If you want to bring attention to an issue or cause affecting our community, the most effective way is to “break the internet.” Magazines specifically have been the catalyst for this new trend, using their advertising power and publicity to make statements on our society. These magazine covers hugely influenced culture, inspiring questions and discussions about a myriad of issues like race, feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, war, poverty, and more.
Here’s a look at ten of the most iconic magazine covers that have created waves in our culture, and challenged our thoughts in the most innovative way.
1. Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, New York Magazine
This 2015 cover of New York Magazine is one of the most powerful magazine covers of the year. 35 of the 46 women who are Bill Cosby’s alleged rape victims sit side by side dressed in black, creating a striking and memorable image that tackles the issues of rape head on. What’s so powerful about this cover is that it places issues of sexual assault at the forefront, giving voices to the women who have been silenced and shamed for decades, and telling them they have power. It represents an issue in our society that needs to be changed.
2. Ellen Degeneres, Time Magazine
Back in 1997, this cover of Time magazine was one of their most shocking to date, as Ellen DeGeneres exclusively came out to the world. The cover was the first time that a popular entertainer had come out in such a public fashion, and influenced many who would later on use magazines as a platform to inspire others with their stories, from Lance Bass to Ricky Martin.
Coming out on a magazine cover in the late 90s was a much bigger deal than it is now. Coming out in such a public fashion pushed gay issues at the center of culture, forcing many to rethink prejudices and to become involved in a dialogue many didn’t fully understand.
3. Angela Lansbury, The Gentlewoman
In an industry obsessed with youth, especially regarding women, this refreshing cover featuring legendary actress Angela Lansbury provided an alternative look at publications that choose to represent women of various ages. The powder pink cover and Lansbury’s straight-on gaze provided a playful touch, showcasing a magazine cover that wasn’t for the male gaze, and offered an alternative look at a women’s magazine. It’s an incredibly powerful cover.
4. Caitlyn Jenner, Vanity Fair
Caitlyn Jenner’s cover of Vanity Fair proved that magazines still have the power to shock the masses, and that’s exactly what Vanity Fair did when unveiling Caitlyn to the world. Referencing the infamous Marilyn Monroe, this cover was trailblazing for the transsexual community, opening them up to a larger public presence than ever before.
5. Are you mom enough?, Time Magazine
This cover created a lot of controversy when it was released in 2012, with the topic of “attachment parenting” and what age it’s acceptable to continue breastfeeding your child. The photo, which featured 26-year-old Jamie Lynne Grumet nursing her 3-year-old son, is still debated today, as breastfeeding remains a touchy topic for many. [...]
Cara Delevingne opens up her 22-year old soul in this month’s issue of Vogue. The issue hits your supermarket aisles on June 23rd and you’ll get so much information about Delevingne. Is it helpful info? Will you ever need to break it out at a dinner party? Ha…just guess.
First off, Delevingne doesn’t consider herself a model. She’s a thespian (a lesbian thespian which she talks about later).
“The thrill of acting is making a character real. Modeling is the opposite of real. It’s being fake in front of the camera.”
What about her diet? So glad you asked. Even at 20, Mickey D’s and booze started showing up on her body, so she had to cut it out.
“I’m not allowed to drink. I’m not allowed good food,” she says. “After turning 20 and eating McDonald’s all the time and drinking too much, it started to show on my stomach and on my face. But I’m playing a homicidal witch, so I need to look ripped.”
Vogue pretty gives her one huge handjob throughout the article. It’s like she shits out gold.
Far from a rare orchid that wilts in the breath of more noxious air, Cara, simmering with life on the runway, boils over with life off it. She has been called the next Kate Moss, but the similarities begin and end at their shortish stature (for their profession, that is: both are five-eight), English background, and penchant for late nights.
Rare orchid you say. Huh, here we thought she was just a model.
Is she retarded? Do you mean in the clinical sense? Then no.
She suffered from dyspraxia, a problem with coordinating her thoughts and movements.
Hard to be a model if you can’t coordinate movements and thoughts. “Right foot, left foot, right left foot, pout. Right foot, left foot…”
Delevingne also went through depression as a kid. Oh wow, you mean like EVERY OTHER TEENAGER IN THE WORLD??
But at fifteen, she fell into an emotional morass. “This is something I haven’t been open about, but it’s a huge part of who I am,” she says. “All of a sudden I was hit with a massive wave of depression and anxiety and self-hatred, where the feelings were so painful that I would slam my head against a tree to try to knock myself out. I never cut, but I’d scratch myself to the point of bleeding. I just wanted to dematerialize and have someone sweep me away.”
She also indirectly offers tips to straight guys looking to get girls.
“The first time I walked into Burberry,” she recalls, “the woman just said, ‘Turn around, go away.’ And all the test shoots with the pervy men. Never trust a straight photographer at a test shoot.”
So that whole photographer shooting hot girls thing, yea, there’s truth to it. Now, where’s my camera…
Outkast saved her life.
At a low point, alone in a New York apartment, she came close to attempting suicide. “Full-on bubble. I was packing my bags, and suddenly I just wanted to end it. I had a way, and it was right there in front of me. And I was like, I need to decide whether I love myself as much as I love the idea of death.” And then a song started playing on her laptop, Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” which had been played at the funeral of a friend who had recently died of a heroin overdose. “It felt like a warning from him. And it made me so furious with myself.”
This song saved her life. Umm…ok.
She’s also into girls. For now.
Cara says she felt confused by her sexuality as a child, and the possibility of being gay frightened her. “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it,” she explains. “But I have erotic dreams only about men. I had one two nights ago where I went up to a guy in the back of a VW minivan, with a bunch of his friends around him, and pretty much jumped him.”
What we’ve learned is that models think they’re more important than they really are.