( CAVEAT: This isn't so much comic related, as a criticism of geekdom/fandom's ass-backwards sexual politics. )
Wired.com is currently running a contest for 2009's Sexiest Geek. The candidates are celebrities from various geek-related interests, and include both genders. However, if a male geek is a candidate, the odds are much higher that the attached image will have them with full clothing, looking casual or at least posed for a conventional head-shot and not a Maxim pin-up.
Posted by an anonymous fan, the picture for Alyson Hannigan, the actress who starred as horny band camp girl Michelle in the American Pie movies, was in every episode of geek phenomenon Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is a regular on the awesome sit-com How I Met Your Mother, is here...
It is worth noting that this picture came from the men's magazine FHM in 2003, when Hannigan was 29. There are plenty of pictures that " Anonymous " could have gotten of her in the present day, six years and one pregnancy later. Certainly she's far from unattractive, but why would they want a picture of a woman in her * gasp * mid-thirties when they could recycle an old issue of a younger Alyson posing in sexy schoolgirl attire?
For comparison, here's a picture of Nathan Fillion, another actor popular for his work in Joss Whedon shows and considered quite the looker...
But if he were given the same treatment that most of the women in the Sexiest Geek contest have received, we'd likely be seeing this charming shot...
And I doubt that the geek community at large, too often stuck in a He-Man Woman-Hater's club mentality, would vote for Fillion on the basis of the good Captain Malcolm " Mal " Reynolds' bared ass.
I'm not opposed to a Sexiest Geek contest, but the image of Alyson Hannigan ( amongst most though not all of the women in the contest, such as Danica McKeller, Kristen Bell, Kari Bryon, Jewel Staite, and others ) is the kind of low-clothing image that a 15-year-old me would have voted for. In the decade since, I've matured enough to realize that women are people with no more or less inherent value than men, and should be treated as having the same complexity-- skin is just one part. I've also realized that being a geek means being outside the norm, with more esoteric and intellectual pursuits-- the kind of mentality that shouldn't be won over by " T&A + connection to favorite TV show ". That thinking is the norm-- the large portion of humanity that for whatever reason you feel apart from.
There are many things that could hypothetically put Hannigan on that list, but instead of an outdated pin-up, how about something that actually captures her true appeal to geekdom, such as this..
From the set of How I Met Your Mother, when Hannigan was pregnant. The baby bump was ( rather poorly ) hidden most of the time, but the writers actually worked it into the show's canon in some scenes of her winning a hot-dog eating contest. Isn't her participation in that kind of quirky humor a better appeal than just another FHM pin-up?
....wait, I already know the answer to that.