Monday, January 18, 2016

The 20 most controversial magazine covers of 2015

Last year, I wrote about “the 20 most talked-about magazine covers of 2014 (that didn’t feature nudity).”
That article was a mix of controversial covers and significant news-making issues.
This year, I’m splitting that list into two posts: one about the most controversial magazine covers of 2015 and one about the most significant magazine issues of 2015.
I’ll start with the most controversial magazine covers of last year.

InTouch; Jan. 26, 2015

InTouch magazine caused a firestorm when it created a cover that showed what Olympian Bruce Jenner might look like as a woman. At the time, Jenner was rumored to be undergoing a sex change. Ultimately he saved his big reveal for Vanity Fair magazine and a prime-time special on ABC.
(See articles by the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, and ET Online.)

Vanity Fair, July 2015

Bruce Jenner emerged as Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair’s July 2015 issue.
The cover was revealed on June 1.
(See articles by the New York Times, Huffington Post, the Daily Mail and the Hollywood Reporter.)

Cosmopolitan UK, February 2015

To raise awareness about the injustice of honor killings, Cosmopolitan UK created a shocking cover for its February 2015 issue that shows a woman suffocating in plastic.
The cover references the horrific 2004 honor killing of 17-year-old British Pakistani woman Shafilea Ahmed by her Muslim parents, after she refused an arranged marriage.
(See articles by Adweek, Business Insider and Design Taxi.)

Maxim Korea, September 2015

Maxim’s Korean edition caused a stir with its September 2015 issue. It featured actor Byeong-ok Kim smoking a cigarette next to a car along with the headline “The Real Bad Guy.” Sticking out of the car’s trunk are a woman’s bare and bound legs.
Many condemned the cover and inside pictorial as sexualizing violence against women.
(See article by the Huffington Post.)

New York; July 27-Aug. 9, 2015

New York magazine featured 35 of the women accusing comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault on its July 27-Aug. 9, 2015, cover.
(See articles by the Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and the Daily Mail.)

Ebony, November 2015

Ebony magazine featured a shattered portrait of Bill Cosby’s TV family on its cover. The magazine looked at the impact of Cosby’s alleged crimes on African American popular culture.
(See article by the Daily Mail.)

Newsweek; Feb. 6, 2015

Newsweek sparked outrage with its cover showing a woman whose skirt is being lifted by a computer cursor. The illustration was for the magazine’s article “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women.” (See articles by TechCrunch, Huffington Post and another piece by HuffPo.)

Sports Illustrated, Winter 2015

Sports Illustrated got pulses racing with the cover of its 2015 Swimsuit Issue. Some felt model Hannah Davis revealed a little too much as she was pulling down her bikini bottom in the photo.
(See articles by Inquisitr and the Daily Mail.)

Complex, August-September 2015

Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian got people talking with her cover shot on the August-September 2015 issue of Complex magazine. The photo showed off her big booty.
(See three articles by the Daily Mail: one, two and three.)

Rolling Stone; July 16-30, 2015

Rolling Stone got in hot water for putting reality TV star Kim Kardashian (Khloe’s sister) on its July 16-30 cover, instead of a music artist.
Kardashian wore a sea captain’s cap and a nautical striped top that displayed her overflowing bosom. The photo looked like a joke about motor-boating.
Rolling Stone was criticized for its cover choice by singer Sinead O’Connor and the editor of Rolling Stone’s Australian edition.

Interview, Dec. 2015-Jan. 2016

Kylie Jenner, half-sister of Kim and Khloe Kardashian, stoked her own controversy with the Dec.-Jan. cover of Interview magazine.
Able-bodied Jenner posed in a wheelchair for a fashion shoot for the magazine.
(See articles by the Daily Mail and the Huffington Post.)

InStyle, March 2015

InStyle magazine came under fire for its March 2015 cover photo for allegedly lightening the skin color of African American actress Kerry Washington.
(See articles by the Huffington Post, Access Hollywood and Starpulse.)

Education Next, Spring 2015

Conservative-leaning journal Education Next created a stir with the cover of its spring issue, which features an African-American family with a mother holding a baby and a fading image of the father.
(See article by Education Week.)

Philadelphia, October 2015

Philadelphia magazine was criticized for showing a striking lack of diversity on the cover for its education issue in October 2015.
About 52% of the students in Philadelphia’s schools are black, but none of the seven kids on the cover were African American. (Five were white, one Latino and one South Asian.)
(See articles by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and Philadelphia City Paper.)

Mpls. St. Paul, March 2015

Mpls. St. Paul magazine was called sexist for featuring 15 male chefs and no female chefs on its March 2015 cover about the region’s best restaurants.
(See articles by JimRomenesko.com and Mpls. St. Paul magazine.)

Time; March 23, 2015

Time magazine was accused of putting devil horns on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for the cover of its March 23, 2015, issue.
However, Time magazine says it’s faced the horns controversy many times before because of the shape and placement of its nameplate.
(See article by the Huffington Post.)

Maclean’s; Nov. 16, 2015

Canadian magazine Maclean’s took flak for its Nov. 16, 2015, issue and its sympathetic portrayal of a convicted terrorist.
(See article by the Daily Mail.)

Flare, March 2015

Canadian fashion magazine Flare featured five make-up free, unretouched models on its March 2015 cover.
(See article by the Daily Mail.)

GQ, August 2015

Comedian Amy Schumer upset the Walt Disney Co. and some fans with her GQ parody cover which featured her getting frisky with C-3PO and other Star Wars characters.
(See articles by the Daily Mail and Entertainment Weekly.)

Time, Aug. 17, 2015

Time magazine became the butt of a thousand jokes after it released the cover to its Aug. 17, 2015, issue. It featured cover boy Palmer Luckey, inventor of Oculus Rift, prancing midair while wearing his virtual reality goggles.
The Time cover was ridiculed online and quickly became an Internet meme. Even Time joined in on the fun.
(See articles by the Huffington Post and Time.)

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