Is “shirtless cover” okay?

April 22, 2009

obamaparkWashingtonian is making the most of the buzz on its May issue with a shirtless President Obama on the cover.

Obama didn’t pose for the picture. It’s the same shirtless paparazzi photo taken  while he was on vacation in Hawaii in December.  But the magazine took some creative license and changed the color of his swim trunks from black to red.

The glossy magazine that bills itself as the guide to life, media, gossip and politics in Washington used the photo to illustrate its cover story “26 Reasons to Love Living Here” (he’s reason #2 – “Our New Neighbor is Hot,” according to the cover).

Now, Washingtonian is asking visitors to it  web site to weigh in on  what they think of the cover. So far among the responses, variations on inappropriate  and “tasteless” prevail.

“Tasteless! President Obama should be given the respect he deserves, instead of turning him into a bathing suit hot model,” wrote Sharon Okolicsanyi and a writer identified as Bernadette posted: “Tacky, tabloid-esque, inappropriate, and smutty. That’s what I think of this cover.”

Some readers didn’t mind, as in this comment by Linda: “I love this cover! I’m a sixtyish woman and don’t find one single thing wrong with a picture of a handsome man who just happens to be President on your cover.”

What’s your opinion? Is the swimsuit cover okay — or not?

Photo credit:Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama during a tree planting at a park in Washington)


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Do you think anyone would have objected to Arnold California Governor, if he was shirtless 20 years ago? I’ve seen him on the covers of magazine shirtless. If Obama is in shape, why not show Americans what they should look like? Isn’t one of America’s problems obesity? Health? Good health means so much more than money!

Posted by Beverly Heath | Report as abusive

Ever since Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960 image has been a huge isue in politics. If the Washingtonian didn’t print this David Axelrod would have. Dont think for a second that anyone in the Obama Admin. is angry, upset, or even confused that Obama has been sexualised like this, theyve been counting on it.

Posted by John Ryder | Report as abusive

At times like these I’m glad he won the presidency and not John McCain or Hillary Clinton.

Posted by Diane | Report as abusive

He looks good…I believe there is nothing wrong with showing the world we have a president that is fairly good shape…not an obese boozer, smoker sit on his but BS er

Posted by Ray Bechtold | Report as abusive