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10 magazine covers that shook the world

Posted by Think Extraordinary on 6:58 AM 0 comments

New Yorker: Barack and Michelle Obama as radicals

Release a magazine cover with a presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in Muslim garb, and adorn his wife in militant underground attire and armed with an AK-47, and there’s sure to be a seismic reaction. And did we mention the burning U.S. flag? When the presidential hopeful happens to be Barack Obama, drawn here on the cover of The New Yorker in the midst of a so-called “terrorist fist jab” with his wife Michelle, attempts at fun-natured satire are sure to be lost on the involved parties.

Time Magazine: Bill Clinton, with horns
Time: Bill Clinton, with horns

It’s an honor to be named Time’s Man of the Year, no doubt. But what, per chance, was Time trying to tell us by framing President Clinton in front of the letter ‘M’? Are those devil horns, or just the tips of an ordinary, harmless and completely innocent consonant? The picture at the left isn’t the offending photo , but the effect is the same.

Gisele Bündchen and LeBron James
Vogue: Gisele Bündchen and LeBron James

Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz again incited hysterical reactions when she photographed Gisele Bündchen and LeBron James for the April 2008 cover of Vogue. The issue marked the first time a black man had graced the cover of the magazine. But the stark juxtaposition of the two caused a stir, with one critic on concluding, “Vogue’s quest to highlight the differences between superstar athletes and supermodels only successfully reinforces the animalistic stereotypes frequently associated with black athletes.”

OJ Simpson, Time
Time: O.J. Simpson, digitally enhanced

Shortly after the arrest of O.J. Simpson in 1994, Newsweek and Time ran photos of his original police mug shot. The one on the cover of Time, however, was altered to look a bit darker than the original police photograph. Newsweek ran the shot untouched. Heated discussions about race in America quickly followed.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Rolling Stone: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s nude embrace

Photographer Annie Leibovitz has said the original concept for the now legendary John Lennon and Yoko Ono Rolling Stone cover was for both to appear nude, designed to mark the release of their album “Double Fantasy.” As legend has it, Lennon was game, shedding his clothes quickly, but Ono felt uncomfortable. Leibovitz recalled for Rolling Stone: “I was kinda disappointed, and I said, ‘Just leave everything on.’ We took one Polaroid, and the three of us knew it was profound right away.” That same night, Dec. 8, 1980, he was shot and killed by a fan in front of his Manhattan apartment.

Vanity Fair: Demi Moore poses nude while pregnant
Vanity Fair: Demi Moore poses nude while pregnant, and earlier with paint

It was the photo that spawned all manner of celebrity mom to bare all along with their bellies, among them Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. “It did seem to give a little bit more permission to feel sexy, attractive when you’re pregnant,” Moore told V Magazine. “But I really didn’t expect for the response to be what it was. I was pretty shocked.” At the time, some retailers were so taken aback by the shot that they sold the issue in a brown paper bag as if it were an adult title like Playboy.

One year later, Demi returned to the cover of Vanity Fair to commemorate her pregnant nude shot. This time, she appeared with a men’s suit painted on her body.

Entertainment Weekly: ‘Twilight’ vampire not hot-blooded enough

When author Stephenie Meyer wrote that “Twilight” hero Edward, the 17-going-on-108-year-old vampire, is supposed to be dazzlingly, blindingly beautiful, we’re pretty sure she didn’t mean in a rosy-lipped female kind of way. Pity then poor Robert Pattison, an actor whose one only claim to fame thus far is his small role as Harry Potter rival Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” The backlash was immediate. Once posted an early preview of the cover, the site attracted hundreds of comments including this one from a poster identified as “Horrified”: “Edward looks like a ZOMBIE. The stylists and photographer obviously had no idea who the characters are…he looks like a hairy, powdered donut.”

Entertainment Weekly: Dixie Chicks get ink’d up with neo-conservative slogans
Entertainment Weekly: Dixie Chicks get inked up with neoconservative slogans

When Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told a concert crowd in 2003 that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas,” the comment cost the group half of their concert audience attendance in the United States. “At that moment, on the eve of war, I had a lot of questions that I felt were unanswered,” Maines told ABC. “The wording I used, the way I said it, that was disrespectful…Am I sorry that I asked questions and that I don’t just follow? No.” Despite little radio play leading up to the release of “Taking the Long Way,” the disc landed at No. 1 atop Billboard, going gold in its first week.

Time: magazine asks ‘Is God Dead?’

When Time posed the question on its cover in 1966, it was the first time the magazine had ever used just type on its cover without an associated photo. The story, which concluded that religion was dead, included the opinions of Christian theologians including Gabriel Vahanian, whose book “The Death of God” helped spark the radical movement. It received heavy backlash from readers and Vahanian’s movement slowly faded away.

Rolling Stone: The Passion of Kanye West

Never one to shy away from an attention-grabbing gambit, superstar rapper Kanye West graced the cover of Rolling Stone just weeks before the Grammy Awards, complete with a crown of thorns and bloody, Christ-like wounds. Even for a man who comes blessed with one large egosaurus, was comparing himself to Jesus too much? Conservative and Christian groups thought so, but when all was said and done, the world was ready to forgive and forget when West unveiled a new album and some nifty glow-in-the-dark tour effects.

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