Vouge Cover Controversy – Lebron and Gisele

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Lebron James’ appearance on the latest issue of Vogue Magazine has drawn much more discussion than being only the third man to grace the cover and the first African American man to do so. Immediately after the release of the cover artwork, issues and questions arose if the photo taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vogue’s “Shape Issue” which has a multiple page spread featuring world class athletes and acclaimed models.

Some are wondering if Lebron James’ aggressive facial expressions coupled with his arm around the Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen has racial undertones drawing parallels to King Kong. While some individuals have been quoted to say that this cover “further racial stereotypes of black men being a dangerous threat”, Vogue has released a statement stating that the cover “sought to celebrate two superstars at the top of their game” for the magazine’s annual issue devoted to size and shape.

Before any opinions are made or conclusions are drawn, I personally think that it would be of much value to view Vogue’s video feature of the focus of the issue – the comparison between brawns and beauty and how both athletes and models are a symbol of both.

Photography is a form of art. Like a painting, 1000 people can interpret 1000 different ways. Is this cover racist? Is it innocent? Was the supposed “King Kong pose” inspired by his nickname “King James” or was that not intended to be interpreted at all? Please let us know what message you interpret from this cover.

Lebron James and Gisele Bundchen on cover of Vogue

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