Last week Dazed & Confused drummed up some interest in their September issue when they tweeted:
That one tweet made the cover a must-see – what could possibly be so bad that it was banned from SEVEN countries? Now we see the that controversial cover features the musician holding an inflated raspberry colored condom (that Dazed refers to as “this season’s must-have accessory”) to her lips with the caption “Azealia Banks Blows Up” while more or less simultaneously flashing her rhinestone bejeweled middle finger. The Karen Langley styled, and Sharif Hamza photographed image is phallic to say the least. If the condom were over-inflated then the image could be funny, but as it is it is a blatant simulation of oral sex. I can see how seven countries would think Dazed took it a step too far, but forum members were of two minds. Some understand the ban, others don’t.
Stereo posted, “Banks looks gorgeous, I love everything about this cover, but THIS is what got banned in 7 countries? I don't want to live on this planet anymore… what bothers me is how on earth this could be considered controversial enough to get banned. I mean, what's so shocking about it? Much ado about nothing.”
SugarMe also didn’t get the controversy. “This is the banned cover? This? It's not even as though she's feigning fellatio [I would beg to differ] or being overtly vulgar. She's blowing up/smoking a condom. Considering her music, I expected something a lot more racy. I'm almost disappointed. Heaven forbid poor, impressionable, defenseless children know what a prophylactic looks like.”
ForChicSake argued that the ban made sense. “There is nothing shocking about [the cover] (no matter how tacky/tasteless/pathetic it is), surely a cover with a woman blowing up a condom isn't something you want young impressionable girls/boys to see on the newsstands of their local newsagents or shopping centers. There are standards some people would like to maintain in terms of what is exposed to the public in the name of fashion/publicity, I understand the ban.”
I don’t endorse banning content, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t get why seven countries thought this image was over the top. What do you think? Is this a lot of fuss about nothing? Or did Dazed get a little too provocative with this cover?