The covershot features Britney Spears mimicking a famed 1966 Angie Dickinson photo, with the popstar wearing just white stilettos and a sweater, which fails to cover her rear. Other shots show her dressed just in knickers and beads with her arms out and clearly revealing her breasts in profile.
According to a report in the New York Post, the singer was "humiliated" by her bottom-baring pose, shot by James White for the 70 Years of Women We Love issue.
"Britney thinks the pictures are too naked and is really angry at Esquire," a magazine insider said. "But really, is she out of her mind? I mean, her brother was at the shoot. Exploited? Is she crazy? Look at the photos she has done for everyone else."
The Esquire cover follows one for Rolling Stone where she also posed semi-naked. Relations between the struggling popstar, who is on the comeback trail, and Esquire had already soured recently as editor David Granger thought he had an exclusive, only to find out that Britney was all over the place in an effort to boost her flagging career.
Inside the magazine, when asked by Esquire writer Chuck Klosterman why she dresses so provocatively, Britney denies that she does.
Klosterman then asks Britney to look at what she is wearing just then as he describes looking at "three inches of her inner thigh, her entire abdomen and enough cleavage to choke a musk ox.
"This is just a skirt and a top', Britney responds, in a clear case of overstatement.
Klosterman then wryly observes: "It is not that Britney Spears denies that she is a sexual icon, or that she disputes that American men are fascinated with the concept of the wet-hot virgin, or that she feels her success says nothing about what our society fantasises about. She doesn't disagree with any of that stuff, because she swears she has never even thought about it. Not even once."
He goes on to quote her, saying: "'That's just a weird question. I don't even want to think about that. That's strange, and I don't think about things like that, and I don't want to think about things like that. Why should I? I don't have to deal with those people. I'm concerned with the kids out there. I'm concerned with the next generation of people. I'm not worried about some guy who's a perv and wants to meet a freaking virgin.'"
The photo bust-up follows her walking out last month of an interview for Channel 4's 'Popworld' when she was asked her if she used diet pills, after the star was caught with them recently.
The 70th anniversary issue also features some of the much-talked-about pieces of writing from the magazine over the last 30 or so years, including 'Hell Sucks' by Michael Herr, from 1968; 'Superman Comes to the Supermarket', by Norman Mailer, from 1960; and 'The Last American Hero is Junior Johnson. Yes!' by Tom Wolfe, from 1965.
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