'Brides' Made a Bold Cover Choice

by Erin Mayer

Wedding magazines are not known for their edge, and yet this month's cover of Brides is one of the edgiest offerings we've seen on newsstands in a while. Why? Hayden's Panettiere's tattoos are staring right back atcha.

Panettiere covers April/May 2014's Brides in a strapless dress that shows off her back tattoo. This is unexpected, since visible tattoos are still taboo. Fashion magazines shy away from them, but bridal magazines "tend to skew even more conservative and mainstream than fashion magazines," according to Elizabeth Licata at The Gloss, making the choice to leave Panettiere's tattoo un-Photoshopped a surprising one.

Licata points out the interesting connection between tattoos and weddings:

[F]or some reason when a woman gets a tattoo, strangers everywhere will want to talk about her wedding. Even if the woman is single and has no plans to be married in the near future, concerned pearl-clutchers will gasp: “But what about your wedding? You won’t be able to wear a strapless dress!” It is a bizarre concern, because the bride will presumably still have shoulders and be as physically capable of wearing a strapless dress as anybody. But still we hear that particular comment all the time.

When you frame it in that light, the choice to place Panettiere's tattoo at the center of the magazine is a bold one. Despite the fact that this is the 21st century, a lot of people still loathe tattoos and act like only drug dealers and ex-cons have them. Perhaps that will all change now that Cate Blanchett and Amy Adams have joined the ranks of the inked, but we doubt that our conservative grandmothers will start embracing tats soon.

Congrats to Brides for pushing the envelope with this one and deliberately displaying Hayden Panettiere's body art. This goes to show that the small decisions to allow women to be themselves in the pages of magazines are what really count. Although big campaigns are excellent, sometimes we just need to see a tattoo or a wrinkle every once and a while to know we are taking a step in the right direction. Women are unique and magazines should reflect that.

Panettiere — and her tattoo — is a refreshing choice of cover star for Brides, and we love how much she glows in the photo. We hope this means the media has forgiven her for purchasing her own dress for the Golden Globes.

Image: Brides