Sunday, May 13, 2012

Michael on June GQ US Cover [Updated]

Remarkably, Michael Fassbender was just on his first cover of GQ back in December 2011, and just six months later, no doubt in the promotion of Prometheus, he has his second US GQ cover for June 2012. Some rough scans of the photoshoot and the article have been posted at tumblr. But based on what I have seen, it's par for course for US GQ in their treatment of the female form. Therefore, with the exception of Michael's imagery, this is my least favorite photoshoot of him. I will write a full article about it in the coming days/week when clearer images of the pictures become available. Meanwhile, here is the cover.

Updated to add: Here is a link to the full article online, as well as a behind the scene nearly 2 minute video of Michael talking about the photo shoot and his upcoming film projects.


Additionally, I knew this time would come. In regards to discussions about his private life and his girlfriend, I have added his comments from the interview onto the existing Michael and Nicole article from March. Please keep comments about that topic at that thread only. If there are new images to add featuring both of them, they will be added there. If you can't write anything intelligent or polite, do not write anything at all. Rude comments will be deleted immediately!

32 comments:

émilie said...

Simone, I don't know what to think about these pictures. I'm afraid of being blinded by Michael's being so hot and sexy and forgetting my usual deep feminist convictions...Is the girl really looked at like an object? Can't we say that he is also used as a sexual object on these pics, so in a way there's no sexist point of view but two beautiful people turned into objects of desire? I have to reflect on it in order to decide (for myself) if they're treated as equals or not on these pics...

Simone said...

Emilie, from what I've seen of the images, several things bother me with the use of the woman.

when a female is used as a sex object, her face is hidden or covered up so that the viewer just focus on her body. Thus, she is used as a sexual object.

She is topless, and Michael is instructed to touch her breast (face covered/hidden) as if by pressing it, something mechanical or sensual is going to occur.

She is seen partially embracing him, with her face, again, hidden, and suggestively touching him.

She is seen straddling him, with him between her tight pants legs and I think her pants are unzipped, and of course, her body is cut off so we don't see her face.

The model is a non-entity, a female 'thing', being used to sex up an already sexy Michael Fassbender. It's a pitiful attempt to sexualize him a photoshoot. He is sex on legs all by himself.

As usual, he looks marvelous, but as a female viewer of these images, they are disturbing to me and it's very cheap looking.

émilie said...

Simone, you've convinced me. I should be more prudent next time, it's difficult for me to have the necessary intellectual detachment when Michael is involved. I'm sure I would have been disturbed at once if another man had been on the picture instead of him. Thanks for opening my eyes :)

Dionne said...

@ Simone, I thought the exact same thing!
That aside, Fass looks nice per usual. I heard the interview is good, I shall be buying this.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the pics. I think they're sexy as hell.

Jud said...

I agree with Emilie, I kind of got blinded by Michael's handsomeness on the photos. Yet if you really think about it the girl is presented as a mere acessory/game-accessory/object and it is pretty sad, mostly nowadays. But I feel like recently the achievements made by women throughout the centuries are going backwards (the recent events about sexual harassment in France is a sad example of that). Yet, I think that they are trying to play on the "sex sales" motives. But what about Michael? I mean he made an analogy between his full frontal in Shame and the fact that many women actresses do it (even sometimes for no valuable reasons)talking about equality and readjusting the scales. So why did he accept to do this photoshoot? That's an issue for me too...

Manuela said...

if they only could know....he is a bomb. he proves and proves that he can be more sexier again and again. im very happy he becomes more famous now he deserves it. but damn i d like to be on the place of this blond and take many shots. but i remind pattinson photo shoot in details dont know why

Manuela said...

does he remind Nicole in interview or anything about his private life? Simone sorry i didnt get point about @discussion@ subject.

Anonymous said...

To Manuela, Michael says that they are seeing each other. It's hard with her living in NY and he being in London but they see each other as much as they can. It started during the promotion for Shame. That's about it.

Manuela said...

anon -thanks.

Warinda said...

I usually (and silently) enjoy seeing all of his pictures. However, in this case, I couldn't agree more with Simone. I don't feel comfortable with them at all. UK Esquire's pictures are way better!

