

      Once again, all the girls must show off assets while the boys remain fully clothed. Because the boys are real actors and taken seriously and the girls are just pretty and are now. Somethings never change. I’ve no trouble with the skin, but how come the girls don’t get the same pass boys do

  • Anissa

    Wow, why didn’t they let Lea wear a skirt or pants?! I think what bugs me most is how Corey is fully dressed and normal and the girls are prancing around in underwear…I know it’s a men’s mag but really.
    Plus the tiny white panties seem worse than a bright colored bikini.

    • tracy bluth

      At least Dianna got to wear a skirt…

    • Lisa Simpson

      Yeah, I though tit was odd that only the girls were sexed up. Very cheesy, GQ.

      • graeme

        This is actually kinda revolting. I agree that the cover is pretty despicable. Corey gets to be the man with 2 whores at his side.

      • Dr. Freud

        You thought “tit” was odd? Interesting….

      • Lisa Simpson

        You caught me, Dr. Freud.

      • Huh?

        Why did you find it odd that Cory wasn’t sexed up/shirtless? He’s pretty fug to begin with, so there was really no point in trying.

      • santana

        It’s a mens magazine, thats how they sell clothes, if you wear that stuff, sexy half naked woman will run around you and do stuff.

      • Beth

        It’s one step up from Maxim, and simply because it’s popular and the “norm” to sexualize women to sell a men’s magazine doesn’t make it right.

    • Whatever

      That’s the first thing that came to my mind ! Although GQ is a magazine for men, that might explain it…
      Anyway, I don’t mind at all sexy photoshoots from actresses that play highschoolers – but in that particular case it just feels wrong. I think it’s about the surroundings. You CAN talk teenage sex/sexy in a show aimed at young and teenagers but not in a magazine for grown-up men.

      • Noo

        The cast members; Lea, Cory and Dianna are not teenagers, though. They only play the age of high schoolers. They are legal adults. The girls are about 24-25. Cory is 28. This reminds me of Jessica Biel doing the Gear photoshoot when she played Mary Camden on 7th Heaven, the daughter of a preacher and a “good girl.”

      • hannah86

        The point isn’t whether or not it’s appropriate for Lea, Cory and Dianna to do this shoot depending on their age. They are still recognized as their characters, high school students… and they’re depicted here as high school students. I don’t think a 40 year old man’s fantasy about girls in school outfits are right, even if it’s a woman just dress in a school uniform.
        GQ shouldn’t give fuel to this perverted fantasy.

      • Whatever

        @ Noo : I specifically said “I don’t mind actresses that PLAY highschoolers…” I didn’t say they WERE highschoolers. I’m aware they’re all in their twenties.

    • JT

      Cory’s dressed in all those clothes because GQ exists to sell clothes to men. If you look at the shoot in the magazine, it’s a fashion shoot focused on the clothes Cory is wearing. Lea and Diana are there as eye candy. Technically they are selling their skimpy clothes too, but there isn’t much to sell. The shoot is over the top skanky, but I guess GQ thinks it will make their advertisers (the clothing manufacturers) happy. I don’t know what Glee is thinking by participating.

    • jenica hagan

      Truth be told, I’m not sure Cory Monteith is in as good shape as the girls! Haha! I’m just judging by how they dress him on the show…

  • maiv

    Yeah, my friend was shocked (she’s too cute) when she saw the Rolling Stone cover a bit ago with Lea M.’s underwear showing.

  • Josie

    But how much of this is dictated by the show? And how much is a bunch of young celebrities who realize their run with Glee can only last so long and they want to be able to have something on their resume other than high school stereotypes?

    • Joan

      some of the stars were doing other things before they were on glee. look at lea michele-she was on broadway and she can STILL do that after this is done if she wants to.

    • Whatever

      How much is dictated by the show ? Non-sense. Everytime the show talks about sex it’s on a comedy tone or as a serious teenage issue. Talking about sex doesn’t make a thing sexy. Glee is not sexy at all to me, it’s just entertaining. These photos don’t reflect the spirit of the show at all.

