Mila Kunis on the cover of GQ’s Comedy Issue: a step forward or back for women in comedy?

For their fourth annual Comedy Issue, mens’s interest mag GQ has chosen actress Mila Kunis as their cover woman.

It’s newsworthy, I suppose, since she’s not a dude; the likes of Zach Galifianakis, Seth Rogen, Tracy Morgan and Paul Rudd have graced the comedy-themed issue in years past.

And this move will no doubt re-ignite the never-ending debate about women’s role in comedy. Kunis, in my humble opinion is well deserving to be GQ‘s cover subject.

Let’s not forget, the former That ’70s Show star has been voicing Meg Griffin on The Family Guy since 1999 and co-stars with Justin Timberlake in the decidedly raunchy Friends with Benefits, in theaters on July 22.

In the GQ interview, which you can read here, Kunis comes off as every straight man’s dream– the way Cameron Diaz used to come off. That is, she’s gorgeous and “just one of the guys” telling dick jokes and talking esoterically about Star Trek. She even cites all the right female comedy idols: Lucille Ball, Sarah Silverman and Tina Fey.

But then comes the always present double standard, the one that shows up in most mainstream publications that feature a funny and not-ugly female. Kunis says the following:

The bottom line is if you’re an attractive female in this industry, people just take you as that: attractive. People aren’t getting the opportunity to move beyond being attractive. It’s not only with comedy. It could be with drama or action or whatever. People are distracted by looks. It happens. I’m not saying it happened to me, but it happens.

I totally agree with Kunis. But isn’t posing half naked and teething on a straw in a magazine for the pleasure of men (me, not excluded) only perpetuating the problem Kunis describes? Believe me, I’m not judging. I’m only raising the question. It seems to me there will always be this double standard where women are expected to prove their beauty and their talent while guys skate by on their average to well-below average looks and jokes. And features like this ain’t helping to extinguish the situation.

But maybe it doesn’t need to be extinguished. Maybe women like the fact they have the beauty card in their arsenal, whereas guys are basically not-at-all interesting to look at.

I want to know what you think. Is the Kunis cover a good thing for women in comedy or is it quite the opposite?

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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