My reaction to Dossier’s latest cover was instant adoration. It’s androgynous and beautiful, the perfect crossroad between hard masculinity and soft femininity. I love any magazine cover that can make people think, especially when they’re thinking about gender binaries and their perceptions of what makes a man or woman. But apparently what I viewed as a brave step forward, others couldn’t stand the sight of — leading U.S. bookstores Barnes and Noble and Borders’ reaction was to cover up the gender-bending cover.
Both corporate chains told Dossier’s staff they refused to stock the cover, featuring a nude torso, without an opaque plastic covering. If Dossier failed to comply, both Barnes and Noble and Borders would immediately cancel their orders. Although the copies destined for Barnes and Noble and Borders make up only 10 per cent of Dossier’s worldwide distribution, and they were the only stores to request a cover, Dossier complied.