Okay, I am way behind on several posts that I had planned to write. I need to tell you all about the Neopolitan ice cream cheesecake I concocted for M Fox’s birthday, I wanted to do a how-to on making chicken stock (because it’s not as scary as it sounds), I had planned an opus on why Hedwig is my soulmate (and I don’t mean Harry Potter’s owl), AND I really need to finish polishing this month’s writing assignment (theme: First Day).
But I had to vent my spleen about something so heinous that it would have been a sin against humanity to keep quiet about it any longer. I had to reach out to the sane and just world and hope that someone, somewhere would look me in the eye and say, “Yes. You’re right.”
I found out from Publisher’s Weekly that they are re-publishing the first three books of Lucy Montgomery’s hallowed Anne of Green Gables series in one volume. Which is wonderful. But this. THIS is the cover:
And I really think the use of the f-bomb is totally appropriate considering the magnitude of this outrage.
Why is she blonde? Why is she making sexy eyes at the reader? WHO IS THIS?! Because this is NOT Anne-with-an-E. This is NOT my bosom friend. Hell, this isn’t even in the correct time period! A plaid shirt?! Hair just falling all over like spaghetti?! And LEANING AGAINST A HAY BALE?! Alright, that might have happened in that era, but SERIOUSLY?! I mean, I know they’re trying to sex-ify everything for tweens and little girls so that they will know how to be proper consenting sex kitteny women when they grow up (ie turn 15), but this is ridiculous. How much do you want to bet that the people who sat around to discuss the cover had never read the book? Or knew anything other than “Pre-teen Anne gets into trouble with her BFF Diana. And she likes a BOY! Tee hee!”
Anne Shirley isn’t a Bratz doll. She’s a reader, a dreamer, a writer, a teacher, an intelligent woman ahead of her time. How could do they do this? They’ve turned Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite into skinny little fembots, MUST they go after our literary heroines, too?! What’s next?
Being sexy is okay. I’m not against sex or sexiness. But I am an adult. Little girls should not feel pressured by their favorite characters to look alluring or cool. I don’t want my kids learning how to make pouty lips from Anne Shirley. The fact that they would try and pervert Anne, who is SUPPOSED to be the overlooked girl that no one wanted, but who shone brightest because she had inner strength and beauty, and was valued because of her intelligence, is just disgusting to me. If I have daughters, I am going to fight so hard to make sure they know that sex is not the only or most powerful thing they have to offer this world and when marketing jerks make these choices, it just makes my job, and our job as a society, harder. I pray that my voice among the thousands of photos of these super kyute nymphs can make a difference because otherwise we are hosed. Sorry to sound so fatalistic about it, but it just kills me inside.
Update: The “good” news is that this is just some schmuck who reformatted it, slapped a CreateSpace cover on it, and is selling it on Amazon. So it’s not Penguin Books or a real publisher, thank God. Also customers are giving this person hell in the comments. But still. Just the un-ironic existence of this upsets me. I take my sheroes VERY seriously!