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Top 10 Sexy (or Sexist?!) Magazine Covers

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Do you have issues? Some people do when it comes to how women are portrayed in magazines. You make the call -- are these periodical covers sexy or sexist?

Top 10 Sexy (or Sexist) Magazine Covers

Sarah Palin's Leg Show

The former vice-presidential candidate isn't too happy about Newsweek "going rogue" by putting a picture of her, originally used for Runners World, on its November 23rd cover. Palin herself voiced her disapproval, criticizing the news magazine's choice as "out-of-context" and "sexist." Newsweek editor Jon Meacham defended his decision, saying it was "simply the most interesting image available."

Um, and he likes to sell magazines.

Bump and Grind(er)

In 1978, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, responded to claims that his magazine wassexist, demeaning, and misogynist by publishing a sexist, demeaning, and misogynistic image of a woman being put through a meat grinder. That'll show 'em.

Razor Sharp Gender Bender

Years before Ellen came out with her "Yep, I'm Gay" on the cover of Time Magazine, Cindy Crawford lathered up lesbian country songstress K.D. Lang (in "drag") on the 1993 cover of Vanity Fair.

A Pregnant Cougar

Belly shots -- not the alcoholic kind -- have become a big yawn, thanks to Demi Moore's very pregnant and naked photo shoot for the 1991 cover of Vanity Fair. These days, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a pregnant celeb bearing their bump for the camera.

Playboy Gets the Diversity Memo

The only controversy here is how looooong it took Playboy to realize that as long as it published naked skin, it hardly mattered what color it was. Darine Stern became the first African-American model to appear on the cover of the popular men's mag in 1971 -- a full 18 years after its first publication.

Oprah Had Her Body Cut Off

What do Ann-Margret and Oprah Winfrey have in common? Not much, really. Except on the 1989 TV Guide cover, when they both shared Ann's body. The photo mash-up was the predecessor for all Photoshop disasters to come.

Naked Chicks

The Dixie Chicks appear sans clothing on the cover of Entertainment Weekly -- no biggie really, except the country trio used their bods as a sounding board for their political views. Would they have stirred as much controversy if they had used plain old posterboard?

Human Hand Halter Top

Her famous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction was 11 years away when, in 1993, Janet Jackson appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with some unidentified guy's hands standing in for a shirt. How much does THAT gig pay?

Expressing Yourself with Milk

Semi-bare breasts had been displayed, without real purpose, on magazine covers for years -- but when a real working breast appeared on Babytalk Magazine in 1996, the editor got over 700 complaints. That's a lot of boobs.


It had to happen. On the heels of Jennifer Aniston's strategically nude appearance in GQ, Sacha Baron Cohen, as his alter ego Brüno, stripped down and appeared on the January 2009 cover. Sexy, no?

next: Kiss, Let's Do Lunch: The Frenemy Pandemic
21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Molly November 18, 2009, 8:06 PM

I can see both sides of it. On the one side, I hate Sarah Palin, but on the other, yeah, it was probably the least professional photo they could have chosen of her, and a dirty tactic to say the least.

But I’ll bet you anything she wasn’t held at gunpoint when it was taken, and she showed poor judgment when she posed for it. Running magazine or not, if you’re a professional politician and want to be taken seriously, there are certain things you shouldn’t do. Its not like they used a photo of her actually running that was shot by a tabloid photographer or shot without her permission. She knew about it and approved it for use. It’s not necessarily fair, but it’s life. It’s no different than when they use Lindsay Lohan’s mugshot in totally unrelated articles about her.

Now, if she wants this sort of thing to stop she could always just get out of the public eye forever. I’m a republican and I personally hate the b***ch.

Monica November 18, 2009, 11:16 PM

Bruno is obviously the best.

Anonymous November 19, 2009, 1:14 AM

Why does anyone hate Sarah Palin? She was thrown to the wolves from day one - Definitely, a DOUBLE DOUBLE standard on how they treat her vs let’s say a John Edwards or any other male politician. I am shocked at how women treat her. David Letterman came off as a saint when he ruthlessly attacked not only her but her family. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. Leave her family alone. If you don’t like her…that’s one thing…but how would you feel it the press attacked your kids and your family and said horrible things about them all the time? It horrifying to see the press dragged her family through the mud. DIsgusting!

Proud Democrat November 19, 2009, 4:41 AM

I disagree with most, if not all of Sarah Palin’s political views; in fact I am a proud Democrat, but I absolutely detest Newsweek for sinking to a new low and using this photo. She posed for Running magazine. The editor of Newsweek clearly just wants to sell magazines. I do not agree with much or any of Sarah Palin’s political views, but I respect her as a woman and a mother. Newsweek is out of line. She was treated unfairly.

chris November 19, 2009, 5:18 AM

Once again, I am reminder of why it is so hard for us as women to have real friendships with other women. As a woman myself (rather I like sarah palin or not) I am proud to see a woman reach the heights of political level that she has. I don’t understand why we try to tear her down so much. So she made a few stupid comments while she was on the media circuit but it certainly doesn’t mean that she is stupid. Why don’t we hold the men to the same high standards? Have you heard Joe Biden talk…that man is not too bright either! And how many of them have cheated on their spouses, cheated on their taxes, taken money as bribes and so on and yet we continue to support and re-elected such people to represent us. As I said, rather you like her or not you should be ashamed of yourself (especially if you are a feminist) to degrade another women who just trying her best to open up the world of politics for other women.

Jens November 12, 2010, 10:41 PM

The hustler one is pretty sexy and wild lol. My friend from a free cam chat site I hang out on, says she was offered that shoot but turned it down.

Emely Waskow December 21, 2010, 4:45 AM

On the one hand it is seems so

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