Terry Richardson is famous for his strikingly unconventional magazine covers, but recently he may have gone too far. The latest cover of Vogue Hommes International features sexy model Stephanie Seymour being choked by a man using one hand, the other clasping her breast. New York-based domestic violence and advocacy group, National Organization for Women, came forward with an online petition to see the magazine removed from all newsstands. Should we always take Terry Richardson’s work with a pinch of salt or should this magazine be taken off newsstands?
Showing violence against women, or even potential violence against women, as part of the world of fashion and beauty is never good. A high-fashion magazine in essence is glamorous. So when a picture like this suggests violence or the threat of violence, it becomes entangled with the glorification thereof.
Terry Richardson has always pushed the envelope, as we also discussed in our July issue of Marie Claire. Here are just a few of his raciest glossy covers:
Rolling Stone, 21 June 2010
“Lady Gaga Tells All”
This image outraged Gaga’s little monsters and not because she was holding guns, but because she’d repeated an outfit for the first time, taken from the video of her hit track, Alejandro.
Japanese Men’s Vogue, 7 September 2010
‘Gaga: The Naked Truth’
This cover isn’t surprising because Gaga and raw meat are like two peas in a pod. She’s previously worn a meat dress to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. She offended animal rights group PETA, since they claimed that she enjoys sexualising raw meat from a ‘tortured’ animal. Meat or no meat, Gaga is looking sexy.
Rolling Stone, 7 July 2011
‘Katy Perry Turns It Up’
One this cover of Rolling Stone, Katy brought new meaning to the phrase, ‘Got Milk?’ The Fireworks songstress yet again put her chest in the line of fire by decking them out as Hershey’s Kisses. Perry’s perkiness also had her cut from Sesame Street after parents complained that her cleavage was too much for young children.
Candy, 6 October 2011
After James Franco covered Candy magazine, which is dedicated to celebrating transexuality and cross-dressing, it proved that man or woman, Franco is on fire. The cover sports him in cherry red lipstick, bright blue eyeshadow and ornate jewels. Yum.
GQ, 15 August 2012
‘Glee Gone Wild’
In August there was probably no human being on earth angrier than a mother whose daughter was into the hit TV series Glee. On the August issue of GQ magazine are three Glee cast members looking raunchier that college kids at a party. The Parent’s Television Council criticised the racy spread saying, ‘GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualising the actresses who play high-school-aged characters on Glee.’ They went on to add that the cover borders on paedophilia. Of course, GQ pulled its guns out and fired back, stating that all the cast members were over 18 when the cover was shot.