      • hannah86


      • Josie

        That’s what I’m saying. This article talks about Glee taking things to far, but none of the actors are mentioned as the perpetrator of said ‘sexy’

  • Sam

    seriously. i don’t necessarily care about the states of undress but could they have had 1 picture of lea with pants or a skirt at least? shoots like this could be done tastefully but they weren’t. i actually just read a great blog piece about this shoot that i pretty much agree with.

  • really


    • brandy


    • Blake

      You think if “me like looking at barely clad young women styled like young girls!”, no one should question anything about it, huh?

      • nope

        nope…once again the nation of the offended rears its ugly head…

    • Beatrice

      Um…thank you. GQ always has racy shoots. Both girls are 24. Get a life.

  • Brian

    Where are the shirtless Montieth photos? Boring.

    • Flip

      Apparently only the girls are allowed to slut it up.

    • Ed

      Agreed. If you’re going to do slutty, it has to be equal opportunity slutty!

      • Jane

        Yeah – like the True Blood cast on the cover of Rolling Stone.

      • Erin

        Agreed. I’m not a fan of the ‘desperate for attention slutty’ photos in the first place (seriously I agree with Jennifer, it’s not like they need the attention here) but equal opportunity slutty would be way more acceptable.

        True Blood cover was totally fine considering the show, TB is practically soft porn as it is, they’re always naked plus with all three of them naked – equal opportunity nakedness!

    • Kat

      totally agree!

    • Bea

      I want CORY MONTEITH NAKED!!! Darn it Glee, get it right!!!

      • @Lee

        You must have pretty low standards if you want to see Cory shirtless.

    • Brett

      What, no ‘lil Precious or ‘lil Stephen Hawking?

    • anna

      Cory doesn’t have a good body, he’s chubby not muscular.

    • steph

      I’d rather see shirtless Mike Chang. Just sayin.

  • Chappel

    Thanks for posting a link to those pics.

  • Jack

    I agree with a lot of what you said, but I can really discount the fact that Lea Michele gets my heart pumping. Girl is gorgeous. And this shoot really isn’t their fault. It’s a Terry Richardson shoot, so I’d say this is par for the course.

    • Jack


    • Alice

      I agree. Terry Richardson is a skeeve and makes my skin crawl but what where people expecting, really with him as the photog? It’s kind of annoying how people are slut shaming her. Double standard anyone?

    • Ethan

      Richardson’s track record is very well established and should not come as a surprise to his subjects.

      These are cast members of one of television’s most-watched shows, now in its second season. These young women must take equal responsibility for these images.

  • Margie


  • Spaceman



    • yosafbridge

      Ah, Firefly references.

      As for the shoot, I’d say it’s all the photographers fault. I don’t care about nudity or sexy imagery, but the double standard is a bit annoying.

      It’s not at all Lea Michele’s fault, she’s not a slut at all…just incredibly comfortable with her body. And she sorta has to be what with her being nude onstage 8 performances a week for over a year.

  • Katja

    Whoa. This is so creepy, unnecessary, and just gross. Josie, a sexy photo shoot can be done AFTER your high school tv show has ended, or even just on your own so that it doesn’t look like a Glee-endorsed photo shoot. And I am irritated by the male/female sexiness double standard happening and completely repulsed by Lea Michele, who is like 1000 times more creepily intense about it all than the other two. The crotch shot? The lollipop licking? The facial expressions in general? Come on, girl. That’s so tacky. I wouldn’t have had quite such a problem with it all if Lea Michele had restrained herself a bit more like Dianna Agron here. (Though I’d still be irritated by the sexism in who gets to wear actual clothes and who gets to dress like jailbait.)

    • CH

      Agree. She looks way more into it than the other two, and that makes it weirder.

      • Dave

        Lea has a very dramatic personality. So it makes sense to me that she would have fun with it and just get really into it. She’s always been a stage actress- so she does over-the-top really well.

      • Amy

        There’s over-the-top/dramatic and then there’s just trying too hard. In my opinion, Lea Michele appears to fall in the latter category.

    • anne

      Totally agree with you–why do talented young people think that posing as streetwalkers does anything for their career? Or for the positive feelings about them in general?

    • Mac

      Dianna wasn’t more “restrained,” they just didn’t focus in on her as much. And slut shaming her is just as sexist as this entire shoot undoubtedly was.

