I’m going to admit something that I’m not entirely proud of. I’ve bought books without even looking at the blurbs because I liked the cover. I don’t do it often, and the times I have, I’ve been punished for my shallowness with a bad read. But more often than not, the times I’ve done this are because there was a really hot, half naked guy on the cover.
I never really thought too much of it, either. Heck, I even did a “best of” list way-back-when about my favorite hot cover models. But in light of the #MeToo movement and the recent over-the-top rant against “fat lazy Americans” by a certain male romance novel cover model who shall remain nameless because I’m classy like that (Just kidding! I’m totally not classy. His name’s Jimmy Thomas and he’s a complete dillhole who thinks he’s perfect and took it upon himself to post hate speech about overweight people on social media. And he has a mullet, so there’s that), I have to ask myself: If a group of authors who were mostly male wrote sexy reads that featured scantily clad women on the covers (sometimes even with their faces cut out of the shot)...would I be OK with that, or would my inner feminist cry for retribution? Is there a double standard that says it’s OK for women to objectify men on romance novel covers?
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with displaying sexy scenarios on book covers. Intimacy is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. And I’m certainly not saying that man chest and cut abs on romance novels is anywhere NEAR on par with the harassment and trauma anyone in the #MeToo movement has endured. But it is definitely something to think about...
I guess there’s really no right or wrong answer to this debate. But I’d love to know what y’all think. Let’s discuss!