Finally! Rolling Stone has put someone on the cover worth seeing naked! The September issue is due to hit stands Aug. 20, and features the stars of the show “True Blood” — Anna Paquin, Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer — completely naked and bloody. There are differing opinions on the cover, of course, but let’s remember one thing – this is Rolling Stone, an edgy pop culture magazine notorious for its covers.
What makes this cover so controversial, though? Nudity? Blood? The cover merely depicts the exact same thing the show does…vampires, blood, and sex. Actually, the cover doesn’t even depict sex. To me, it depicts the natural human form that we all have underneath clothing. Maybe because I am a photographer, I can’t see what is so offensive or controversial about the cover. It’s nothing new, and Rolling Stone isn’t breaking new ground by putting some cast members of a hot television show on the cover of their magazine.
Magazine covers such as this one have been hitting newsstands for years. John Lennon’s nude cover hit the stands one month after his death in December 1980. That was 30 years ago, and it didn’t seem to be such a big deal. In fact, it has been considered the best magazine cover of all time. That wasn’t even the first time he was featured on the cover nude. The magazine’s first anniversary issue featured Lennon and Ono standing with their backs to the camera holding hands. It was their first nude cover, and the first issue that ever sold out. Since then, the magazine has had numerous nude covers come and go without going as viral as the “True Blood” cover.
Some people argue that the cover is too racy to be on display for the general public, but doesn’t the general public have the option to ignore it? Even Sports Illustrated has its annual Swimsuit issue that hits stands every year. There’s never any controversial chatter about that, and those covers not only feature scantily clad women in bathing suits that barely cover anything, but the inside feature is more of the same. You don’t get much more racy than that issue, which is a few pieces of spandex away from being a porn magazine, and you never hear any complaints about the general public being exposed to it.
I’m often left trying to understand the controversy behind certain photos. When Demi Moore was put on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in 1991, some retailers sold it in a brown paper bag as though it was porn. Is it because she was nude, or because she posed nude while she was pregnant? The photo is absolutely beautiful, but so many were offended by it. Again, by this time, Lennon had already been on a cover in the nude twice, and the swimsuit issue had been hitting the stands for who knows how long.
So, while everyone is up in arms over the controversy over the “True Blood” cover on Rolling Stone, they are driving the interest more and more. I’m not sure they realize this, but they have definitely generated my interest in wanting to check out the show and give it a view. All this buzz about a cover and vampire sex has certainly peeked my interest, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is going to check out this hot series, which is in its third season on HBO.