Hupsakeek said...

Simone, I understand your point of view. But after watching the pics and knowing that the article is about "amp up you're sexappael" I find that Michael is "used" as the sexobject.

I see a woman who knows what she wants. I see a woman in control and in charge. She's got him literally by the balls! She tells/demands him to touch her breasts, because he looks at her with a questioning look if he does well. The picture where Michael is between her legs: She is in a dominant position She's on top and in charge "the dominator". He's in a vulnarable position. She tells or demands him to unzip her pants.

After reading the article and seeing the pics, the men must have learned how to be attractive to this kind of (strong) women. A woman with high self esteem, who knows what she wants and get what she wants.

So I see it from an other perspecive. Right or wrong, I don't know, but either way. It are beautiful pictures.

émilie said...

Michael will also be on the cover of GQ FRANCE in the June issue!

Anonymous said...

This model is... brave!

cellardoor said...

Agreed - surely he's in a position where he is able to exert some creative control
I've read numerous interviews where despite his insane sex on toast good looks he doesn't come across as a player so I'll assume these are to be filed as "seemed like a good idea at the time"
Also I have a friend who works at Conde Nast and those gq boys are as misogynistic as we are fearing = yawn

kt said...

I do see both sides of this...my gut response on seeing the initial picture where she is straddling him---and much of her person is cut off from view--was that GQ missed an opportunity to make this about BOTH "models" in the picture, have both visible, and therefore make it seem more along the lines of an erotic, sort of voyeuristically stimulating shot. And that goes for the other pictures where they de-personalized and objectified the female model by nature of exclusion of her face (and there for her person), as well. I also thought about those Vogue pictorial recently, and how Michael was shot with a name(d) model, Natalia Vodianova, and how that shoot was even titled so as to include her. As well as the one Michael did with Mia Wasikowska after Jane Eyre, the fencing shoot, where both were equally featured---and looking at them such, even in the sexual way they were posed, it was very satisfying to see them both portrayed as strong, sensual people on equal footing. Now, think of how we would have been *able* to just enjoy this GQ shoot, in the same way, without second thoughts, had this situation been treated in a like manner. I also think it also needs to be pointed out, and I say this as a fan of Michael, he consented to this profile, he consented to this photoshoot. He was there...and willingly. The pictures we see are the pictures they took, the pictures that resulted from both persons following the photographer's instructions. Both of them. I don't see a victim in this immediate situation...However, I do see the potential for a victim in the widespread public viewing these pictures, by subtle reinforcement that women are about their parts, not about their sum. But I agree with a point Hupsakeek is maybe making as well: that what we see in this situation, is also perhaps what we choose to see in it. I just, personally speaking, don't get the sense this was a conflicted and strained situation for Michael (but neither am I privy to his actual thoughts on it). If I think that, I then also have to make a choice on how I view that decision on his part. The way I choose to view it is that he is an attractive man at the height of his career who is in touch with his sexuality, knows it is somewhat of a commodity, and is consenting to share that with the world. And, there is NOTHING wrong with that. It’s a very human thing, a very ADMIRABLE thing, to be that person who is open and secure enough in one’s sense of self, to be able to “expose” himself, the way he is also doing. The thing is, at the end of the day, Michael and the female model are shared sex objects in this shoot---by the mere fact that men will see the body of a lovely model when they look at these pictures, and women will see some very attractive pictures of a man they recognize and feel the know well, and take their own measure of pleasure in the seeing. GQ may be “responsible” for the material as presented, but we are responsible for the choices we make, in response to it (be they rejecting it out of hand, embracing it, or walking the fine line between). And from another perspective completely, one of art: art is meant to stimulate and provoke. Art is not made to match the furniture. I think these shots succeed, if only from the standpoint of art, in that they have certainly succeeded in stimulating and provoking. So...my personal reaction is that I'm giving myself permission to enjoy them, from that standpoint. And maybe they also succeed because they have provoked discussion on this (important) topic of objectification, and allowed a group of interesting, thoughtful and intelligent people to share their viewpoints, allowing us to educate one another from perspectives we may not have considered, too. Nothing is ever black and white...that much is for certain :) (And as a side note: thank you, Simone, for starting the discussion---and for providing us with the forum to discuss! )

Anonymous said...

