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Marine Le Pen Stylist Magazine Cover Shocks Social Media

The Stylist magazine cover featuring Marine Le Pen

Stylist magazine has responded to claims it was “normalising fascism” with its cover featuring Marine Le Pen.

The free women’s weekly magazine has profiled Le Pen’s fight to become French president, after she made it to the second round of voting in the election which takes place on Sunday.

The Stylist article emphasises Le Pen’s efforts to detoxify the Far Right, anti-immigration Front National, which has been defined by hostility to immigration and accused of Islamophobia.

It also mentions her growing base among younger women.

Le Pen faces Emmanuel Macron in the second round of voting in France’s presidential election on Sunday

But the front page shocked many, with its picture of Le Pen featuring a “warning” sticker on her mouth which says it contains “views and policies that some liberal modern women will find disturbing”. No clue is given about the context of that content.

After a harrowing reaction on social media, the magazine said the cover was meant to be a “visual gag” to label “her rhetoric (and sheer existence) a very dangerous thing”.

One person, who said the magazine was “doing their bit to help rehabilitate a Nazi-sympathising, virulently racist, hardcore fascist”, was typical of the reaction the magazine faced.

French journalist Marie Le Conte mocked its “edgy framing of fascism”.

Author Musa Okwonga called it “normalisation of racism”.

While others labelled it an “absolute disgrace” that was “misjudged, condescending and dismissive”.

Glad I didn’t see @StylistMagazine before my blood pressure test – that cover is an absolute disgrace. Pro tip: try not normalising fascism.

— Laura (@lmaxwellbernier) May 3, 2017

.@StylistMagazine This is incredibly misjudged, condescending and dismissive. ~Liberal women~ aren’t the ones whose LIVES are threatened by Le Pen & others

— Amy Bottrill (@bottrill) May 3, 2017

Laurie Winkless, a scientist and author, defended the magazine featuring Le Pen but said “the language seems way too… normalising”.

@sazza_jay @StylistMagazine Nawwwww man. When I lived in London, I was a huge fan of Stylist. Fine to feature her but the language seems way too….normalising

— Laurie Winkless (@laurie_winkless) May 3, 2017

Stylist’s statement said the magazine “vehemently does not support her or her views, and any misinterpretation of our stance on Marine Le Pen is regrettable and unintended”.

The statement added: “Our coverage was not intended to trivialise or normalise Marine Le Pen or her rhetoric – the opposite in fact; we wanted to question how someone with such repulsive views could have made such traction with the French electorate.

“Which she, alarmingly, has. Her extreme views have been normalised to the extent that people are voting for her.”

Latest polls put the centrist Emmanuel Macron as favourite to beat Le Pen.

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