They sang the lyrics “nudo con i brividi” on the Sanremo stage. And now Italy’s Eurovision 2022 stars Mahmood and Blanco are brining their lyrics to life with a cover photo shoot for the March edition of Vanity Fair Italia. The risqué image has set pulses racing, including those at Instagram HQ. The social media giant apparently censored Mahmood after he tried to share the magazine cover to his story.
Mahmood and Blanco on the Vanity Fair cover
In an Instagram post promoting the feature, Vanity Fair Italia writes: “How is it possible that two guys so different, so out of the box, so untraditional conquer all but all of Italy?”. The director Simone Marchetti asks this in the editorial of the new issue of Vanity Fair on newsstands from tomorrow Wednesday 23 February, which has Mahmood and Blanco on the cover. And the answer is thus: ‘The “real country” has fallen in love with Blanco and Mahmood and their freedom. And the thing is so surprising that by focusing on the two, you don’t even see the battles needed to achieve respect for differences. Looking at these two guys you can see what happens after winning the battle. And it is beautiful “.
Mahmood and Blanco also shared the magazine cover. They simply captioned it with two doves, referencing the birds perched on their shoulders.
The photo was taken by Luigi & Iango, two internationally renowned photographers. Vanity Fair descibes the cover as having “all the iconic power of a poster destined to last: Blanco and Mahmood naked, with two doves on their shoulders and their gaze fixed on the reader”. Marchetti says “We portrayed them like this because their stories are like a blank page, full of tattoos and dreams, of youth, something strong enough to shake us all”.
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Instagram censors Mahmood over photoshoot
However, while Mahmood was able to share the image to his grid without an issue, Instagram apparently had other ideas when it came to his story. In a second post, this time with a large “censored” sticker slapped across both men, Vanity Fair Italia writes:
“Those who work with social media are well aware that Instagram has its own rules to enforce what our grandparents would have called “public morality”: no nipples in plain sight as well as genitals, but green light for the lower back and other strips of uncovered skin not better identified. What the Instagram algorithm ignores, however, is that the nude is not only a vulgar expression of the body, but also a means capable of conveying an important message such as, in the case of our cover with Mahmood and Blanco, winners of the Festival di Sanremo, candidates for Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 and icons for millions of young people, the freedom to strip off labels and live free, refreshed, satisfied.
A concept that, however, the mechanical codes of a social network do not grasp, given that the Story shared by Mahmood on his Instagram profile with the Vanity Fair cover imprinted on it has been removed because, we quote literally, “violates our guidelines on the subject. of sexual acts “. Leaving aside the fact that we do not see what the obscenity is, given that Mahmood and Blanco are immortalized by Luigi & Iango, who in their career have photographed iconic characters such as Madonna and Penélope Cruz, in a plastic pose that seems to follow the canons of Praxiteles, we would like to remember how much the artistic nude has been the spokesperson for battles and conquests, such as Demi Moore’s baby bump who, in 1991, managed to make it clear that pregnant women want to continue to be desirable regardless of mother status. Or like, more recently, the thanks of Vanessa Incontrada who, for the first time, chose to be immortalized without veils by Max Vadukul for our newspaper to demonstrate that she has made peace with the criticisms that have always made her suffer.
In this, fortunately, artistic expressions manage to be ahead of algorithms, but there is still a long way to go before the guidelines of a social network reach the same degree of action as human sensitivity, the one that goes beyond the rigid barriers imposed by a code and which understands the right value to assign to an image. By Mario Manca”
Mario Manca, the author of Vanity Fair’s Instagram post, expands further on his own Instagram page.
“A cover exploded like a grenade, capable of gathering thousands of consents, complete with chats clogged with comments teeming with hormonal tensions, but also the most absurd criticisms: those who think that hands are not natural in keeping modesty; who complains that they have the same height; who wonders why Blanco “crushes” Mahmood’s foot (I swear, they wrote it seriously), and in the middle there is also Instagram that censors the cover in the Stories because it would be an obscene act to be deleted while not infringing any of the guidelines of the same Instagram on the so-called “social good practice”, leaving out all the millions of profiles with the backs in plain sight that remain in their place.
