The Society Pages has an excellent analysis here about all of the hullabaloo about this image. The cover model is Andrej Pejic, who identifies as male, with his hair and makeup done up like an old-school female movie star. His chest is ambiguous, causing some stores like Borders and Barnes and Noble to make the call that the image cannot be shown on magazine racks; they put plastic over the image.
Lisa Wade's analysis in The Society Pages (linked to above) is quite interesting:
"It’s not true that women have breasts and men have chests. Many men have chests that look a bit or even a lot like breasts (there is a thriving cosmetic surgery industry around this fact). Meanwhile, many women are essentially “flat chested,” while the bustiness of others is an illusion created by silicone or salt water. Is it really breasts that must be covered? Clearly not. All women’s bodies are targeted by the law, and men’s bodies are given a pass, breasty or chesty as they may be.
Unless. Unless that man’s gender is ambiguous; unless he does just enough femininity to make his body suspect. Indeed, the treatment of the Dossier cover reveals that the social and legislative ban on public breasts rests on a jiggly foundation. It’s not simply that breasts are considered pornographic. It’s that we’re afraid of women and femininity and female bodies and, if a man looks feminine enough, he becomes, by default, obscene."Reactions?!