Published January 06, 2012
If one woman has her way, you won't be seeing headlines like "75 Sex Moves" and "Foreplay Men Crave" in the grocery store checkout line anymore.
Cosmopolitan magazine released its February issue this week featuring 17-year-old Dakota Fanning as the cover girl, surrounded by article captions such as “His Best Sex Ever,” “Too Naughty To Stay Here: But You Have to Try This Sex Trick.”
The cover was the perfect example of what for model Nicole Weider wants banned from grocery stores and newsstands.
“As a former reader of the magazine, 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 told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “So I decided to do something about it.”
So, in August 2011, Weider started a Change.org petition to have the magazine sold in a non-transparent wrapper.
Weider wants to make sure nobody under the age of 18 sees the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine on newsstands or at their grocery stores, and that no one under 18 can buy the top-selling title.
“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 thinks its particularly troubling when the magazine occasionally uses tween/teen-orientated stars like Fanning and Hayden Panettiere (and reportedly Selena Gomez in an upcoming issue), to cater to a very adult audience. To date, the petition has received almost 11,000 signatures and Weider says that she has also received hundreds of supportive comments and emails through her website www.projectinspired.com from girls as young as 11.
“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. But let’s not forget other behaviors Cosmo displays in a glamorous package to young girls, such as sexting nude pictures of yourself (November 2011) and suggesting that it is ‘normal’ if your boyfriend cheats on you (December 2011).”
Not everyone shares Weider's views.
“Is this really happening in 2012? Next thing you know they'll want to ban Elvis and those ‘talking pictures’ for being too risqué,” said Los Angeles-based pop culture writer/reporter Jenn Hoffman. "If you want to hide the cover of Cosmo, why not hide the cover of the tabloid magazines too? Maybe we should cover up any publication that promotes values we don't like. Reality stars grace the cover of tabloid magazines by selling their stories, and making money by exploiting their family and their personal relationships. Where is the petition to shield kids from the dangerously salacious image of Kim Kardashian?"
Cosmopolitan magazine did not respond to a request for comment.