One Arizona grocery store wasn’t impressed with the Demi Moore-esque pose of a very pregnant Jessica Simpson baring her naked body on the cover of Elle magazine. A Jezebel reader snapped a photo of the magazine covered by a piece of cardboard warning potential readers: “Please do not remove cardboard.”
Jezebel reported that the cardboard has been covering the photograph of Simpson’s naked body, her breasts slightly concealed by her arms and hands, for a week at a Safeway in Tucson. A manager at the store declined to comment, but Teena Massingill, a spokesperson at Safeway headquarters, said in a statement, “We operate nearly 1,700 stores. This was one store employee’s response to some customer complaints. The sign was up for a short time, and removed. This was by no means a company-wide directive.”
Elle magazine did not immediately return requests for comment.
Experts noted it would be a bit of a double standard if cardboard is not placed over the likes of other magazines that show cleavage.
“If they do have [something like] the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition on their stands, I would consider this a double standard. I think some people are more afraid of pregnancy and breastfeeding because it has been even more in the closet than sex,” Susan Burger, president of the New York Lactation Consultant Association, told ABC News.
Pregnancy is already in the news in Arizona, a state known for its conservative tendencies and that is currently in the throes of a contraception debate. Some Arizona legislators are pushing for a bill that would allow employers to opt out of providing birth control coverage in their employees’ health care benefits due to religious reasons. Democrats are calling the bill a violation of employees’ privacy.
Dr. Kathleen Marinelli, a physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, said society is much more comfortable allowing marketing companies to use breasts to sell beers and cars than seeing a woman’s body in its most natural and functioning form.
“It’s a very convoluted way of seeing things,” Marinelli told ABCNews.com last month.
While some cringe at such celebrity pregnancy photos, others say the photos are old news.
“I think the fact that some people are tired of the trend may indicate that exposed pregnant bellies no longer has shock value,” said Burger. “So, I would assume this means that more people find it normal, even if a grocery store still found it shocking enough to cover it up.”