Posted by: chartroose | August 20, 2008

Those Crazy Chick-Lit and Mommy-Lit Covers!

I know this kind of thing has been done to death, but I just can’t resist having even more fun with it!  Bybee gave me the idea when she mentioned the nearly endless plethora of chick-lit covers adorned with shoes in the comments section of my last post.  I agree with her observation.  Shoes have to be the most overused chick-lit cover art, followed closely by the headless torso shot.  I’m going to post some fine examples of this innovative art movement.  I’m also going to examine some mommy-lit covers.  Mommy-lit is becoming more and more popular now that so many of the original chick-lit readers have aged beautifully, married their Prince Charmings, experienced exquisite lovemaking time and time again and popped out a couple of cute little cherubs that they can hug and cuddle and adore forever.  Let’s take a look at these covers, shall we?   

First, chick-lit shoe covers:

I really need to try the Anne Frank novel, since I’ve always suspected that many Nazi’s were cross-dressers.  Here’s a little known fact:  Josef Mengele was wearing a red-sequined floor-length gown and heels to match when he drowned in Brazil.  The heavy costume pulled him right to the bottom of the ocean (  =

Have you noticed how they only show legs and high heels on these covers?  They hardly ever show the entire person.  Why is that?  Why are the legs so often cartoons instead of real legs?  And why are the heels so extremely high?  I don’t know a single woman who wears heels that high, do you?  (If you DO know women like that, I believe I can guess your ancient professional roots)!  Every woman I know wears flat comfortable shoes 99% of the time.  Even the shortest women in my sphere wear low heels, but, then again, I’m from Colorado.  We’re kind of rough-n-tumble out here.  Maybe, in New York, scads of women run around in extremely high heels, enduring nearly constant mind-numbing pain with every step they take, spraining their ankles every couple of blocks and sometimes slipping and falling on wet pavement.  Yeah, I’ll bet that’s it!  The reason why we only see cartoon legs and no faces is due to the fact that every woman who sports heels like these for any length of time wears a look of such complete anguish on her visage that chick-lit book covers can’t show their faces.  Their faces would be way too frightening for sweet and innocent chick-lit buyers to deal with.   The legs have to be cartoon drawings because the legs of real high heel wearers are ugly.  They’re covered with bruises and scabs and open pustulating sores from the numerous high heel related accidents most of these women experience on a daily basis.

Next, here are some chick-lit torso covers:

The first two novels have something to do with eating “meat.”  How disgusting!  With that in mind, it’s obvious that these covers were designed by men, because faceless meat-eating women are easier to have sexual fantasies about.  Also, it’s quite a turn-off to display a face shot of someone masticating a huge chunk of beef.  The woman on the second cover really does look like a streetcorner prostitute, doesn’t she? 

The next two novels are entitled A Girl’s Best Friend.  I greatly prefer dogs to diamonds because you can’t pet a diamond for any length of time without cutting your hand.  Why is it, though, that the girl with the dog is wearing such an extremely short dress and the requisite heels and sitting in such an uncomfortable position on the floor?  Is she from New York?  Did the dog run under her feet and trip her so she “fall down go boom?”  This must be why her face is absent from the cover.  She’s weeping copiously, and a bawling woman is an unattractive woman.  I guess her dog really isn’t her best friend after all.  He sure looks guilty, peering out from behind her badly bruised tush! 

The diamond cover is totally sexual in nature.  See the chartreuse “balls” hanging behind the smirking woman?  Chartreuse liqueur has long been famous as a potent aphrodesiac.  Notice the “come hither” curve of the smirking woman’s sensuous lips?  Need I say more? 

The last cover is very interesting, and it’s the most appropriate of the bunch.  The title of the novel is Match Me if You Can.   In case you haven’t figured this out yet, the book cover is a puzzle.  You need to find the matching half if you can (maybe there’s a prize involved) and then you can see the whole woman!  See, it’s pretty easy to figure these things out if you think about them carefully and logically.

Now for the mommy-lit covers!

