Top 10: Most Controversial Magazine Covers
In light of recent controversy surrounding the GQ photo shoot featuring highly sexualized photos of the Glee cast, we take a look back at 10 of the most talked about magazine images in the last 30 years.
Click ahead for the list.
10. Glee Cast, Rolling Stone (2010), and GQ (2010) The controversy surrounds the cast, all well over the age of 20, posing provocatively in character as the high-school teens they play on television.
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9. Tiger Woods, Vanity Fair (2010) The Annie Leibowitz photos taken prior to shocking revelations on Wood's sexual prowess show dark, brooding, primal masculinity--a direct contrast with Tiger's squeaky-clean, pre-scandal prep school image.
8. Britney Spears, Rolling Stone (1999) The coquettish image of a sexy Spears was the first in a long line of controversy that had American moms questioning what kind of role model the former Mouseketeer was for young girls.
7. Kanye West, Rolling Stone (2006) The Rolling Stone cover of Kanye wearing Christ's thorny crown of persecution is actually a reference to a 1967 Esquire depiction of Muhammad Ali. Many in the general public viewed the image as a representation of the rapper's over the top ego, while religious groups labeled it blasphemous.
6. Demi Moore, Vanity Fair (1991), (1992) The Annie Leibowitz cover of a very pregnant, very naked Demi Moore was called "shameful" and "disguting". Some retailers refused to sell the issue while others covered Moore's nudity with a paper bag. Moore's salute to motherhood has since been satirized and replicated countless times. The following year Moore and Leibowitz collaborated again, with Moore wearing nothing more than her "birthday suit" and a coat of paint.
5. The Dixie Chicks, Entertainment Weekly (2003) The trio's outspoken opposition of President George W. Bush led to death threats and canceled gigs. This Entertainment Weekly cover depicts the danger of opposing thought in post-9/11 America with allegations against the country-music group branded directly onto their naked skin.
4. Ellen DeGeneres, Time (1997) The entertainment industry has come a long way since DeGeneres's landmark "Yep. I'm Gay" cover in 1997. The star's sitcom was cancelled not long after the actress came out as a lesbian.
3. Miley Cyrus, Vanity Fair(2009)Annie Leibowitz's Lolita-esque pictures of an underage Cyrus, wrapped only in a sheet with red stained lips, incited rage among parents of the pop star's young fans.
3. The Obamas, The New Yorker (2008) New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt's cover drew criticism from both McCain and Obama camps during the 2008 election as the image, meant to satirize allegations being hurled at the candidate, only fueled the fire of misinformation surrounding the future president.
2. Michael Jackson, OK! (2009) In the photo on the 2009 cover of OK! Magazine, Michael Jackson isn't dying--he's dead. The magazine, released shortly after the pop icon's death on June 25, 2009 outraged fans and sparked debate over a celebrity's right to privacy from the ever-present paparazzi. Editorial director Sarah Ivens defended the cover, saying that the decision was made in order to stand out from all the tribute covers that were dominating the stands that week. Not much of a defense or an apology.
1. John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Rolling Stone (1980) This cover was named the "Most Popular Magazine Cover of the Past 40 years" by the American Society of Magazine Publishers. Annie Lebowitz shot the timeless image just hours before the legendary Beatle, appearing nude and in the fetal position with his fully-clothed wife, was killed in New York City.
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