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Michelle Obama Portrayed As Topless Slave On Spanish Magazine Cover



Spanish magazine Fuera de Serie has sparked controversy by depicting the U.S. first lady as a topless slave on its new cover.

The cover features Michelle Obama’s face pasted over a famous 19th century French painting showing a slave with one breast exposed.

The image was designed by British artist Karine Percheron-Daniels. It is part of a larger series of “famous nudes” which includes Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, Abraham Lincoln, and President Barack Obama, reports Le Monde.

The cover story on the magazine, which is a weekly insert of the Madrid business daily Expansión, claims to “give details on how Michelle has managed to seduce the American people." According to Fuera de Serie, Barack Obama's wife is "a woman who has won America’s hearts.”

Although the Spanish magazine refers to the US first lady as the “gran mujer” (great lady) behind the American president, the cover has been accused of depicting Michelle Obama in racist fashion.

Why are people even questioning whether the Michelle Obama picture is racist or not? Of course it is. It was just completely unnecessary.

— atokal. (@lakotaharris) Août 29, 2012

Michelle Obama depicted as a slave with a boob hanging out is tasteless

— Armondie L (@Mishthekenyan) Août 29, 2012

The British artist has issued a statement on her website to answer critiques:

“As an artist I only paint and create pictures of people I admire and feel passionate about. Michelle Obama is one of these people”

“I am not a racist. With my art I try and show beauty NOT DIRT”, she adds.

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A Naturalist's Defense Of The Modern Zoo

Zoos are often associated with animal cruelty, or at the very least a general animal unhappiness. But on everything from research to education to biodiversity, there is a case to be made for the modern zoo.

Photograph of a brown monkey holding onto a wired fence

A brown monkey hangs off of mesh wire

Marina Chocobar/Pexels
Fran Sánchez Becerril


MADRID — Zoos — or at least something resembling the traditional idea of a zoo — date back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was around 3,500 BC when Babylonian kings housed wild animals such as lions and birds of prey in beautiful structures known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Ancient China also played a significant role in the history of zoos when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) created several parks which hosted an assortment of animals.

In Europe, it wouldn't be until 1664 when Louis XIV inaugurated the royal menagerie at Versailles. All these spaces shared the mission of showcasing the wealth and power of the ruler, or simply served as decorations. Furthermore, none of them were open to the general public; only a few fortunate individuals, usually the upper classes, had access.

The first modern zoo, conceived for educational purposes in Vienna, opened in 1765. Over time, the educational mission has become more prominent, as the exhibition of exotic animals has been complemented with scientific studies, conservation and the protection of threatened species.

For decades, zoos have been places of leisure, wonder, and discovery for both the young and the old. Despite their past success, in recent years, society's view of zoos has been changing due to increased awareness of animal welfare, shifting sensibilities and the possibility of learning about wild animals through screens. So, many people wonder: What is the purpose of a zoo in the 21st century?

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