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Harper Bazaar's July 2009 Cover Caught Up in Tabloid-Comparison Controversy

Harper Bazaar's July 2009 Cover Caught Up in Tabloid-Comparison Controversy

>> The July 2009 cover of Harper's Bazaar has become quite the controversary.  The newstand cover features a paparazzi picture of Angelina Jolie, from a red carpet last December, pulled from a photo service, and there is no interview with the actress inside.  The subscriber's cover, on the other hand, is a portrait of Doutzen Kroes taken by Terry Richardson, with an accompanying editorial inside.

Glenda Bailey writes in her editor's letter: "For a magazine, the best accessory is a beautiful woman on the cover. This month, we have two."  Her readers seem to disagree — the Angelina cover has caused an uproar. As Fashionista puts it: "Bazaar is meant to be one of our venerable American fashion magazines. And this reeks of tabloids more than fashion."  A chorus of comparisons to Grazia, InTouch Weekly, and US Weekly from various fashion outlets chime in.

It's an "obvious sales ploy" »

Granted, Steven Meisel did a paparazzi-shot cover of Nicole Richie for Vogue Italia in October 2006, but it was a cultural satire; The Bazaar cover seems "an obvious sales ploy," according to Fashionista, and has people wondering why they didn't have Angelina sit for a shoot — is money really so tight that a studio shoot couldn't be done and no actress could be found to do the honors?

In Glenda Bailey's editor's letter, she applauds Doutzen — "a model whose face is definitely one to watch. It would be no surprise to me if she became one of the top models of our time" — which leaves many wondering, with the Doutzen cover produced in true Bazaar spirit, why it wasn't used for the newstand, too.

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