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Behind Emma Stone's unbelievably unflattering W cover

How can photos even be so hideous?

Um, maybe W is trying to do something "different" for its February cover? It's different, all right. Here's why.

How can photos even be so hideous?

When you browse the newsstand this month, Emma Stone on the cover of W will jump out at you — for all the wrong reasons.

Stone, one of the most effervescently gorgeous stars in Hollywood, looks like she's posing for a kidnapper. Her blonde hair is shaggy and frizzled, her complexion washed out from a harsh flash, her eyes look like they're two different sizes, and, anyone remember the end of the original Fame where Coco was taking off her shirt and crying while a fake French director crooned at her, "It's tres jolie, Coco, tres jolie!"

Yeah, Stone's taking off her top just like that. Looks like someone's holding a gun on her.

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Inside, the photos are no less weird: Stone with dark roots standing barefoot on a dirty floor, her limbs poking out awkwardly from beneath a too-short black dress; Stone huddled on the ugly carpet of an anonymous hotel room looking hungover.

"It looks like Lindsay Lohan's career somehow: shrunken, empty, alone, slightly defiant, a bit deluded, totally exhausted, and sad," wrote Go Fug Yourself's Heather Cocks.

What gives, W?

Seems W was actually going for the grungy, downtrodden look: They hired German photographer Juergen Teller to shoot Stone.

Teller is well known for his seamy style. He photographed Victoria Beckham crumpled in a shopping bag and Kate Moss in a dirty wheelbarrow with filthy hair. Speaking of Kate Moss, Teller was one of the first photogs to use the unconventional beauty, who, with her janky teeth and diminutive stature, was considered too weird-looking for print.

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Teller has also photographed himself naked and smoking a cigarette on the grave of his father, an alcoholic who committed suicide. And he's perhaps most notorious for his photo series Louis XV, dirty to a Mapplethorpian degree and highlighted by a shot of Charlotte Rampling playing a grand piano while Juergen splayed himself widely atop it, nude, every single private part on full, bright display.

Wow. Guess Stone should count herself lucky that awful hair was as bad as it got on her shoot.

Image courtesy Adriana M. Barraza/
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