The thing that often escapes most is that newspapers do their job when they offer a means to discuss and analyze, to stir and arouse interest: Simone Marchetti has given Vanity Fair a precise direction, devoted to launching fundamental messages – for whom had not understood it, Mahmood and Blanco are unveiled because they represent better than others a freedom freed from labels and preconceptions, blank canvases on which it is possible to paint the present and imagine the future – and to the enhancement of talents who have something to teach us independently how mainstream they have been. The result is that the cover has gone viral almost everywhere, making us understand that the newspaper has fulfilled its mission once again in the face of those who point the finger regardless and on a whim, under the illusion of denouncing a system that, not too much secretly, it fascinates them too”.
Update: It appears that Instagram may have backtracked on its initial takedown of Mahmood’s story. As of 11:40 CET, the magazine cover is visibile to see on his stories. The image comes before his message about being censored.
Do you think Instagram is censoring the Italian duo? Or is the platform simply protecting public morals? Let us know down below.
Damn I wish I was in the room when those pictures were being taken…
There’s nothing to even cover up, their hands are already doing it. They’re not actually standing in front of us. It’s a photograph.
Well, at least they are free to show their nipples in Instagram, TV or even Eurovision…
women are not.
Male privilege in the 2020’s…
As Rigoberta said: ‘no sé por qué dan tanto miedo nuestras tetas, sin ellas no habría humanidad ni habría belleza, Y LO SABES BIEN’
Well, Victoria used a band aid on her nipples which were not enough to cover everything. Especially in the citizen live concert and in some other summer concerts. Nobody fainted seeing two female nipples. Even partially.
I don’t care that much for the article waxing philosophical about art and nudity, but I’ll welcome all popularity campaigns because I want Brividi and Italy to win.
Me too. It’s still the best song out there. I know I will be downvoted. I feel it. I also feel Putin has gone nuts.
It’s not gonna win. And I really doubt RAI wants to host again in 2023…
Yes. I agree. They may do the same trick as for Jalisse in 1997. I believe this year will be the one of a silly disco song or some kind of Iceland. 2021.
I read the interview, they are really talented and genuine guys.
I don’t understand who says they have all this hype just for their beauty (which is subjective), you just have to peek into their discography to understand their incredible talent.
If they had non-normative bodies, they wouldn’t be on the cover of a magazine.
I have seen cover magazines with old rockers full of tattoos and not in their teens. So it depends on the charisma. Beauty is one thing, charisma, self irony, wiseness, are also things that go easily on the cover of magazines. Unfurtunaly Instagram ruined everything. All, those not having perfect white smiles, smooth chest, muscular 6 packs, muscular legs, a bit of ass uncovered, riding a Ducati Monster motorbyke, cannot be on Instagram. I believe Instagram should be banned. It grows generations of bitter, look-a-holics, stressed, empty, futile people only focusing on how ones appears.
I am all over this you boys are hot ? where I I get a copy hot hot hot lol
Why couldn’t have they sang the song to each other? We’ve had duets that weren’t romantically involved before. Insisting that they are singing to their partners (one of which is a woman) while acting like they are in love doesn’t really sit well with me.
Acting they are in love? Of my gosh. Wicked mind. They are acting like two friends which are intimate enough with each other (not sexually) to open up and share they pains of love and sorrow for a struggling relationship with a man (Mahmood) and a woman (Blanco). Why everybody wants to see gay subplots everywhere? Didn’t you hug a straight friend, once in the life? Or looking him straight into the eyes?
Yeah, I sing love songs looking my friends in the eyes softly on a daily basis. I also like doing things with them that I say are about someone else (like riding una bici di diamanti) and posing naked together.
Give me a break. I’m all up for men expressing their softer side especially with each other but that’s not the same as putting on a show.
I’m not saying they are necessarily doing that on purpose but there are publicists who could have easily picked up the signs.
The message would have been so much more powerful if they actually sang the song to each other and explained that not every song or a movie role has to be completely (auto)biographical.
I have nothing against men singing love songs to each other. Gay or straight. Just own up to it.
I almost used the phrase ‘call a sp… a s….’ but luckily I googled it and found out about the racist connotations I never heard about before.
I recommend everyone takes a look.
