Back in July of 2013, Rolling Stone magazine received a torrential outpouring of criticism for putting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover. Having one of the perpetrators of that year’s Boston Marathon bombing wasn’t what was so galling; it was the shot itself, which was from a selfie Tsarnaev took which made him look at best like a teen heartthrob and at worst a member of One Direction.
For legions of misguided tweens who had taken to social media with declarations that Tsarnaev was, among other things, “too beautiful to be a terrorist,” it was a sort of twisted vindication. For others, including corporations like CVS and Walgreens, it was an outrageous enough act to launch a boycott.
Almost exactly two years later from that misstep, Rolling Stone has raised the hackles once again with its cover choice, and while neither as extreme nor destructive as making a radical extremist responsible for senseless murders and causing a lifetime of emotional and physical disfigurement look like a cute college kid trying out Tinder for the first time, it’s nonetheless a forehead slapping decision.
Last weekend, in the mailboxes of an estimated one and a half million subscribers, was Kim Kardashian. Selfie queen. Attempted Internet breaker. Reality television star. Wife of Kanye West. Mother of North West. Former stepdaughter of then Bruce now Caitlyn Jenner.
In other words, here was someone famous for having done absolutely nothing requiring any talent whatsoever; even her sex tape that “leaked” in 2003 (with the equally lacking of discernible skill Ray J) wasn’t that good.
Yet there she is, in a chest high — surprise — profile shot wearing a ridiculous captain’s hat, gaudy hoop earrings and a striped blue and white tank top with its shoulder straps and front pulled down to expose a needlessly push-up red bra showing off her breasts. Let’s just go ahead and add, “making nautical sexy” to her accomplishments.
Not since 2011 when Snooki from MTV’s Jersey Shore gutter trash program made an appearance on RS has such a useless stain on human existence graced the cover of the magazine. And apparently, there are some well-known people who share this sentiment.
“What is this cunt doing on the cover of Rolling Stone?” asked Sinéad O’Connor in a post on her Facebook page yesterday. “Music has officially died. Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it? Simon Cowell [American Idol] and Louis Walsh [The X Factor] can no longer be expected to take all the blame. Bob Dylan must be fucking horrified.”
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) July 6, 2015
It’s not like Rolling Stone hasn’t made ill-advised cover choices over the years; but 90 percent of them were a result of jumping too soon on the quickly moving bandwagon of two-hit wonders like The Spin Doctors, Fine Young Cannibals and, for some backward and perhaps based on nepotistic reasoning, Lisa Marie Presley.
Sure, there have been cringe inducing ones throughout time like rapper Rick Ross with his shirt off, Backstreet Boys with their pants around their ankles, the disturbing Justin Bieber 2012 cover featuring the tagline, “Hot, Ready, Legal” in celebration of the pop tart douche turning 18 and even faux-prophets of God alt-rockers Creed. But not even the original Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, received the cover treatment for her unintelligent, privileged and unexplainable prowess for all things meaningless.
So what does empty-headed Kim postulate in the actual article that accompanies the cover that makes her so worthy of a magazine that used to matter so much to fans of music, pop culture, rock solid reporting and budding journalists everywhere?
Well for one, unlike her former mentor Hilton, she’s managed to avoid having paparazzi get an up-the-skirt crotch shot despite the fact that she “rarely” dons underwear. How so? “I was never drinking… I think that saved me a lot,” she opines. To further encourage her Twitter followers — 33.4 million at press time — to responsibly imbibe in alcohol, Kardashian reveals she ingests just, “five shots of vodka in Vegas every three years.”
As to whether she is wants to be remembered as a sex symbol or a businesswoman two decades from now? “I think you can be both. You can have it all.”
And finally, what’s going on upstairs?
“I believe that I am so much smarter than I’m portrayed,” Kardashian asserts, which is what bright individuals always say none of the time.
Well hey, she is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and not even John Lennon — subject of 31 covers and counting — turning like a pig on a spit gone wild in his grave can’t take that away from Kim K.
Follow Michael Christopher on Twitter @BlackBranchMC.