Prude Woman Thinks You Should be 18+ to Buy Cosmo
Of all things corrupting the youth of America, the very worst is Cosmopolitan magazine. Sure, it’s the best-selling lifestyle bible of the female demographic, but now that the publication is putting actresses like Dakota Fanning and Selena Gomez on the cover, the printed pamphlet for blended orgasms and all-star blowjobs seems to be catering to a new generation of sexually active females—you know, middle school girls around twelve or thirteen years old, right?
Exactly. And over ten thousand women have had absolutely enough of the smut and are fighting to ensure that no girl under eighteen years of age ever lays eyes on a Cosmopolitan cover ever again.
This past August, a woman named Nicole Weider started a petition on Change.org to have Cosmopolitan be sold in an opaque wrapper at magazine stands and grocery stores so that its risque headlines stay hidden from the impressionable eyes of young girls.
“I happened to pick up an issue and was reading it and was completely shocked at how pornographic and explicit the content had become. I immediately thought of my young teenage brothers and it horrified me to think that they and their friends could be reading this material, and the damage it would do to them if they did,” Weider said. “So I decided to do something about it.”
But Weider doesn’t want to just stop minors from glancing at the cover while grocery shopping with their parents; she also wants to make sure that they don’t come back on their own and purchase the magazine to read later on. That’s right; she hopes that coming of age at eighteen years old means that a girl can legally buy cigarettes, lottery tickets and the latest issue of Cosmopolitan.
“I have contacted the Chairman of the FTC, John Leibowitz and received a letter from his office stating they will look into the issue and start an investigation only when they feel it’s a ‘threat’ to society,” she said. “This means they need more complaints—that is, signers of this petition.”
Weider asserts that her argument is valid because ever since she started the petition, she’s received hundreds of comments and emails—testimonies from girls as young as eleven years old.
“They write me letters detailing how they’ve tried the sexual tips written about in Cosmo, only to get their hearts broken, or worse — getting pregnant or catching an STD,” she said. “The obvious damage it could be doing is the girls getting STD’s at a young age, pregnancy and bullying.”
And why are girls so young buying Cosmopolitan anyway? According to Weider, it’s because child stars like Hayden Panettiere and Hilary Duff are constantly on the cover! 17-year-old Dakota Fanning is featured on the February issue with the headlines “His Best Sex Ever” and “3 Clues He’s Secretly Into You” plastered next to her face! And Disney Channel actress and goddess of all things tween, Selena Gomez, is slated to appear later this year—of course the eleven year olds of America are going to buy the issue, memorize it from cover to cover and have as much sex as possible with absolutely every guy in middle school!!!
On some level, I do have to agree with her. It is a little weird to see child stars on the cover of such a provocative magazine that usually offers pages and pages of sex advice to newlywed women and women who wish they were newlyweds. To me, it’s not about how old their covergirls are; no one protested when Keira Knightley and Kirsten Dunst appeared on the cover at age 19. It’s about these actresses’ target demographic: who made them famous in the first place, who watches their every move and who idolizes them. And yes, it is these impressionable eleven-year-old girls in middle school who look up to these celebrities a little too much.
Even more so, the dating advice offered inside Cosmo covers often crosses the border into completely ridiculous suggestions: sexting is sexy, cheating is normal, and making love in the club is romance defined! Little girls who don’t know better could seriously eat it all up, especially if spoonfed from something with Selena Gomez on the cover.
But honestly, Nicole Weider, tweens aren’t that easily persuaded. They’re not suddenly discovering the concept of sex when speed reading Cosmo covers while in line at the market. They’re learning about sexual tension from Twilight books and wondering how Kim Kardashian got famous in the first place, they already know what has to happen for Justin Bieber to become the father of any child. Maybe they even hear their parents’ mattresses squeak every once in a while. They’re learning about sex from everywhere else but Cosmopolitan magazine, and if they buy it, it’s because they’re already plenty curious about it. That seed was planted long ago, and the magazine just happens to be the most effective fertilizer toward cultivating great sex.
Sorry, but this ban won’t pass. The FCC will never take this seriously. Such a lucrative magazine in a struggling industry is not a threat to society. And Cosmopolitan will continue to “corrupt” tweens with saucy headlines and sexualized child stars, and there’s nothing that can be done that will actually make any kind of difference. Want tweens to stop having sex, parents? Educate your kids about STI’s and teen pregnancy (no, it does not happen as fast as Bella’s pregnancy in Twilight). Help them build self confidence outside receiving male attention and encourage some kind of moral code in the house. Oh, and make sure they aren’t so easily influenced that they’ll try out an idea that they read in passing on random magazine cover. Whose fault is it really?
Do you agree with Weider about Cosmopolitan’s persuasive effect on tween readers? Or do you also think it’s a little bit ridiculous to buy issues wrapped in cardboard paper whenever you want to thumb through a Cosmo?
Ashley is a UC San Diego grad who is holding on way too tightly to a potential career in magazines and goes to Vegas all too often. She’s fascinated with celebrities and strawberry beer and doubles as a pathological texter/emailer/blogger. Feed the addiction with tweets @cashleelee. Thanks in advance.