Holly Williams for Art-Sheep
Traditionally, the front page of a magazine is supposed to be eye-catching, powerful, intriguing, in other words, something that induces the audience to open the issue without a second thought. What happens, though, when magazine covers go too far? What happens when, from powerful and “ a little exciting” they become downright provoking? Below, we have 10 of those magazine covers, that have-for one reason or another-shocked the masses.
1. This LIFE magazine’s cover from 1965 showing the brutal truth of the Vietnam war had lead to an uproar amongst the readers.
2. In this case, what is controversial about the cover at hand is not its selection by Time magazine, as the mugshot of O.J. Simpson was all over the media at the time, rather than the image’s obvious modification, making Simpson look darker-skinned, menacing and more guilty-looking, accusations that the magazine has denied.
3. Now, a pop idol in lingerie is no unusual sight on the front cover of a magazine, especially if the magazine in question is Rolling Stone. Imagine, however, that in this 1999 issue pop star Britney Spears was only 17 years old. What do you think about that?
4. It is perhaps less understandable in 2015, why a very naked and very pregnant Demi Moore in Vanity Fair‘s front page might shock as it did back in 1991, but imagine that after Moore’s much discussed cover, a lot of other celebrities have followed in her footsteps, thus making the whole thing quite commonplace by now.
5. Edward Snowden, the American computer professional who leaked classified NSA information to the media is portrayed in this cover, patriotically clutching the American flag to his chest, something that has outraged his accusers and even perturbed his supporters.
6. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two bombers of the 2013 Boston Marathon was on the front page of Rolling Stone, causing boundless indignation, as many thought his prominent display heroized rather than condemned him.
7. In 1973 humor magazine National Lampoon‘s cover “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill this Dog” has caused havoc among animal rights groups, though obviously meant as a joke.
8. This 1978 cover created by Larry Flynt for Hustler, was targeted at those who often expressed the opinion that Hustler and similar magazines objectified women, portraying them as “pieces of meat”. Well, you can see for yourselves how literally Flynt interpreted those allegations.
9. A 2008 issue of New Yorker, not only portrayed Barack Obama dressed similarly to Osama Bin Laden, but has also exaggerated stereotypical features on the current 1st lady, at a time when Obama was running for president. The magazine’s response was that their cover was a parody of the media’s portrayal of the couple.
10. Time‘s 1938 ‘Man of the Year”. On the cover: Adolf Hitler. Need we say more?