Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover joins these other ‘culture busters’


A journalist looks at Vanity Fair’s Twitter site about Caitlyn Jenner, who will be featured on the July cover of the magazine.

(Mladen Antonov / Getty Images)

Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover joins a long tradition of striking magazine covers for personal, revealing stories that challenge societal norms.

The July cover, introducing the former Olympian and reality show star’s female identity, made “Caitlyn Jenner” the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter throughout the day.

The odds seem good that the image, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, will join these other iconic magazine covers that confidently put somewhat-taboo topics front and center.

A pregnant Demi Moore poses for Vanity Fair, August 1991

Also featuring a photograph by Leibovitz, this cover image made headlines for showing off -- even glamorizing -- Moore's heavily pregnant body. It was condemned by some for its inappropriateness and celebrated by others for its beauty. Calling it an "instant culture buster," George Lois, who himself created dozens of striking covers for Esquire magazine, said that the photo was "a brave image on the cover of a great magazine — a stunning work of art that conveyed a potent message that challenged a repressed society."

Ellen DeGeneres comes out in Time, April 1997

The cover, featuring a photograph by Firooz Zahedi, and accompanying story introduced the nation to its first openly gay television star. DeGeneres, now a household name, suffered fallout from her announcement, which left the actress unable to find work for three years, leading to depression, she said in a 2007 interview with W Magazine. "I did what was right: I came out, which was good for me, and ultimately it was the only thing I could do. And then I got punished for it. I was so angry, I was just so angry," DeGeneres said then.

Attachment parenting in Time, May 2012

This cover image, photographed by Martin Schoeller, shows Jamie Lynne Grumet with her 3-year-old son. The image of a woman breastfeeding a child -- especially a child of that age -- led critics to hammer the magazine. Grumet subscribed to attachment parenting, which includes extended breastfeeding. “It was important to show that there’s no stereotypical look for a mom who practices this kind of parenting,” Schoeller said about the image in 2012.

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