Mommy-lit covers are the most varied of all, and many of them don’t even feature women.  The novels that do have one thing in common with other forms of women’s novels: they never show the woman’s face unless it’s in cartoon form.  It’s simple to figure out why mommy faces are absent from mommy-lit covers.  Can you guess?  It’s a social issue.  It’s because mommies lose their identities once they have children.  They are no longer desired sexual objects or even spike heel wearing masochists anymore.  It’s all about the kids, kids, kids–diapers and bottles and school and teen sex and self-mutilation and STD’s and trailer parks and welfare when all is said and done.  Yes indeed, mommies don’t need faces.  All they need is hands to serve and hips to push those puppies out!  And, speaking of puppies, look at the first cover.  This cover shows a common tragedy that happens to pets once babies start taking over the family.  They’re killed because they aren’t wanted or loved anymore.  In this case, the unfortunate little Yorkie is having rock-filled bunny slippers thrown at his head.  Notice the evil looks on the slippers’ faces?  The poor little fella won’t even know what hit him! 

I’m going to skip over Tales from the Crib and look at Slummy Mummy and The Yummy Mummy.  These pithily titled novels display some common mommy stereotypes on their covers.  You can tell that slummy mummy is lower class because she has her skirt tucked into her underwear on one side.  This is definitely “ghetto style.”  Upper class women normally tuck a large stick in between their butt cheeks when they want to make a statement. 

The last cover shows another stereotype:  the MILF.  The MILF in this picture has to hide because the other mommies may become jealous of her sex appeal and throw something akin to rock filled bunny slippers at her.  The MILF is adjusting her lower heeled shoe to show that she’s inferior to normal chick-lit women.  Even though she’s attractive, she’s a mom, which places her in the sensible heel, ill-fitting shoe, but I’d still do ya’ category, which is quite a bit below the young, single, spike-heeled, I’d do ya’ all over the place category.  Got it? 

I’ve thought of a few more titles to add to the Slummy Mummy and Yummy Mummy collection:

Dummy Mummy, and

Crummy Mummy!

(I wonder if she’s wearing heels.  If so, this explains a lot).

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Responses

  1. Too funny! Publishers take note: I won’t buy or read any book that has a chick-lit style cover. Mommy-lit–that’s just offensive.

  2. O.M.G. A classic Chartroose rant post! excellente! Just another reason your blog is eluctable.

  3. Dont even get me started on all the deragatory stereotypes these books portray.

    Good job addressing them! Kudos.

  4. […] Original post by chartroose […]

  5. Great post! I love to judge books by their covers, and now I know why! But… is that really Anne Frank’s diary? Please tell me that’s photoshopped because I can’t believe any publisher would actually publish her diary with that lurid cover.

  6. Ha ha ha ha ha. I can’t stop. Ha ha ha ha. I always did think these kinds of books looked ridiculous and you’ve clinched it for me.

  7. LOL!!! You make me laugh so hard. You’re descriptions are the best and remind me so much of my friend Marjorie! I wonder if the publishers are thinking that X book sold with a cover like this, so if people liked that, they might pick up Y just on the cover alone. Who knows. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have just laughed my butt off! 🙂

  8. You just made my morning, Chartroose! This is too funny!

    I actually live in a country where women wear ridiculously high heels, which I suspect has to do with the fact that women are mostly judged by their outward appearance and by how well they perform their wifely/womanly duties. Women also tend to wear a plenty of make-up which does not always make them any prettier.

    You can spot us non-Armenian foreign women from miles away by our sensible shoes with no or low heels. 😉

    But did you know that those stiletto heels make excellent and very useful accessories on an icy pavement in winter?! You kick your heels in so you won’t slide and fall. That’s something I learned in this country. And once I saw a woman climb up a mountain with high heels (no stiletto’s, though).

    Oh, and I have a colleague who is eight months pregnant and still “going high”! She is the only woman I have ever seen walking on high heels with a big pregnant belly.

    These are only the top of the iceberg when it comes to high heels! I have plenty of other high-heel stories for you!

