I don't know if Jezebel's Disney Dude's Dick Pics was a smash hit with its intended audience, given that I'm not 100% of Jezebel's regular readership. I do know that some readers seem to find both the pics and perhaps the very concept a bit too much on the disturbing side. Me, personally, I don't find any offense at it at all. Yes, I did read and scrolled through the entire thing. No, my eyes didn't melt out of my sockets. Nor was I really compelled to click on it because it was obviously "clickbait-y." I read the article because I thought the headline seemed legitimately interesting, if not a little on the weird side (then again a good headline always is). It was a cute article about someone's interpretation of Disney princes nude - and that was pretty much it. It was kind of a quaint article and I can't say I regret scrolling through it. Some readers seemed to have a bit of a strong reaction to it, to the point where I feel justified in outlining a few thoughts on why I think it's appropriate FP material.
Nobody Said FP Material Had to be Work-Safe
Maybe we're a bit spoiled on Jalopnik because it's not every day NSFW material shows up on the front page, and when it does, we get ample warning that our work filters won't be too happy about the content inside with either a cleaned-up or censored pic or some other replacement to serve as the topshot with a great big jump in between. The Jezebel article doesn't exactly have an explicit NSFW header - but c'mon, it more or less tells you right in the title regardless. I have to admit, maybe that big, burly pube-nest on that massive acreage barrel chest Gaston is sporting there is a bit disturbing, but it's not like it shows up on the little headline carousel anyway.
At the very least it certainly makes for a dramatic topshot.
It's Gender-Flipped from What Other Gawker Blogs Have Done
Disney Princesses (or reinterpretations of them) are a semi-regular news feature on iO9, whenever someone comes up with yet another reinterpretation of them (which apparently is pretty often). As Tracie Egan Morrissey points out, the Princes don't get much attention, so when they do, it's something worth Jezebel picking up on.
It's legitimate to Jezebel's Mission Statement
The examination of that gender representation discrepancy and what it reflects is precisely what Jezebel was set up to deliver along with what the nature of that portrayal is and what it's aiming to do. It may sound like a lot of redundancy is in that statement, but each and every thing I listed is a distinct form - not just what kind of cultural norms are reflected on the art, but what the art reflects back on those cultural norms.
It Got the Conversation Going
Of course it's hard to judge how art is meant to reflect back on culture without a dialogue going, and I'd say, it definitely achieved that. Yes, you can have useful, intellectual discussion about the size of Gaston's penis and what it reflects. It's actually quite multi-tiered: how people see men who try to overcompensate by acting like boneheaded, testosterone-overfueled bros; what kind of messages that kind of character traditionally represents and what it represents in today's culture; how changing attitudes about men and women have shaped and reshaped external appearance and perception, and etc.
That's exactly the goal of what Jezebel is trying to do not only with Disney Dick Pics but with everything else it's trying to do. Not everything their contributors write has to be agreed upon, but everything their contributors write has at least a pool of readers who agree with it, who find important discussion within it, and why it matters to them and effects their lives. Disney Dick Pics does bring some interesting discussion to the table, while being at least a little lighthearted at the same time.