As I expected, you got some complaints on the cover of your photo contest issue (May 29-June 4). If the ones you printed were the only ones you received, they were much fewer and milder than I expected.
I'd like to express the opposite opinion. As a longtime reader of your paper, I know that the only thing unusual about the photograph is that it was on the cover. You've published much more revealing photographs in the past. I found the picture truly beautiful.
I wonder if the level of discomfort others expressed had to do with the suggestion of masturbation by the model. This would make some infer a sexuality that was not dependent on a man to satisfy. Some folks want women not to express any sexual feelings, as it makes them feel uncomfortable or inadequate. Well, let them learn to get over it; the picture was clearly the best of the bunch this year.
Continue to be bold; if you aren't making somebody uncomfortable then you've doing something wrong. —Carl R. Menger, email@example.com, Ferndale
Looking at ourselves?
Congratulations, Metro Times! You've reached a new low in sophomoric exhibitionism. I have no problem with the 2002 Photo Awards winner. But it was just plain stupid to put it on the cover. Metro Times is distributed all over town, and can be found in family restaurants, video outlets, etc. These places are populated by children — you know, those young folk who aren't yet so jaded with life that they need to put rings through their lips and blue streaks in their hair in order to attract attention to themselves.
If you want to restrict distribution of Metro Times to adult bookstores and entertainment venues, then print anything you want on the cover. But if you're going to continue to stack piles of Metro Times where my kid can see them, try to show a little sense in the future. You know, I think I do understand why the judges selected that picture. It's a metaphorical self-portrait! —John Lieberman, firstname.lastname@example.org, Huntington Woods
What’s the fuss?
I don't understand why folks are assuming that the attractive woman on the cover of your Photo Award issue is masturbating. Even Terry Rakolta at her silliest never suggested "Married With Children" depicted masturbation because Al Bundy's hand was often in his pants. Or maybe she did.
I've seen many folks sleeping with their hands covering their pubic areas, and woman holding their breasts. It seems to be a self-protective and comforting action. It's also frequently a gesture of modesty. It’s not so strange to think of a sexually attractive young woman in red undies as modest. Actually the photo reminds me of Botticelli's Birth of Venus where the goddess is pale and delicately beautiful, obviously a hottie, with her gestures also seeming protective. Or do folks think she's masturbating as well? Porn is frequently only in the mind of the beholder. And what if she is masturbating? The photo depicts only a delicate, subtle and graceful suggestion of sensuality. Grow up. —Äny Salyer, email@example.com, Troy
First place out of place
Your May 29-June 4, 2002 cover is the height of poor judgement. Why didn't you just keep this "nice" little girl on the inside of the cover? Even she deserves a little privacy. —Joe Maddox, firstname.lastname@example.org, Detroit
No calendar for you
Please cancel my subscription to Sports Illustrated. —Justin Smith, email@example.com, Pleasant Ridge
Back of the rack
Metro Times’ May 28-June 4 cover photo choice was inappropriate and irresponsible. Your newspaper would have been better served had such imagery been reserved for the article within the publication. Metro Times enjoys a wide distribution, which includes public libraries and businesses, family restaurants, malls, ice cream shops, full run movie theatres, etc. This distribution and open availability does not exclude the traffic of children or those would do not otherwise pursue such overt sexual imagery.
Your cover choice strongly suggests that Metro Times is clearly vying for shelf space at the adult bookstore. Is this a direction you really wish to go?
It is a hard place to come back from, and actually limits your audience. —Leisia Duskin, firstname.lastname@example.org, Detroit