      • Katja

        I don’t mean to slut shame her. I mean to say “You can do better than this, Lea, because this looks desperate and icky.” She is free to be sexy (see: her red carpet appearances), but when she takes it to a higher level than those around her like in this photo shoot, it’s just weird. I disagree about Dianna vs. Lea, I still think Dianna’s face was much more restrained as was her posing. I understand that this is not entirely Lea’s fault and that it can be hard to say no when a professional is telling you to do something, so I don’t mean to hate on her. I guess I should have said that I was repulsed by the pictures of Lea Michele rather than the actress herself. I still like her and everything, I just think this whole thing was really gross and unfortunate.

      • murley

        how is you judging another woman you don’t even know publicly a respectful thing to do? i think the scrutiny that women face from their peers is often times more detrimental then how men scrutinize them. too many women are made feel ashamed of themselves, lea is a proud strong woman and a role model. get over yourselves.

    • MCS

      Totally agree. When it comes down to it, Michele could have said no. I suspect that Dianne may have refused to take the skirt off, as she wears it in all pics, but Michele seems way to into it.

      • Melody

        You may be giving Dianna too much credit. They may just have given her a skirt because she doesn’t have the legs to pull off the stuff they put Lea in. Though, I do think she’s very pretty.

      • uh really?

        have you seen Dianna Agrons body before? she definitely has the legs to pull it off.

      • MCS

        I would rate Dianna above Lea anyway. But either way, both their legs are probably airbrushed in this shoot.

      • santana

        Dianna is just as beautiful as Lea. And I agree, Lea seemed more into it and I also suspected that maybe Dianna was uncomfortable taking that skirt off.

    • sparkle the gym bag

      love jailbait photos and I got news for you so does your dad, brother, guy friends, and about 80% of the guys you have ever known, nothing wrong with indulging in fantasy…

      • Andre

        Only one search is all it takes to get you to both veoids. Look up jumping spiders being cute and you will see the worlds cutest jumping spider video and the putnami jumping spider being cute video by torn80cj. Both are towards the top of the thumbnails in the video bar. Both spiders are so kitten like in their behavior.

  • Taylor

    I love how Cory Montieth is completely dressed in all of them and the girls are the only ones slinking around in their undergarments… ALso, Lea just looks skanky… As much as I love Glee and love all three of them, this is just really not neccesary…

    • beetle

      Skanky is exactly the right description. Gross.

    • KRibbons

      I saw this on the rack today and did the same thing “Ugh, why?” I already have to try to find reasons to like the show this season… but this? Please. And Lea looks absolutely ridiculous. on the cover especially. she would get KILLED on America’s Next Top Model for a photo like this.

      • lettergirl

        yeah…i clicked over expecting to see something and go, ‘eh, what’s the big deal?’ BUT, i felt like i was watching still from a porn shoot. it was just kinda skeevy and icky. i’m all for sexy shoots, but yeesh–i wanted to throw a blanket over them!!

      • steph

        lol, she needs to learn how to smize.

  • CH

    The whole thing looks awkward. Lea looks like she’s trying too hard in Maxim, Corey looks awkward, and Dianna looks confused as to why she agreed to this. These pics also prove that Lea Michele lost way too much weight over the summer. I love the show, but this is lame.

    • Bes

      Hah, agreed. Lea makes some comment about how she’s surprised they got her to wear so little. Pretty sure it took about 1/10000th of a second of convincing to get her to strip down and proudly show off her skinny little self.

      • santana

        Haha yeah and isn’t this the third time she’s posed in her underwear this year? Heck even her twitter profile picture is a pic of her in her underwear!

    • graeme

      Yeah, Corey doesn’t even look good in any of the pics. He looks so out of place and unattractive. Terrible job, GQ.

      • Ann

        I think he looks totally hot in all of them, which picture are you looking at?

      • Agree

        I think we’re all looking at the same pics – the one where Cory looks like a dork amongst 2 attractive women.

  • jpatm

    not even good pictures

    • CH

      Agreed. They look really washed out. Like something you’d find in a seedy basement.

    • john t.

      or…the photographer deliberately took shotty photos because he/she knew it was a waste of time.

      seriously though…it’s like someone used a DSLR and used the built in flash…

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