Playboy covers have made waves since Hugh Hefner put Marilyn Monroe on the first cover back in 1953. Of course the magazine has ruffled a few feathers since then as well. These are 15 of the most controversial Playboy covers of all time.
Playboy made waves since day one with sex icon Marilyn Monroe gracing the first cover in 1953. Of course Playboy was bound to ruffle a few feathers here and there, and these are some of Playboys most controversial covers that still have people talking.
The first Playboy cover in December 1953 was going to shake things up—especially with sex icon Marilyn Monroe gracing the cover. She was the first and only “Sweetheart of the Month,” and it created quite a scandal in the conservative 1950s.
College girls have been appearing on Playboy covers for years, but when Playboy’s September 1979 cover featured its first “Girls of the Ivy League” pictorial, the public was up in arms. Writers, feminists and teachers were extremely upset, even though “Girls of the Big 10” already had been featured on the cover in 1977.
What a year 1980 was—especially when it came to politics. Playboy’s November 1980 issue featured the women of the U.S. government, with government employees posing semi-nude. Two female U.S. Navy workers were honorably discharged from service after posing in the magazine.
Lindsay Lohan is by far one of the most talked-about celebrities of the early 2000s, and her January/February 2012 Playboy cover kept tongues wagging. Photos of her pictorial leaked weeks before the issue hit stands, generating a serious amount of buzz for this cover.
Playboy’s August 1994 cover made headlines when the theme of the issue was the Women of the NYPD. The New York Police Department officer who posed for the cover was terminated for unauthorized off-duty employment and improper use of her NYPD uniform.
Playboy’s April 1969 cover blurred gender stereotypes, but it didn’t set well with everyone in the late 1960s. Playboy advocated for the sexual revolution and gender equality with its iconic covers.
Women in their respective work uniforms on Playboy covers seem to get the most attention, and it’s not always the good kind. This reaction was no different for the May 1980 cover, featuring airline stewardesses in a pictorial.
We’ll let you figure out why the November 1975 Playboy cover of the Sex in Cinema issue was so controversial.
Playboy featured a pictorial of the Women of Wall Street in August 1989. Most of the women who posed in the magazine lost their jobs shortly after the issue was released.
The June 1962 cover of Playboy and the Toast to Bikinis issue generated a lot of buzz. Not only was the cover racy for the 1960s, but if you put your hand/finger over the image, completely covering the model’s navel, it produces a naughty visual trick.
The October 1971 issue of Playboy featured the first African-American woman on its cover—something Playboy is proud of. Darine Stern made Playboy history with this cover.
Who could forget the July 1994 Playboy cover? Patti Davis, President Ronald Reagan’s rogue daughter, posed for the cover wearing nothing but a male hand bra. As you can guess, it received quite a bit attention.
Playmate Donna Michelle, 18, posed for this much-talked-about May 1964 cover re-creating the rabbit head logo.
Faye Resnick was one of the many characters who were part of the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. She was friends with Nicole Brown Simpson, and she posed for Playboy in March 1997 in the middle of it all.
Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon posed for the February 2008 Playboy cover with her body painted as Wonder Woman, and it sent feminist comic book fans into a rage. But Wonder Woman was created by S&M enthusiast William Moulton Brown, so maybe their outrage was misdirected?