  9. Poor little Yorkshire, to die such a tragic death…what I want to know is who is throwing those bunny slippers, surely the slummy mummy tripped over them, knocking them down the stairs by accident, and surely the yummy mummy aimed carefully from high upon her staggering heels…

  10. Dude. Tell me that Anne Frank cover is a joke. PLEASE.

  11. Damn the shoe covers! I bet if Shoeless Joe was to be reprinted, even it would have a shoe cover!

    I also live in a country where women wear the most uncomfortable-looking shoes imaginable…no wonder the whole damn country sheds their shoes when they go inside places.

    I thought the shoe covers were annoying, but those headless torso covers are not to be borne. I really hated the soft-focus photograph style of the late 1970s and early 80s, but now I wish they’d bring it back.

    Have you been to the Judge A Book By Its Cover blog? That’s their thing — making fun of book covers, but they’ve been sleeping on the job lately. Your analysis was so funny– you should offer to guest blog for them.

  12. The headless torso shot would be an excellent choice on biographies of Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, Mary Queen Of Scots…and well, you can see where I’m “headed” with this, right?

  13. Hey, everyone, I love you all! Your comments were great! Just to set your minds at ease, yes, the Anne Frank cover is fake. Have you noticed how even the more literate novels by highly respected female writers are now being decorated chick-lit style? A few weeks ago I saw an Alice Munro book covered with a headless torso shot. How cringeworthy is that?

    Shannon–you can join me in my moratorium. This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever read chick or mommy lit, but almost never!

    Care–Oh my God, you said eluctable! You’re becoming such a smarty pants that I’m going to have to find some weighted bunny slippers to toss at your head! Actually, I find your vocabulary growth to be indubitably fantabulous!

    Jessica–Thanks! Maybe I should try one of them, like “Tales from the Crib” because then I can pick it apart in another post. I’ll bet it’s chock-full of stupid mommy “lessons” to be learned.

    Julie–After seeing some of really awful covers on good literature lately, I wouldn’t put this kind of crap past some publishers, would you?

    Jeane–Yes, and they’re getting more ridiculous by the second!

    Literate– Yes, that’s exactly what publishers think! They sometimes even use the same photo from a different angle for different books. The excuse they give for the continued use of the headless torso shot is that it allows the average frumpy chick-lit reader to imagine her head on a slim, sophisticated body. Isn’t that awful? It’s so…derogatory, don’t you think?

    Myrthe–I’m going to have to check out your website! Another thing high heels are good for is aerating the lawn. It’s much easier to trod the grass and let your heels sink in than it is to use an actual aerator. A friend of mine’s sixty-something year-old mother can only wear heels now because her feet are so deformed from years and years of toddling around in undersized stilettos. Can you imagine?

    Verbivore–LOL! Those stupid mummies should entombed!

    Kirsty–I saw another photoshopped copy of the Bible that had Eve’s headless body covered by a figleaf over the unmentionable area. I almost added it in, but I was afraid the religious crazies might start gunning for me if I did.

    Bybee–Yeah, Henry’s wives would be make appropriate headless torsos, as would Amy Winehouse, Carrot Top, Dubya and Rush Limbaugh. Everyone else should be allowed to be a complete person!

  14. how funny, I did a post on this exact same thing. I am new to your blog and love it! I think I entered one contest one time, but I am putting you in my reader. Awesome blog!

  15. oh Yeah, Your post is much better than mine:)

  16. I know someone who wears high heels! all the time! she’s from the West Coast (Vancouver) and grew up on the East side, where prostitutes were her neighbors and role models, so that explains that. I need the flat heels! I can’t walk in anything higher than an inch! thanks for making me feel like a real woman!!! or is that natural? then again I fall into the mommy chicklit unfortunately, so no longer a person, hidden behind my three kids and kitty cat (no dog yet). You are hilarious!! Now I know where to come for my dose of humour for the day!!!

  17. I understand that these books look like they’re stereotyping, but lots of women love them. Have you ever actually read one? The characters are actually very diverse-it’s the tone that makes a book chick-lit or mommy-lit. The tone is very straightforward and tell it like it is. Many women can relate to the characters.
    You should try one!


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