All Women's Talk

Heather Morris' Controversial Photo Shoot ...

By Lyndsie

Even if you're not a fan of Glee, you've probably heard of the characters. Fans of the show, of course, know Brittany Pierce. You may love her ditzy persona and naivete, or maybe it annoys you. Either way, from seeing the character every week, you probably have some preconceived notions about her and about the girl who plays her: Heather Morris. Of course, Heather is not her character; by all rights, she is a talented, smart girl. All the same, her recent photo shoot for the Daily Mail, with photographer Tyler Shields, understandably caused a lot of uproar.
When these pictures showed up in the Daily Mail, people were pretty shocked. I confess, I don't know a lot about Tyler Shields, although the Mail described him as the favored photographer for young Hollywood. I have to wonder if that will still be the case after all this.

I think Heather Morris is a gorgeous girl. She's maybe not classically beautiful, but I'm one of those annoying girls who tries to find something beautiful in everyone, and there's a lot of beauty here. I'm also, I confess, a big fan of controversial photo shoots. You know on America's Next Top Model, when they did the shoot on model stereotypes, and the two twins portrayed models with bulimia and anorexia? I thought that was amazing – and I thought it sent a very strong message.

People feel like this photo shoot is sending a strong message as well – but they don't necessarily see it as a positive one. When talking about the shoot, the photographer was more concerned in assuring his interviewer that the shots where Morris is tied up, using an iron, and drinking from it were all real and unedited. That's cool, but what about the bruises? The black eye?
Of course, nobody thinks anyone really blacked Heather's eye – I hope so, anyway. They're just worried about the message it's sending. Do pictures like these make abuse seem beautiful? Does it glamorize domestic abuse? Domestic violence groups are concerned with the iron as a prop as well, citing the tragically true facts that both women and children are struck with the seemingly innocuous household appliances, in addition to being hit and beaten with electrical cords, every day.

Shields passes the theme off as the simple idea of Barbie being all bruised and tied up.

Well, okay. I used to set my Barbies on fire, so I don't have any room to talk, really.

And I'm not necessarily saying that these pictures will glamorize domestic abuse … but neither am I willing to say that they won't.

After all, Glee is one of those shows making a difference. Teens across the world send the cast and crew messages all the time, saying how much they look up to the characters, how certain characters and story lines have changed their lives. Even if you hate the show, you have to admit that's a beautiful, inspiring say.

But will the teens – to say nothing of even younger viewers – who watch the show and look up to both the characters and the actors who play them see these pictures, and start to think violence like this is okay, even trendy?

It's curious to note that, since all the controversy started, Tyler Shields has decided to auction off the picture of Heather with the black eye, the most "popular" one by far, and says that the proceeds will be given to a charity for domestic abuse.

I want to know what you think. Sound off – voice your opinions, ask questions, get advice – here or on our Tumblr, if you'd like a bit more privacy.

Top Image Source: weheartit.com

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