Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is this appropriate?

Has anyone heard about this? It's an article that was in the June 16th issue of Stars and Stripes. I belong to an Army Wives Forum and this is currently being debated. What are your opinions on this?

Military spouse surprised by threats and vandalism over calendar
By Seth Robson, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Monday, June 16, 2007

KATTERBACH, Germany — An Army spouse says her attempt to boost troops’ morale with a sexy, military-themed calendar has made her a target of threats, abuse and vandalism that she blames on jealous wives.

Alessandra Bosco, who’s married to Sgt. 1st Class Edward McCoy of the Katterbach-based 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, is selling a 2009 calendar that includes 12 photographs of her wearing a mixture of lingerie and military items.

The 32-year-old Italian has been a bikini model for 10 years and says she never had a problem with Army spouses before she came to Katterbach last year. But since then she has been the target of gossip, hurtful looks and negative comments from wives waiting at home while their husbands serve with the aviation unit in Iraq, she said.

"As soon as they found out that I liked to take pictures it was a problem. It’s a lot worse since the calendar," she said.

The other wives, some married to high-ranking soldiers based in Katterbach, want her removed from the community, Bosco said.

"I’m a symbol that makes them feel self-conscious if they are overweight or don’t have a job that brings them in the spotlight," she said.

After a story about the calendar appeared in Stars and Stripes last month, Bosco said she found threats posted on her Web page — www.alessandrabosco.com — and that she was awakened in the night by women banging on her front door and yelling abuse. Her husband’s car, a distinctive blue Chevrolet that sports an Italian flag, has been vandalized several times with side mirrors snapped off, keys dragged across the doors and the windshield smashed, she said.

These reactions are in stark contrast to those of soldiers who have deluged her Web site with supportive messages. A typical message from a 12th CAB soldier deployed to Iraq reads: "If only the wives knew how many of their husbands in 12th CAB have already bought your calendar they would explode with anger. The guys in my unit cannot wait to get their hands on your calendar (remember I asked for an autographed calendar). Can you please be at our welcome home ceremony?"

Her calendar has also been the subject of an exchange of letters — pro and con — on Stripes’ Letters to the Editor page.

Katterbach, where the somewhat-austere U.S. facilities are sandwiched into a cramped mess of rusty old German buildings, does not, at first sight, appear to be the natural environment for the glamorous lifestyle that Bosco aspires to. During an interview last week at the post exchange, she stood out from the shoppers in T-shirts and jeans in her tight black blouse.

Her husband, who stands well over 6 feet with a physique that suggests long hours in the gym, also cuts a memorable figure.

The veteran of deployments to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, who works as the 12th CAB operations sergeant major, said Army leaders have told him his wife is a disgrace.

"I’ve never been in this situation but I’ve been told my career is on the line," he said. "I’m probably going to be relocated because my wife is a disruption to the community and it is affecting wives’ morale and they can’t have that in [the 12th CAB] rear detachment at this point."

McCoy said leaders at Katterbach launched an investigation into Bosco’s behavior, something he characterizes as a witch hunt designed to dig up dirt on his wife.

The couple has also been barred from appearing in the local command publication, The Bavarian News.

In an e-mail to McCoy, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander Lt. Col. Tammy McKenna wrote: "Bottom-line: USAG Ansbach will not be submitting any stories on you or your wife to the Bavarian News or any other media. You can include this comment in your next interview."

A USAG Ansbach spokesman said Bosco cannot appear in the Bavarian News, although she was interviewed by a garrison reporter earlier this year, is because command publications cannot do stories on for-profit ventures by Army spouses.

The irony of a bikini calendar generating so much controversy when thousands of adult magazines are sold by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service has not escaped McCoy.

"Downrange it is pornography with a capital P," he said. "There is hard-core pornography everywhere and nobody cares. Every soldier could back me up, but they don’t want their wives to know that and the Army doesn’t want the public to know that."

The problem is that Bosco is living in the community, he said.

"One wife said: ‘If my husband is in love with Angelina Jolie I don’t care, but if he is in love with Alessandra Bosco then I have a problem because she is in my community,’ " she said.

Here is my opinion. I may sound old-school saying this, but she is a Sergeant's wife. She is supposed to be an example in my opinion. Selling a calendar of yourself to men who are in your husband's line of work to me is just unacceptable. I realize her job is a bikini model, but why stir up a bunch of hard feelings because you are marketing it to soldiers, married or single? I do feel that the acts of vandalism against her or hateful messages aren't right, but I can understand why as a wife of someone who is in her husband's platoon/company you wouldn't want her selling racy photos of herself. Maybe I have a double standard, but a calendar of a celebrity is one thing, she's unreachable, unattainable, but a calendar of someone you see in real life? I just think it causes too many problems. I also don't agree with the fact that she says the wives are jealous because they are overweight. That's a big generalization to assume that wives are jealous simply because she is in good shape. I for one, think that I look good and I don't have a problem with anything but her crossing the line on this issue. To me personally, it is not a jealousy issue. It is a respect of others issue.

