Monica Lewinsky. Janet Jackson. Lindsay Lohan. Whitney Houston. We are living in an era of reappraisals.
But the race for the most salacious shot was never an equal-opportunity game. It was not young men who appeared in photos with their bra straps showing and their makeup smeared, or had their breasts enlarged in postproduction without their knowledge, as was the case for Ms. Spears on a 2000 cover of British GQ, according to the photographer, who recently posted about it on Instagram. While white women were scrutinized on the covers of magazines, Black artists were told, as Beyoncé was, that they’d never get covers at all — “because Black people did not sell.”