Hustler, a pornographic magazine, released an incendiary new cover.
That alone is not newsworthy, but considering the political climate of late, the magazine is seeing just how far it can challenge patriotic ideals in Trump’s America.
The new cover, first pointed out by Barstool Sports, features a brown-eyed model with an American flag fashioned as a hijab, a headscarf that many Muslim women wear. Peeping out from beneath is a bit more than an outline of the model’s breast. The cover’s text reads, “America’s Magazine: Anniversary Special” and near the bottom, “Freedom First.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 1, 2017
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) May 25, 2017
While Hustler did not promote the cover on any of its social media channels, Yahoo Style confirmed with a Hustler customer service representative that the cover is real and was mailed out to subscribers.
This would not be the magazine’s first cover pushing the boundary between sensationalist and salacious. The July 1976 Hustler cover featured a tight-pan image of a woman’s bikini area, wearing what appears to be American flag-printed undergarments.
Though some American designers are embracing diversity by including new lines of headscarfs for Muslim women, the headscarf remains a politically charged item in other Western countries, namely France, which has struggled with allowing headscarfs to be worn in public based on the country’s laws governing secularity.
What’s more, politics’ permeation into nearly every facet of American life has made editorial decisions ever more scrutinized. Most recently, there was the Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial, in which the model was depicted handing a Pepsi to a police officer, which the ad tritely suggested was a solution to an otherwise complicated topic mired in racial conflict. And this week, comedienne Kathy Griffin wore a pussy blouse and held a bloodied prop in the likeness of President Trump’s decapitated head in images from a photo shoot, for which Griffin was fired from her CNN job and publicly rebuked.
Though the image of the American flag-as-hijab appears on a porn mag cover, don’t discount the platform. Much of sex is politics, after all. Or maybe it’s the other way around.
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Alexandra Mondalek is a writer for Yahoo Style + Beauty. Follow her on Twitter @amondalek.