Top 10 Controversial Magazine Covers

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Updated on 20 Jun, 2018 at 6:01 pm

This page attaches top ten magazine covers that have invoked controversy through a long time.

10. New York Magazine, March 24, 2008:

This picture of Eliot Spitzer (Governor of New York) was footnoted by Barbara Kruger when shocking story of his involvement in prostitution racket was exploded. Notable to publish controversial covers, this edition of New York Magazine certainly raised the sensation between readers.

9. Esquire, April 1968:

This cover page was designed by the art director of Esquire magazine, George Lois. Depicting Ali as St. Sebastian who was shot with arrows for his unshakable religious faiths, this picture was published to defend Muhammad Ali who had denied to join the U.S. Army due to his religious beliefs.

8. Baby Talk, August 2006:

Wondering what the big deal is? But this edition of Baby Talk magazine depicting a breastfeeding baby germinated a global outcry with mixed reactions. A smiling baby and an eyeshot of a part of woman’s breast……C’mon! Stop the fuss, it’s an average amount which you often see on beach.

7. The New Yorker, July 21, 2008:

Exotic and conspiratorial clasp! Barry Blitt, cartoonist of The New Yorker magazine was knocked heavily for his portrayal in which Barack Obama was attired in Muslim outfits and was shaking hand with his wife Michelle, wearing a Somali robe with Ak-47 and ammo-belt hanging over her shoulder.

6. The Economist, September 10, 1994:

The camel humping issue! Titled as “The Trouble With Mergers”, this controversial cover of The Economist was published only in its North American edition. However, it grabbed the international attention by showing two camels mating.

5. The Nation, November 13, 2000:

Journalistic even-handed approach! This edition was released just one week after the presidential elections in the United States. This cover page was designed by Brian Stauffer in which George Bush was depicted as Alfred E. Neuman, the fictional mascot of “Mad” magazine with “What, me worry” attitude.

4. Entertainment weekly, May 2, 2003:

This pretty bad joke was conducted by Dixie Chicks, an American music band comprising Emily Robison, Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines. The band appeared naked for the cover page with slogans printed on their bodies such as “Dixie sluts”, “Saddam’s Angels”, “Traitors”, “Proud Americans” and etc. This act was criticized all over in country and their concerts were boycotted by Americans.

3. Vanity Fair, August 1991:

Demi Moore, the Hollywood sweetheart is credited for starting the “celebrity mums-to-be-bare” craze. This nude picture of Moore was published in the Vanity Fair magazine when she was seven months pregnant with her daughter. This portrayal generated mixed opinions with worldwide sexual objectification.

2. Rolling Stone, December 8, 1980:

This photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono was taken by Annie Leibovitz to promote their album “Double Fantasy” which became the last professional photograph of Lennon (he was shot dead five hours later). The iconic cum controversial image of naked Lennon was listed by the American Society of Magazine Publishers as the most celebrated magazine cover for 40 years.

1. Time, April 8, 1966:

One of the most controversial and burning radical theology of 1960s which ruminated a significant political and cultural change in American society. The debate “Is God Dead” was initiated by some eminent theologians such as Thomas J. J. Altizer, Paul van Buren, William Hamilton and Gabriel Vahanian. Printed with red color against a black background, the cover page drew heavy criticism on global perspective.