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8 Controversial Magazine Covers That Were Accused of Being Racist


FHM Philippines Glorifies Light Skin

The magazine is known for provocative, racy covers, but the magazine’s readers believed this 2012 cover stepped well beyond the lines of what was appropriate. Before this cover even hit stands, protesters demanded that the cover be changed when FHM Philippines released an early look on social media. Light-skinned actress Bela Padilla is the star of the cover, but an insensitive tagline and racially charged concept really stole the attention. A tagline reads “Stepping out of the shadows,” as a group of dark-skinned models surround her and appear to be glorifying her. “Seriously, did you guys not sense how racist this concept was,” one reader commented. To make matters worse, rumors suggest that at least one of the dark-skinned models is actually a white woman painted to be Black. If that’s true, the cover glorifies lighter skin, devalues darker skin and embraces blackface all in the same photo.

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