I can’t bring Halle Berry home anymore

If she’s on the cover of a men’s magazine like Esquire and GQ, I can’t bring Halle Berry home. Not just HalleHalleberry_3
but other female stars such as Jessica Biel, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. Esquire publishes some of the best in-depth feature stories in American journalism, but often puts a scantily clad woman on the cover. Back when I was a single guy with no children, I MAY have liked such covers, and by "MAY," I mean "Most Affirmatively Yes." I MAY have subscribed to Esquire, MAY have stuck the Halle Berry cover on my wall and MAY have written a letter to Esquire, complaining that they had made Halle wear too much.

But these days, I have two young daughters and want them to know that they need not dress like that to get attention. I want them to know that they can get on a magazine cover or be successful without using their faces or bodies to sell themselves. I want them to know that they can be like Ellen Degeneres and grace the cover of TV Guide, be like Annie Leibovitz and grace the cover of Newsweek, and be like Ann Coulter and disgrace the cover of Time. Well, maybe Coulter is a bad example, especially since I don’t want my girls to stay in the kitchen and Coulter is always trying to "stir up the pot."

I’d like to subscribe to a magazine that puts all sorts of successful women on the cover, not just actresses and singers. And if one of my daughters chooses to be an actress or singer, I’d like her to know that she can act or sing magnificently without showing any skin, that Norah Jones would sound just as melodious in a burka. I’d like her to know that, even wearing a business suit, millions of people MAY still admire her.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. hey! i used to read your columns in india abroad in chicago and recently found your site here. lovely posts and i find myself cracking up with every one of them.
    curious as to what nshima and curry means though.
    thanks for my daily dose of amusement melvin!

  2. Meenu, I’m glad you found me. Nshima is the staple food of Zambia, where I grew up. Nshima and Curry is my way of saying that this blog, like me, is a little of this and a little of that. Nshima, Curry and Apple Pie was too long!

  3. i thought of that after i posted. you growing up in the big Z and all.
    keep it coming!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: