This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.
#6. The ‘Pretty Dress’ CoverHa HA, you thought this series of posts was dead, didn’t you? Well I just found my list of topic ideas so I can carry on as I wish now. 😛 (So mature.) Anywayyyy – today, I’m talking about the “pretty dress” cover. I KNOW, WHAT A CLICHÉ, amirite? I think everyone in the YA readersphere has complained about this at some point. The thing is, I am one of the most superficial and shallow book collectors out there, so I’m not going to lie – I freaking LOVE the pretty dress cover. Now, yeah, there are bad examples too, but eight times out of ten, I just think, “WAHA, IT’S SO PRETTY I WANT IT – ON THE BOOK AND IN MY CLOSET PLZKTHNXBAI.” The book goes on my Goodreads “covergasm” shelf, and soon enough, given good reviews and an interesting premise, it’s on my shelf.
Some of my favorite pretty dresses:(Click to enlarge!)
Now, I haven’t read all of these – nor will I – but I have a deep appreciation for the eye candy nonetheless. The pretty dresses get me all excited – and sometimes they make me prefer one edition of a book over another “more original” one. I’m not gonna lie, I ordered the Aussie edition of Venom just so that I could have that dress cover asdfjkl; *grabby hands*
What does this say about me?I realize I’m falling for the marketing trick: attract young women with pretty shinies. And to some extent, that should make me mad. I mean, we’re fighting for gender equality and should want gender-neutral covers (somewhat depending on the story, but in general – yes). By having a girl in a pretty dress on the cover, the book is immediately classified as a “girly” book. Guys won’t even give it a shot, regardless of whether the story contains much badassery. And even female non-YA readers tend to kind of turn their noses up at it – because it looks so “young”, it’s just YA, it must be about frivolous girls and romancey things. God, just typing this makes me kind of want to barf, but it has happened that I’ve walked around with a girly pretty dress cover and felt self-conscious about it. Co-workers have seen it on my desk and laughed derisively. I just want to yell, “It’s a really good story though!!! Really!”
The thing is, I really appreciate fashion. I even have a fashion board on my Pinterest account – though I don’t use it often, but I like to browse through all the clothing and I just WANT ALL THE THINGS. Especially all the things with lace and ribbons. I’m not particularly a girly girl, but when it comes to clothes… I am. I shouldn’t have to feel bad about liking the pretty dress covers – especially because that’s usually far from the ONLY reason I bought the book. It’s just something that catches my attention. I feel like because it’s become such a cover cliché, it’s just got a bad rep. In the end, though, I doubt anyone can really make me feel bad for loving them – they’re just too pretty, so I’m just gonna keep on keepin’ on.