Photographer Matthew Rolston wasn't allowed to release the photos to the magazine until the tattoos were removed. 'We think [Blige] is just gorgeous — tattoos or no tattoos," said Redbook editor in chief Stacy Morrison. 'We were just disappointed that her management requested that we airbrush them from her photos because they are so much a part of who she is. But the ink doesn't make the woman."
This wouldn't be the first time Blige is up in arms over her image on a magazine cover. In 2005, the singer blasted urban lifestyle monthly Vibe after the title ran what Blige felt was an unflattering photo. During an acceptance speech at the Vibe Awards, she called out then-editor in chief Mimi Valdez, saying: 'For so many years, Vibe has given me great, great, great covers, but I must say, I'm very, very disappointed at the cover this time, so Mimi, me and you really need to talk, as women. No disrespect, but I really hated the way you guys shaved off my head, pushed my forehead way back behind my ears." Valdez at the time responded to Blige with a post on Vibe's Web site: 'Besides your desire to make a private conversation public, your accusations are untrue. How your hair looks on that cover is between you and your hairstylist. I swear, your hairline is no different than the Polaroids you saw at the shoot."