The latest cover image of a U.S. political and arts weekly magazine is being criticized for featuring a retouched – and decidedly unattractive – image of Kate Middleton.
The July 12 special issue of The New Republic takes a look at the state of the British government, and the stylized photo of Middleton shows her with yellowed and rotting teeth, with a tattered British flag behind her. The cover’s title might explain her treatment: “Something’s Rotten: The Last Days of Britain,” it reads.
The image might be playing into an American stereotype that Britons have poor dentition.
The Duchess of Cambridge is known for always appearing picture-perfect in public, and her lovely face – and smile – are staples of media reports across the world each day.
The incongruous image has upset many readers across the pond. “Can you imagine the uproar if a magazine from the UK defaced a picture of Obama …,” one commenter posted after reading a story about the issue on the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.
“Cheap shot,” another reader wrote. “They know she will remain dignified and not say a word, allowing them to ‘get away with it.’”
But not everyone there seemed to mind.
“It’s satire, get over it! I for one think she still looks lovely with rotten teeth. I’m reminded of the poem ‘English teeth’ by Spike Milligan,” one reader posted.
Posters on the magazine’s Facebook page seemed to express more uniform disapproval.
“Oh, c’mon. Resorting to such imagery is juvenile at best. When did The New Republic decide to become a second-rate MAD Magazine?” one wrote.
“nothing against US or pro Europe or Britain, but the cover doesn’t help the “crude Americans” image. A bit tasteless,” opined another.
“You made me ashamed to be an American. I could be proud that the American quality press could give the British giants of good journalism a run for their money. Instead, I, and perhaps countless other Americans either studying or living in Britain, are humiliated,” a third poster wrote.