This GQ for Christs sake. Get over it. If you want to scream about using women as sex objects, go scream at Maxim.

émilie said...

@ Kt : once again, I'm proud to be one of your Pinterest friends because in your message above you've succeeded in highlighting what is at stake in this photoshoot. I agree with each word. So thank you!

cellardoor said...

I agree emilie
I've been coming on here for awhile and having felt the need to comment til now. I think the points you raise KT are spot on & I also think even though we might all go "burgh generic objectifying GQ" it's reassuring that women are still challenging this & questioning what impact artistic choices can have
Also agree with Simone tho - not my fave fassy pics - the latest UK Esquire is far far superior in terms of yummy visuals!!

Dionne said...

@Anon 3:35 who's screaming? They're voicing an opinion just as you are.

@Hupsakeek Thanks for putting it in perspective. I haven't read the article yet, but it makes more sense the way you explained it.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that Fassy looks great! The pics are pretty hot, although the one where she grabbed his crotch was a little, erm... unexpected. lol

Kate said...

"Agreed - surely he's in a position where he is able to exert some creative control"

"So why did he accept to do this photoshoot? That's an issue for me too..."

No, he's not in a position to have creative control in this situation or to have much control over his image at all. You have to be at Pitt/Clooney/Damon/Depp/Dicaprio/RDJ/Cruise level of fame to have control over your image.

Getting a GQ cover is big. They have to consider you important enough and I wouldn't be surprised if Fox publicity was pulling strings for this as well. They could have picked any number of men to appear on the cover: Hemsworth (with two big films), Skarsgard (Battleship, TruBlood star), Cruise, or Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Josh Brolin--all of them with a major film opening in mid/late May/June.

He has NO OPTION but to cooperate in this situation. Whether it was the GQ fashion editor or FOX publicity pushing for the heavily sexed angle, he really doesn't have a choice. This early in a higher-profile career, he cannot afford to make waves or disagree with either the magazine or the studio is handling him. Otherwise, you can get a rep for being "difficult" and the next time he's considered for a GQ cover, they would pass him by.

Simone said...

^ Thank you Kate, you obviously have a clear understanding of how a magazine cover article comes together. I hope people learn from what you wrote.

Michael Fassbender is not the sex object or toy in this photo shoot. He is the subject, and the woman, is the sexual accessory to compliment the photo editor's desire to make Michael be the man that a woman wants/needs.

Michael will be playing an asexual android in a potential blockbuster summer film. Fox and everyone else who has a financial stake in the success of this film, want to present Michael in a way to inform/remind people that he is a hot and talented man that everyone either wants, or wants to be.

GQ is a men's magazine, they ALWAYS use women like this with high profile celebrity pictorials, and women like this faceless model gladly accepts a check to be used like this.

cellardoor said...

Thanks kate - that makes more sense as it did seem strange to me otherwise.

Ales said...

I think Michael came out great, the cover looks great, just do not understand the context of half naked girls, but the magazine has to sell

Bugsy said...

Holly smoke! Michael photographed by Mario Testino!

émilie said...

I just watched the little vid from the GQ site http://www.gq.com/entertainment/celebrities/201206/michael-fassbender-gq-june-2012-interview
Simone, this time I'm totally convinced. There's something sexist in the vid, and Michael's manliness is so emphasized that it is almost embarrassing!

Simone said...

LOL! Hey Emilie, I will have to watch the video when I get home, I have a suspicion that it's NSFW because of it's 'sexist' tone. :-)

So it was embarrassing eh? I'll watch it later, thanks for the heads up.

Sidra said...

I just read the article, stared at the pics (laugh) and watched the vid and I LOVE everything! The article is great- pics are sexy and the video is cool- the last shot of him smoking w/ shades on... WHEW! :D

Hupsakeek said...

On Pinterest émilie want to know our thought about the vid. My comment was to long to post so i'll post it here.

