If you've read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, you'll know it's dark. It's beautifully poignant, meaningful and painful. If you haven't read the book, the best bit of insight I can offer is that it was published a month before Plath committed suicide.
This year publisher Faber has designed the book's 50th anniversary edition cover, and the backlash has already begun. It's been accused of marketing the book as 'chic lit' - completely missing the point of the story.
The Bell Jar is an account of depression. It's about a girl who is limited by her gender, and the expectations society puts on her as a women of the 1950's. The pink cover shows a woman fixing her make-up, looking into a compact mirror - which could be easily interpretted as the antithesis of the book's underlying message. She looks like she's about to embark upon a lovely shopping trip and romantic excursion.
Occasionally, things like this happen and the backlash is a little unjustified. It's safe to say that some of the time, some of us just have too much time on our hands. But this time I have to disagree. I've almost come around the sponsored tweets on my Twitter feed. But this utterly brainless, absolutely idiotic move, and for what, a few more sales? What a banal, lackluster marketing technique. Just because the book is about a woman does not justify a pink cover, a compact mirror and lipstick.
As a mental health writer I do feel that, whilst this isn't a direct attack on depression, it is ignorant - and that's definitely a part of the bigger problem. In a world where e-book readers are set to close down bookshops, publishers can't afford to make such hideous mistakes. Some poor chick-lit fans are about to get a nasty surprise....