Successful Model Leads Movement to Prevent Cosmopolitan Magazine From Aggressively Marketing Sex to Minors

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Nicole Weider’s Change.org Petition Seeks FTC Requirement that Cosmo Be Sold Only to Adults

“We are not asking Cosmopolitan to change their content,” explains Weider. “We simply want them to take responsibility for it. They say it’s for adults, so let them sell it only to adults."

Model Nicole Weider is leading a movement alleging that Cosmopolitan Magazine is actively targeting minors, and needs to be sold in a non-transparent wrapper, exclusively to adults.

She believes the public may have no idea how explicit the cover copy and editorial of this publication, sold openly on store shelves, can be. Weider points out that 17-year-old Dakota Fanning is currently on the February 2012 cover, right alongside the statement, “Too Naughty to Say Here, But you HAVE to try this Sex Trick.” Disney favorite, 19-year-old Selena Gomez, has been reported as the cover model on an upcoming issue. Weider asks, if the magazine is truly not targeting an underage audience, why would it put teen heroines on the cover?

Weider’s Change.org campaign demands that Cosmopolitan be sold in a non-transparent wrapper to adults only to prevent children from buying and reading material inappropriate for their development. The petition already has gained fast traction, with over 20,000 signatures in agreement with Weider's request since its launch. The petition can be viewed at http://Tinyurl.com/anticosmo.

“We are not asking Cosmopolitan to change their content,” explains Weider. “We simply want them to take responsibility for it. They say it’s for adults, so let them sell it only to adults. This is what we are in communication with the FTC about. If they are going to print sexually explicit articles and images, it should not be marketed and sold to kids. It’s that simple.”

The American Psychological Association’s 2010 study titled “Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls” suggests that the proliferation of sexual images of girls in the media is harming and impeding healthy development, self-image and body-image, and is now linked to common mental health problems including eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression (see page 23 of the APA report).

“Exposure to over-sexualization during the early and teen years almost always disturbs the development of a consistent yet flexible sense of self, resulting in deeply rooted objectification and personality disorders.” explains Los Angeles-based Dr. Shandiz Zandi. “These disorders manifest behaviors such as self-mutilation, eating disorders, prostitution, drug addiction and other behaviors that are destructive to self and others and could remain devastating through an entire life span.”

The campaign began after Weider simply purchased a copy of the magazine. “I couldn’t believe how pornographic the content had become. I started thinking about my teenage siblings and was horrified that their age-group had easy access to this graphic material.”

Initially, she made a YouTube video and posted it on her fast-growing website for Christian teens, http://www.projectinspired.com. The response from young girls who had been negatively affected by the publication was so great that she created the change.org petition, urging that Cosmopolitan make itself available to adults only.

Weider explains, “In recent issues the editors of Cosmo have urged their readers to sext, participate in anal sex, accept cheating boyfriends, have public sex, try three-somes, and visit pornographic websites with the URLS conveniently provided. This subject matter should not be available to minors.

“With our change.org petition, we simply ask that the magazine admit its content is not appropriate for young girls, stop putting teens on the cover and put the magazine in a non-transparent wrapper. It’s that simple. If you aren’t marketing to teen girls, then this request shouldn’t be an issue.”

The full APA report can be downloaded here: http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report-full.pdf

Fox News on the Change.org campaign: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/01/06/petition-to-ban-cosmopolitan-magazine-from-stores-gets-over-10000-signatures/?test=faces

http://www.projectinspired.com
http://www.nicoleweider.com
http://tinyurl.com/anticosmo

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Lori Lenz
FrontGate Media
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