First of all: after seeing the vi my temperature has rised with several degrees ;)My oh My

It's a role he's playing because that's what actors and models do. I think that the naked scene's in Hunger and especially in Shame contribute to this kind of "roles".
I resent the speeches by George Clooney and Charlize Theron about his "tool" becaus it has put a magnifying glass on this part of Michael. This fact has make him known by the big audience instead of his excellent acting. We all know that it's a great joy to look at him for several reasons, but we can't deny he's sexy.

Sex sells and films (and actors) need to be promoted. My point of view (after seeing the GQ shoot vid) is that he liked to play this role (for now). And why not. At this moment he's top of the bill.
For him it's also a great opportunity to work with photographers such as Mario Testino. I think he has artistic influencee on this because models/actors has to be at ease to get a good result especially when it's a sexy shoot.

Now his fame is rising, I presume that his need to play a role grows bigger. Just to keep a distance between his private life and his rising stardom. And just like his choice of films (independent and commercial), I think that he approaches the photoshoots the same way. Who's the target of the magazine? Which film has to be promoted? Pictures are two dimensional so that makes it harder to judge. But I've no doubt that when Twelve years a slave has to be promoted, we see different shoots in other magazines then GQ. At that time they have an other "candy of the month".

kt said...

Hupsakeek, I really, really like what you have written here. I think you have touched on an a very valid perception: "Now his fame is rising, I presume that his need to play a role grows bigger. Just to keep a distance between his private life and his rising stardom." That is so insightful, and thought provoking... We already know Michael to be an intelligent man, and one who seems to be possessed of exceptionally canny business sense, as well. Pro-activity from him would be in keeping with what we know of him (from what he has chosen to share with us), to consider his involvement in the photoshoot this way. To consider he *is* embracing it---for his own personal reasons, to give himself the distance that he needs (& will grow increasingly difficult for him to achieve with his rising fame), to his own benefit. And what an awesome thing, if so.....This changes my perception of who really holds the power, in this situation. And brings to mind that saying, "no one can take advantage of you, without your permission". No one is taking advantage of Michael; he is playing his role (and with great skill--as he always does). No one is taking advantage of the model (as Simone pointed out, she accepts payment as consent to be utilized here so). We are not being taken advantage of, as we understand the situation and can appreciate for what it is (and…..not have to feel guilty about growing feverish from watching that vid ;) Thanks so much for your great, thoughtful analysis! :)

(& ps = Simone: you are killing me with that .gif on your post today---I quit smoking some time ago...but if he blew HIS second-hand smoke in my face, I would blaze up like there was no tomorrow without a second thought ::fanning self:: ;)

Simone said...

"No one is taking advantage of the model"...

That can be a long argument at a different forum kt, but for now, I know what you're trying to say.

I'm sure I'll have much more to address after I watch the video later this evening at home. But what I want to make clear is that yet again, the female image, the female form, is what's being USED and sexualized, and demeaned by GQ to 'enhance' a pictorial with a man, and to tantalize the male viewers of this article on Michael Fassbender.

I can argue that the female model is being taken advantage of because she is expected to be used this way as it is the disgusting 'norm' of this publication and others like it. She either does it and gets paid and the earn the fame, or she doesn't, and she's out of a job.


In the women's magazines that Michael has been featured in, was there a faceless, half-naked woman with Michael? Or for that matter, do any of the major women's magazines, when doing a feature of a female star, regularly use a male model in the same way that GQ uses women? I've seen it a few times, most definitely, but, the male model is not objectified like women are and sometimes the pictorial is so heavy in satire, that the sexism and threat is non-existent. Additionally, the man also is humanized - meaning, we see his face, he is recognized as a person, an individual... not a thing. And when GQ puts a female celebrity on their cover, she's in a bikini, topless but slightly covered, or semi-naked in sexualize pose.

GQ and Maxim (which is worse), and believe me, there are even worse magazines than Maxim, have a habit of using women as accessories in pictorials with male celebrities, and it just irritates me that GQ used the same shit for a Michael Fassbender photo session.

Anyway kt and Hupsakeek, I appreciate your well thought out opinions.