I think this is more powerful this way. Don’t get me wrong, I think songs about homosexual love can be incredibly powerful and push boundaries, but the world also needs songs and performances exploring (non-sexual) intimacy between two men, because in order to progress as a society we also need men (of all sexualities) to learn how to feel comfortable with their feelings and acknowledging them with one another. Also, since Blanco isn’t gay or (as far as I know) bisexual, I think giving this a “gay spin” would’ve felt weird and kinda fake. Then again, I don’t see the… Read more »
Wise comment. In this way EVERYBODY is concerned. Not only gays, but also straight. And, speaking to Willchristian, those who see gay subplots here, probably are gay integralists (seing gays everywhere), or are only repressed gays who want to depict as gay something it’s not in order to spit on it and accuse of oppressive agenda of gay power. Unless you want them to be gay in order to lust on them better. And I find the foot touching the other a wonderful invention. It tells us, you see, there may be a physical contact but each of them has… Read more »
Finally some pop artist (Mahmood) without the chest filled by tattoos. Male chest is so beautiful as it is. Without filling it with paintings like the Uffizi in Florence or El Prado in Madrid. Hope Blanco will not exaggerate with tattoos, too.
Good thing no one is forcing us to do anything we don’t want with our bodies! Imagine if someone forced you to cover your beautiful chest with hideous tattoos or publicly criticizing you for not doing it…
*criticized, *doing that
Of course. Anybody can do whatever with their body. It’s just me that, in front of a painted chest, feel more in front of a painting than an human being. Thanks for the downvotes, anyway. Like Tananai in Sanremo, cheering up when he knew he was last in the ranking, downvotes make me proud and cheering the same way, too.
I was too optimistic. Blanco has an instagram story where he is adding a new tattoo and the back side.
Proud of our boys!
Content can be perceived explecitly for some and not for others. Instagram must draw their line.
Now, can we talk about Subwoolfers funny reaction?
Where is this reaction? Instagram?
Good to be downvoted only because I asked when I can see this reaction from Subwoolfer. Here downvotes are given to the person, not to what he writes. Funny. Very democratic.
I upvoted you on both messages because I also want to know where is Subwoolfers’ reaction. I’m sensing some jealousy from Mahmood’s tifosi here. We’re expected only to talk about the Italian *faux* couple and not about any other performances? Go Wolves!
You are making a picture in your mind on your own. We are reaching each day more higher peaks of paranoid behaviour here. I ONLY wanted to see what they posted, just to check if they also took a picture naked. And downvoting only because you have my same question is sick. But I am not surprised anymore. Wiwibloggs, with the downvoting possibility, is becoming like a free of charge psychiatrist cabinet where one comes to discharge his psychological breakdown or nevrosis.
Sorry, I was wrong. I thougt you were downvoting me, not upvoting. So disregard my other message when referring to the downvote. Always the same weakness of Wiwibloggs where it’s impossible to change the message after a short period of time. I would be very, satisfied if the author or any other manager of wiwibloggs will, ever explain to me what is the ratio behind this.
Downvote me as much as you like, but if both of them looked like an average, not handsome man looks, they would not get so much hype. Just an opinion! Imagine if someone who is “not very beautiful” would make such a cover, would it be hyped so much, would it even end up on such a cover magazine? I don’t think so.
If I’m a magazine editor, I would want to have top celebrities to be on the covers of my magazine to make it sell, regardless of their looks. The fact that Mahmood and Blanco look they way they do (beauty is subjective, btw) is just a bonus.
Imagine Kirkorov xd
You’re speaking facts! Some Eurofans care more about looks than the actual quality of their music, now imagine if Måneskin weren’t ‘hot’ looking would they have still gotten all the hype and love last year? I doubt it, nothing against them for being talented and genuinely nice people but still… I’m kinda annoyed by the whole Achille Lauro thing cause it’s crystal clear he’s popular for his looks more than music (I think Stripper is awfully dated) heavily tattooed topless men make me feel I’ll tbh. This has long been an issue in the music world as a whole and… Read more »
Well, probably nowadays everything is more based on look and there is a big part of young lady and gays who lust against a the beauty of Måneskin and Mahmood/Blanco. Some time ago Rolling Stones did a huge success even though none, among them, was a Calvin Klein model. And, speaking of ESC, Lordi once won with Hard Rock Halleluja and none of them was the archetype of an ephebic teen with angelic face. Let’s admit they were even not pleasing to the eye at all. So, what you say is not always 100% true.
