Anne of Green Come-and-Get-Me

Photo: Amazon

When I first saw the new—and suddenly buzzed about —cover for the reissue of the classic series Anne of Green Gables, my mind went instantly into cynical and jaded mode with reflex speediness. I flashed to the classic (okay, well feminist classic) No Comment photos. Because, let’s face it, someone in the marketing world decided to “rebrand” Anne in ways that anyone who knows the books will find offensive.

How bad is it? It’s pretty darn terrible, that’s how bad.

The books, as described in someone’s Amazon review:

“The Anne of Green Gables Series is a wonderful collection of tales about a bright, spirited, lovely young woman.”

The reviewer offers five stars and the promise that the books are great for girls, boys and adults, too.

The Anne on the new cover is seated in a chest-first manner and appears to have had her hair not only styled, but also airbrushed. Come-hither Anne is no rugged country girl. Nor is the “real” Anne blonde.

So now we’ve got: One Green Gable? Avonlea 90210?

It’s possible that like so many inappropriate messages kids and teens get there could be some enterprising teen protesting—as happened with Seventeen Magazine last year, for example, when a plea for more realistic depictions of young women was met (after a great deal of pressure was exerted). The “No Photoshop” pledge was largely due to determined efforts by a fantastic eighth-grader named Julia Bluhm.

I hate to imagine that teenagers have to fight for every image they see—or don’t see. As much as I flipped to the No Comment photos first when Ms. Magazine arrived, the truth is that mindset—look how terrible and maybe we can shame x company to change for the better—is really an exhausting one. It’s not the way I wish for my sons and daughter to have to see the world (obviously, I am grooming them to do just that, though; advertisers and marketers and the machines of sports, Hollywood and even politics determine that they must be literate, grumpy media consumers if they are to consume at all).

The idea that if we just “sexy-up” the book’s cover it’ll become that much more appealing is so assaultive to the book’s merits, the intelligence of girl (and boy) readers and almost to the act of reading itself. It’s like saying that you can’t read a book unless you are lured into the mundane act by the promise of a little sex appeal. We—and our girls and boys—are so much better than that.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Brain Child Magazine, Huffington Post and Salon, amongst others. She keeps a personal blog, Standing in the Shadows. Follow her on twitter–@standshadows

  • http://theradicalhousewife.com Shannon Drury

    I find myself saying “that is appalling” a little too often these days, but DAMN, that new Anne cover is AP-PAL-LING. Unbelievable. Jaw-droppingly bad.

    What’s next, a tarted up version of the March sisters in a new edition of “Little Women”? Alice slinking through Wonderland in a bikini?

  • http://www.helenjonsen.com helen

    Wow, this really is over the top! I must admit, I did not read Anne as a girl. I only discovered her from the Canadian TV series I watched happily with my daughters. I think they read the first book at some point. This will appall them as well. Love Shannon’s question about Little Women. If Colleen Dewhurst were alive we would have a leader in this fight!

  • http://www.janeroper.com Jane Roper

    Totally ridiculous, but is it genuine? I’m looking on Amazon, and don’t see this cover anywhere. Can you provide a link?

  • http://dontmindthemess.com Jessica

    I’ve seen a lot of articles on this and I admit I’m annoyed that not one so far has mentioned that the publisher of this book is a self-publishing outfit, not one of the big publishing houses. I don’t know who approved this cover but it wasn’t necessarily anyone trying to sex-up the book. It’s very possible it was someone who never read it at all.

    It’s also worth noting that there if you search just the book section on Amazon there are THOUSANDS of hits for Anne of Green Gables.

    Is this appalling? Sure. But is it worth the uproar? No.

  • http://top-rated-gifts.blogspot.ca/2013/02/anne-of-green-gables-books.html Treasures By Brenda

    If it was controversy they were after, they got it but it seems more likely that it was a bad choice by someone who didn’t know what the book was all about.

Magic Mike XXL, women's erotica, Women's sex lives, women's fantasies, male gaze, female gaze, feminist and Magic Mike
Magic Mike XXL: Male Strippers, Women’s Fantasies and Why We Should Stop Judging Each Other
Taylor Swift, Apple, streaming music, royalties
Taylor Swift vs. Apple: A Girl Power Moment for Our Daughters
Frances McDormand on aging, aging in Hollywood, Uma Thurman plastic surgery
Frances McDormand is My New Hero After Saying ‘This is What 57 Really Looks Like’
Treasury to put woman on ten dollar bill, women on 20
Women on the $10 Bill: What Happened to Women on 20s?
white people talking about race
Just a White Girl From the Suburbs
Fourth of July, Independence Day, Confederate flag, Southern rights vs. others rights, carrying guns in Starbucks, health care, political disagreement
Freedom Rider: Declaring My Independence From Selectiveness and Snark
whiny parents, parenting, guilt, motherhood guilt, parenting complaints, make whiny parents stop complaining, helicopter parents, extreme parenting
Hey Whiny Parents, Get Over Yourselves!
firing employees for reproductive choices, ware on women, workplace discrimination, religious employers no birth control, losing your job for birth control
The Casual Feminist: MYO Damn B on Repro Choices
Hillary Clinton, Selina Meyer, VEEP, Hillary e-mails, who said it Hillary or Selina
Hillary Clinton or Selina Meyer: Who Said It?
Hillary Clinton 2016, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
Hillary Seemed Like Such a Good Listener
Ben Carson, Ben Carson 2016 presidential race
Dr. Ben Carson: Not Right for 2016
Hillary Clinton should ditch Bill, Hillary should leave Blii Clinton, Does Hillary Clinton need to leave Bill to win White House
Saying Hillary Clinton Should Ditch Bill is Really Asking This — “Why Does She Stay?”
white people talking about race
Just a White Girl From the Suburbs
Magic Mike XXL, women's erotica, Women's sex lives, women's fantasies, male gaze, female gaze, feminist and Magic Mike
Magic Mike XXL: Male Strippers, Women’s Fantasies and Why We Should Stop Judging Each Other
whiny parents, parenting, guilt, motherhood guilt, parenting complaints, make whiny parents stop complaining, helicopter parents, extreme parenting
Hey Whiny Parents, Get Over Yourselves!
working mothers
Working Moms, Don’t Use That Harvard Study To Validate You!
white people talking about race
Just a White Girl From the Suburbs
remove Confederate flag, South Carolina, Charleston, Nikki Haley, racism
The Trouble with “Heritage, Not Hate.”
alizagraying_edited-1
I Am Not My Gray Hair. My Hair Is Not Me.
Father's Day, fathers and daughters, families
Father’s Day: A Day for Other People
Magic Mike XXL, women's erotica, Women's sex lives, women's fantasies, male gaze, female gaze, feminist and Magic Mike
Magic Mike XXL: Male Strippers, Women’s Fantasies and Why We Should Stop Judging Each Other
National Kissing Day
The Science of Kissing
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
CNN The Seventies, The Seventies, 1970, The Pill, Sexual Revolution
“Lay, Lady, Lay”: Sex and The Pill in The Seventies

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread