By Kate Drozynski
Cosmopolitan is getting the Playboy treatment. Two major retailers across the U.S. will soon be shielding the cover of the magazine that taught us how to use a thong as a scrunchie from consumers to keep sexual content out of view of minors.
Rite Aid and Food Lion will be obscuring Cosmo’s sexual headlines and “pornographic” content with blinders and special holders that will cover part, but not all, of the magazine’s cover. The cover model and the Cosmopolitan banner at the top of the cover will still be visible.
A spokeswoman for Rite Aid told The New York Times that the drug store would “continue to carry” Cosmo, but that it was “working to place future issues of this publication behind pocket shields.”
Food Lion, a grocery store, will require Hearst Corporation, who publishes the magazine, to provide covers that would block headlines like “Wild Summer Sex: 8 Moves From Foreplay to Fireworks” and “Sex So Hot You’ll Need to Crank the A.C.!”
The straw that broke the How-to-End-Camel-Toe’s back was a push from a campaign from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE), an advocacy group whose mission it is to oppose sexual exploitation and defend human dignity. The campaign, called “Cosmo Harms Minors,” was begun by Victoria Hearst, granddaughter of Hearst Corporation’s founder William Randolph Hearst. Twist!
Victoria Hearst told the Times she was first appalled by the magazine when she noticed a cover model wearing only a strategically placed boa constrictor: “My stomach turned and I just said: ‘Wait a minute, what is my family doing?’ This is pornography.”
Tricky word, pornography. The definition has been difficult to pin down, but according to the NCSE, Cosmo fits it.
“Cosmo is actually just another porn magazine glamorizing and legitimizing a dangerous lifestyle – pushing readers to try violent, group or anal sex,” Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the NCSE, told Women’s Wear Daily.