Yes? Oh gosh. What a rude attitude. By grace of god, which is the one you judge not being hot? Thomas? Just to know. Beauty is subjective. I find all of them hot.
Good for them being handsome and attractive
I wish I could be 22 y.o. and attractive like Ethan or Blanco or Mahmood. Or even Thomas! But I am not. So for the, people like Ariaz I should lock myself up at home and don’t show my face and age anymire. I rember someone during 2nd world war who wanted to select the Arian race by lilling those who were not Arians. Or were not blond as Victoria, or beautiful as Damiano or Ethan. For info, Thomas is the more party anymal of the group and the funnier one. Sometimes beauty is not everything. And it’s a shame… Read more »
Isn’t this the case with the music industry as a whole. The only people who aren’t relatively “good looking” are usuallly extremely talented singers and songwriters. It’s called “pretty privilege”.
looks are also important in the entertainment industry, that’s the way it is.
Adele before she lost weight had two biggest-selling albums in this century. Beauty is not that important when you’re extremely talented.
Vote fishing was actually my first thought when looking at that picture.. sorry..
Italians who buy Vanity Fair Italia gonna vote for themselves in May. Interesting.
Good to know only italians have access to internet
Vote fishing? So when a female singer publishes in a picture a revealing photo in a swimsuit or provocative look, is vote fishing too? My dear. Welcome in the 21st century where everything is look and marketing. But I agree with you. All the men and women’s sexy Instagram profile pictures with 6 pack, nipples, breasts etc, are to catch votes. 🙂
Not sure whether delusional or naive. Like 90% of gay europe population watches it. You really think that publishing nudes out of nowhere prior to contest has no connection to this? Dude from Azerbeijan did same thing in 2019. Downvote me if truth hurts that much.
Prior to the contest? You say that like it’s two days before the Grand Final. It’s February.
Did they do anything like that before they’re announced as representatives?
Dawid Vanity fair Italy made this for italians, not for eurofans, because Mahmood and Blanco are famous in Italy… if you read the interview they don’t even mention Eurovision as I remember, but they mention Sanremo. This is not a promotion for Eurovision, but for their music in Italy…
Blanco is naked 100% of the time. He does concerts naked (shirtless I mean, with a pair of white briefs) , photoshoot naked, instagram, pictures and stories, naked. Blanco was also wearing transparent shirt in Sanremo and I am sure he will so the same at ESC too. It’s his trademark. Je also explained that in a recent interview. Also Mahmood is sometimes shirtless on his videos and Instagram. And also on a beach at the seaside or in a swimming pool. ? They can and we love that.
Do you understand the song contains a lyric “naked with shivers” and this picture portrays that? They are naked and we get shivers for them. Because they are handsome naked. Like a Raffaello or Caravaggio nude portrait (maybe Caravaggio was fishing or hunting for votes)? Because every gay boy (but also straight in the closet) or girl can fantasize on the size of what’s hidden behind their hands. The “foot work” etc. No, i guess it’s too complicate for you to interpret a photo. Just read again the text above written by David Smith. It describes well the intentions of… Read more »
You people in the ESC bubble need to understand once and for all that the Sanremo winners are actual celebrities in Italy, with lots of commitments, tv/radio appearances and photo shoots everyday. I’m 100% sure that Eurovision wasn’t even an afterthought while shooting this because promoting their albums and keeping up the momentum of “Brividi” on home soil is their biggest concern until May.
And Eurofans really underestimate how huge Blanco is because they only knew Mahmood. Of the 10 most streamed songs in Italy last year, Blanco had 4 of them. Sending successful artists is one of the reasons Italy does so well at Eurovision, but it means their careers exist outside of Eurovision too.
So glad Wiwibloggs don’t have similar censorship so we can admire both of these men’s beauties.
Next picture, stripped Mahmood, Blanco and Måneskin to cause a massive heart attack to all the Russian public homophobes (but secretely gay) in the russian army who are currently threatening Ukraine.