So what are your thoughts?


Lindsay aka Corn said...

Would I want *R* to have her calender hanging up in our bedroom? Heck no.

I don't personally agree with it, but I believe she has the right to do it.

If she and her husband have decided that they are okay with it, then who gives anyone the right to sensor her? Her husband fights for free speech,and just like moronic hippies have the right to protest the war, she has the right to strip down to her skivvies to support it.

Like I said, *R* would certainly be sleeping on the couch if he brought one home though!

Lindsay aka Corn said...

oops forgot this part:

I agree with you that it's completely inappropriate!

New Girl on Post said...

I do agree with you that she has the right to do it and she and her husband seem to have no problem with her doing this. I just have to wonder why she would think there would be no hard feelings or backlash for the calendar?

Katie said...

I can certainly understand why so many women have been upset with her but there is no need to harass the woman. She's just gone too far in my opinion. Sure she's a model so she just sees this as another calendar but one that has more of a close to home meaning for her, but I don't agree with it at all.

First off, why in the world would her husband want his peers and fellow soldiers looking at pictures of his wife? E would NEVER want other men looking at me in a calendar if I was in skimpy clothes regardless if I was a model or not.

Second I think it's disrespectful of her. How would she feel if she wasn't a model and some woman was out there making calendars to raise the spirits of the troops? I don't think a skimpy clothed calendar could really raise their spirits, it'll raise something else though. I bet she even makes the troops pay for the calendar. Sweet lady, let's make a profit off of this, that's really helping them.

Keep your clothes on, keep your calendars for your own husband, and let us lift the spirits of our husbands if we want to lift them the way you are trying to. haha :)

New Girl on Post said...

I completley agree with you Katie. I think you summed it up perfectly with this line, "Keep your clothes on, keep your calendars for your own husband, and let us lift the spirits of our husbands if we want to lift them the way you are trying to. haha :)"

Megan said...

what a strange situation

you made great points (that i was thinking too)

and the models comments about the wives were just so out of line! she sounds very intelligent..that that's the best defense she could come up with. calling women fat. nice.


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the student said...

I mean, if she wants to take sexy pictures for her husband, good for them.

But, even in the civilian world...picture your husband as an accountant. Would you/he want his entire office looking at naked pictures of you to boost their "Accounting morale"? Uhhh no. Just because pornography is somewhat more accepted in the army because it is such a male dominated career, does not make this any more appropriate or acceptable. As a leader, he IS held to a different standard and unfortunately for this woman, so is his wife. They are supposed to be role models and mentors, not the laughingstock of the army. How embarrassing for them.

Short answer: yes, this is completely inappropriate, regardless of whether anyone thinks porn is okay or not.

Caitlin said...

I'm kind of conflicted. I mean I hate how b*tchy and evil SOME Army wives can be (I think that some women in large groups anywhere can turn that evil) and I think their behavior was absurd to her. I would certainly not want PB looking at that calendar...I don't mind him looking at porn, especially if he's overseas, but it's a little weirder when it's someone you're going to FRG meetings with you know?

I'm not being clear. I'm very conflicted on it...the whole vandalism/abuse/threats is stupid but I'm also not a huge fan of women selling their bodies as objects for the pleasure of men. So...I don't know. PB and I are discussing it. :)

Maggii said...

I think the wives are overreacting ..I understand they don't like it and don't want their husbands buying her calender and I think it was probably an innapropriate thing for her to do....but....that does not make any of what these wives and people are doing to her an her husband acceptable...

I mean, hey...I didn't really appreciate seeing the pics of hubbie's bunkmate's wife in garters, plastered all over their stateroom....but I didn't go into a jealous rage and start attacking her...or ostracizing her.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I think the treatment she and her husband are receiving is wrong. That shows lack of respect on both ends... lack of self-respect for the one dishing it out and plain 'ol respect for another human being, for the woman receiving it.

I do disagree with what she did, though like someone said in the comments - it is her right. I guess I think it's rather gross. I mean, how does she feel knowing men she and her husband know have been thinking sexual thoughts about her... YUCK! And her husband... where is the protection for her modesty and preservation of the intimacy of marriage?