This cover has caused a bit of a stir, I gather, as there are some people who think it’s too racy for Cosmo’s usual place in the grocery store shelves and have been trying to cover it up, or turn it over, or just get it stricken altogether.

Demi released the following statement about it, which I saw on Instagram when Joanna Coles reposted it:

What these individuals who are protesting don’t understand is that for the first time in a long time I feel incredibly EMPOWERED and the MOST BEAUTIFUL I’ve ever felt on this magazine. […] It took soul searching and a bit of time before I learned to embrace my body therefore I could not have been more excited to do this shoot. I think what’s more important is showing women there’s NOTHING WRONG with embracing their bodies and sexuality.

I have thoughts. The first one being, yes okay, you can see a lot of her cleavage, but how is this any MORE scandalous than Nicki Minaj’s cleavage-baring onesie, or a cover with SEX SEX SEX written all over it, or Madonna in bondage gear biting a string of what could be pearl anal beads for all anyone knows? Yes, it’s a gynecologically short dress, but honestly, her modeling it sideways actually takes AWAY a lot of the shock value of that, and sincerely, we’re seeing less of her cleavage than 90 percent of America has seen in Us Weekly or on a Jenndashian’s Instagram feed. I’m not saying we need to start sticking Penthouse down in the trenches with Cosmo and Glamour, but I do think this is a situation where people are going too far to try and shield the world from anything remotely challenging.

My second thought,though: While I have a lot of admiration for the head-on and bluntly honest way she’s dealt with and addressed her struggles, and am thrilled to see Demi saying that she to feels good in her own skin and proud of her body, this hardly LOOKS like her body. What’s more, it feels very specifically posed to show us as little of that body — aside from the cleav — as possible, which defeats the extremely inspiring and rousing purpose of celebrating a girl who’s come out the other side of eating, drug, and emotional issues. At first it felt like her head slapped on someone else’s form, but honestly, her face also looks significantly photoshopped. Look at her here, or even here because it’s a similar angle, and then check the cover again. Lord knows I’m not criticizing anyone for getting retouched; if Hell ever sprouted ice castles and I got put on a magazine cover, I would be like, “Great, FIX ME, make me blurry if that’s what you have to do.” But I’m not someone whose face is my brand, or who is trying to be a positive role model for young kids. Demi Lovato trades on her authenticity and honesty. If I were Demi, I’d look at this and sigh and say, “Yes, that girl is pretty, but I am ALSO pretty, and that girl is only barely ME.”

The situation inside is a little better and honestly, could’ve been a less troublesome cover all-around:

Too late now, I guess.

[Photos: Cosmo]