So like I was saying, seeing the True Blood cast naked and drenched in blood just seemed like another instance of sexualizing violence. But Stephanie at Ms. Magazine’s blog has another, more interesting take on the cover.
By mixing sexy bodies with blood, Stephanie argues, that the cover serves to remove some of the taboo surrounding menstruation and “period sex.”
Most often in popular culture, the only images of naked people we see are in sexual situations (other possibilities include naked people bathing and as babies). And because sex + menstrual blood = an absolute no-no for mainstream media, then blood and naked bodies–especially women’s naked, bloody bodies–are not likely to appear together.
So when I saw the True Blood cover I was surprised and a little thrilled. I knew I was supposed to be seeing sexy vampire stuff, but immediately I started to think about other situations in which you might be naked and bloody. And what did I come up with? Period sex. Which is an even bigger taboo than menstruation itself.
And that brings me to why I think this cover is so fantastic. Though Anna Paquin (likely) isn’t menstruating in this photo, we are seeing blood, sex and bodies in the same frame, forcing us to consider the mingling, seeping and blending of these very human things. If we can look at these sexy, naked actors covered in blood and still think they’re damn fine, we’re one step closer to getting over the menstrual
taboo and taking part in the joys of loving our girlfriends while they’re bleeding.
Frankly, I still stick by my first analysis of the cover though I think Stephanie’s thoughts are really interesting. So what do you all think? Does the cover fetishize violence the way many True Blood episodes have, is it a celebration of menstruation, or something else?