Thursday, June 12, 2008

Covers, Part II: Headless













Apparently, the headless woman has become a standard feature of book covers. According to a publishing insider, "designers often crop out the head so the reader can imagine her own face on top of a model-skinny body." Is this trend a book designer's innocuous pandering to female fantasies, or does it represent the objectification of women? Does the "model-skinny" headless woman of chick-lit book covers perpetuate unrealistic and unhealthy body image among young women? The trend is not, however, confined to chick-lit. It's spilled over onto the covers of literary fiction, as in the reprint of Alice Monro's collection of stories The View from Castle Rock (pictured above). But I'm pleased to say that I've located this woman's head. The cover of another collection of Munro's stories, Runaway, features a woman's bodyless head. Clearly we aren't meant to judge Alice Munro on the merits of a single collection of stories. We have to familiarize ourselves with the entire body of her work.

1 comment:

Christopher Tassava said...

*groooooaaaaan*

Terrible. Shameless. Those kinds of puns have been proven to induce the dreaded cortical hernia.

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