— TIME.com (@TIME) January 16, 2014
Just for fun, I decided to guess what the cover story was as though I didn’t know.
“Lilliputian Foot Fetishists Will Be A Big Presence in 2016 Election”
“Get Women Out Of The Workforce Before They Start Trampling Miniature Campaign Volunteers”
“WAIT COME BACK GIANT WOMAN, YOU FORGOT YOUR TINY SIGN!”
“Hillary Clinton’s Pantsuits Offer Fashion Inspiration To Terrifying Giantesses”
“Will Men Be Able To Stop Giant Women In Heels? Nope.”
“Pantsuited Giantesses Rampage Through Whitespace, Killing Thousands Of People In Car Commercials”
“Honey! I Shrunk The Campaign Volunteer”
“This Was Not How I Foresaw The Business Suit Skydiving Session Ending”
“Millennials Are Terrible For Some Reason That Hasn’t Been Addressed Yet”
“How Much ‘It’ Can Women Have? All, or Just Some?”
“People On The Internet Are Doing Much Kinkier Things Than You Thought”
Those last three were just guesses because they are always the cover stories of magazines.
But of course it turns out it has something to do with Hillary Clinton 2016.
This is disappointing, if only because I wanted to see where the Lilliputian Foot Fetishist story would go.
Of course, this has raised questions online. What do we as a culture have against GIANTESSES? Is it sexist? Is it sexist any time a giant heel crushes someone symbolically on a magazine cover? Well, sure, but it ain’t subtle.
If you mouse-over the image on the Time Web site, it explains that it is “a photo-illustration of a woman’s leg walking out of the frame, with a man hanging on to her heel.” Yes, Time, yes it is. And why did you pick that for Clinton, specifically?
This picture is a Rorschach test, as all magazine covers are.
This time it’s less an ink blot than a few lines of text clearly explaining the symbolism they were going for.
Sometimes a giant woman’s heel threatening a tiny man is just a giant woman’s heel threatening a tiny man. It’s about as subtle as a bully from an ’80’s movie. Oh God! A female foot! The foot of a woman in a pantsuit! Hillary! Aaah, you combined them into a potent image-cocktail! What school of graphic design did you come from? I bet if you want to depict someone who is In Control Of The World you’ll make him really big and put a TINY GLOBE in his hands! If you want to depict someone as a ticking time bomb, you should make it so he’s ACTUALLY A BOMB and there’s a fuse coming out of his ear, or something.
My main gripe with this cover is the fact that it is a story about Hillary Clinton 2016. First, because — is this really the best illustration we could find for that particular story? A textbook illustration of Exaggerated Male Fears About Powerful Women In Pantsuits? Was there nothing less cliche? And second, because — not ANOTHER cover story about Hillary Clinton 2016.
Millions of years from now, right before the sun explodes and swallows us, they will still be penning pieces with headlines like “Can FutureHillary Beta-9 Raise Enough Funds To Travel Back In Time And Win The 2016 Election For Good, This Time?”
I for one have had enough. It is January 2014, and people are spending weeks — weeks! — in Iowa talking to people in diners about Clinton’s prospects. What did Iowans ever do to deserve this? And we have covers like this.
My biggest gripe isn’t the illustration. It’s the fact that this is the cover story at all. And hey, at least he’s not a kitten.