Getting featured on a magazine cover is indeed a mark of success, irrespective of industry. Whether you make it on the Forbes Top 100 magazine cover or just a glam, sham celebrity mag cover, if you are on its glossy top front, you are not to be ignored or put aside or just glanced over!
Trade analysts will tell you that it is the covers that sell the magazines! This is especially so with the sales that come from impulse magazine buyers. So why not, say these magazine editors. Why not go all out and come up with innovative magazine covers that sell a little sex appeal, show a little skin and grab the targeted eyeballs? Here are ten such racy, daring and artistic (if such art appeals to you) that ideally would have been censored in another world (or another country perhaps!).
10 Angelina Jolie Esquire 2004
Angelina Jolie made it to the cover of Esquire’s 2004 magazine, with the tagline of ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’. And for people who did not quite second that opinion poll, photographer James White proceeded to display the sexiest possible side of Angie on its glossy cover; thoroughly wet and in a chainmail swimsuit. Of course the cover was simply a sneak peak, for inside was a full feature and interview that displayed more photos of the damsel in various different states of undress, in an ever increasing degree of wetness. Oh well, at least the sexiest woman definitely appeared to be sexy without having to work too hard on it.
9 Katy Perry Esquire 2010
The August 2010 issue of Esquire (UK edition) did not just make heads turn, but it also set the tills rolling with magazine purchases. On the cover was a sexy, semi nude Katy Perry in all-black holed shorts, black and silver jewelry and long black painted nails. The roaring singer was completely and undeniably topless with just her forearm and her palm giving her some semblance of a modest cover up. Yu Tsai’s photography definitely worked for Katy with her jet-black hair, setting up her porcelain legs and torso beautifully. Not to mention the lacy boots. If anyone ever bothered to look down from the obvious attractions on top, the boots (and legs) were charming too!
8 Cindy Crawford Vanity Fair 2006
Vanity Fair’s 2006 Italian edition had something irresistible for every red-blooded, heterosexual man out there – a suggestive picture of Cindy Crawford. Cindy Crawford was red, hot sexy when she was young and she is still the devil’s own temptation now that she’s older. This cover photo by Mark Liddell would have been completely demure (well, by cover page standards) if it weren't for the invitation pose by Cindy’s posture and expressions. The show of the breasts and thighs just raises the temperature up a few notches.
7 Rihanna 2012 GQ Men Of The Year
Rihanna is almost always over the top with everything that she does and she’s definitely kept it that way with her cover for GQ Mag. RiRi really hit the jackpot with GQ for the Men of the Year edition, for it was the rarest of rare times where a woman was featured on it. To celebrate this occasion, Rihanna went almost completely and boldly nude with just a strategically placed leather jacket on her shoulder, covering some strategic areas of her torso and a pose that allowed an arm to hide the nether regions. The best part of the photo was the tattoos on her side, her wrist and on her chest.
6 Lindsay Lohan 2008 New York
The February 2008 issue of the New York magazine saw Linday Lohan on its cover in a ‘Marilyn Monroe’ style photograph by Bert Stern. Less than a year out of her third rehab stint, Lindsay made it to the magazine stands completely nude behind a thin, translucent triangle of pink chiffon, that has been held on by a dainty bite. Again, the cover was just a trailer, with a whole line of similar photographs gracing the inner features of the magazine. Lindsay seemed to have done a fabulous imitation of Marilyn Monroe’s ‘The Last Sitting’ but for the general crowds, it was little more than ‘here she goes again!’
5 Kim Kardashian 2010 W
Kim Kardashian had already been seen in skimpy bikinis and tighter than tight, mini dresses, so at loss for trying something new, Kim K went ahead with a nude photo-shoot for the W magazine’s Art Issue. Photographer, Mark Seliger worked in collaboration with well-known artist Barbara Kruger to get several nude pics of Kim. The cover photo features a completely nude Kim with just some headlines being placed to hide certain parts. As you flick through the magazine, you see nothing different in the rest of the pics, other than some silver paint trying to make the fact that these are complete nudes an easier fact to digest. No headlines or any other interference came forth for the sake of preserving modesty in these pics, and it would seem the magazine’s ploy to get higher sales had simply worked on this count.
4 Ciara 2008 Vibe
There was a whole lot of controversy on whether the R&B star was truly in au naturel or not, during her photo shoot; but the undeniable fact remains that the 2008 issue of Vibe magazine shows the star in her nude on the cover, as well as in the feature photographs. Although of the star’s private body parts are strategically covered through innovative poses, the star and her cover did certainly get the attention they were trying to garner. It seems that using controversy to create fame and success was still just as alive and kicking at the time of this cover, as it is now.
3 Scarlett Johansson & Keira Knightley Vanity Fair
It was a triple whammy on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood edition in 2006. There was no shortage of star power on the cover and neither was there any shortage of artistic ‘nudity’, if one may say so. The cover has both Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson happily nude, along with art director and designer, Tom Ford in an open-shirted dinner attire. Famous photographer Annie Leibovitz created photographs that not just sizzled on the cover, but sizzled across all media platforms and became the talking point for the magazine. Two gorgeous nude ladies and one smartly dressed man, can the formula ever go wrong?
2 Eva Mendez 2007 Maxim
Maxim’s favorite cover girl came back in February 2007, with a James White photograph that once again, proclaimed her to be drop dead gorgeous. The beautiful lady came all out, showcasing her phenomenal curves, but this time, she also showcased her flexibility in a yoga-like cross leg pose. Completely nude, yet still completely covered in the strategic areas, and brown leather boots finished off the fantasy called Eva. Now here’s one girl that can get hearts racing, even while tricking you into thinking that she’s actually showing more than she really is.
1 Jennifer Aniston GQ 2009
They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and that is just so so true! If Brad Pitt had ever seen this Jennifer Aniston and yet, gone his separate way, well, we’d not be saying it but we’d definitely be thinking it! So yes, Jennifer Aniston was definitely getting hotter and GQ gave her the perfect platform to prove it. Jen not only went completely nude on its cover, with just a striped tie and her own arms to help her with the ‘covering’ bit of things, but she also went vocal about Angelina Jolie for the first time ever! Is it any wonder that the magazine made its millions off it?!
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