Why Zoe Kravitz Wanted to Be Naked on the Cover of Rolling Stone

In May of 1988, Zoë Kravitz’s mom, the actress Lisa Bonet, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone’s Hot Issue nude except for a shirt. She was two months pregnant with Zoë at the time. (“Technically,” jokes Zoë Kravitz, “this is my second cover.”) Now, for the cover of this issue, on the 30th anniversary of Bonet’s, Kravitz decided to recreate the shoot her mom did 30 years ago.

“I’ve always loved that cover so much,” she says. “When I think of Rolling Stone, that’s always the image that pops into my head. It’s a really striking image of her. It’s beautiful.”

Kravitz’s cover also comes with a twist. Bonet told her she actually wanted the photo on her cover to be one from inside the issue — the same pose, only without the shirt. “I think she was a little bummed when they used the shirt picture as the cover,” Kravitz says. “I think she just thought, ‘I’m doing it, let’s do it!’” So Kravitz decided she wanted to do the cover her mom wanted but didn’t get. “It’s less about the picture,” she says, “and more about doing the thing my mom intended to do. That feels cool.”

Elsewhere in the November issue (on newsstands November 2nd) are photos that pay homage to Kravitz’s dad, Lenny Kravitz — albeit more subtly. “The boa is actually my grandmother’s — my dad’s mom’s,” she says. (Is it the same boa from his album cover? “Different boa,” she says. “We like our boas.”) “I’ve kind of stayed away on purpose from referencing my parents, because I’ve been just trying to create my own identity,” she says. “But I feel like it’s a good time. I feel comfortable in my own skin. And it’s nice to do that homage to them. Because I love them! They’re my parents!”

Inside the 1988 Hot Issue, Bonet was asked to define what hot meant to her. So we asked Kravitz the do the same. “To me ‘hot’ means someone who’s vibrant and confident and comfortable with who they are,” she says. “Young Mick Jagger. Aretha Franklin. When somebody allows themselves to be who they are unapologetically — and they’re a good person — that’s really hot.”

We read her her mom’s answer: “People think you’re hot if you’re on TV,” Bonet said. “To me, hot means uncompromising. It means nonconforming, not afraid, just be what you are and what you feel.”

“Wow, that’s so cool!” says Kravitz. “We’re the same! I’ve genuinely never seen her answer to that. She instilled that in me I guess.” She smiles. “That’s so cool.”

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