Cosmopolitan Magazine is at it again – targeting young teen girls despite its pornographic sex tips and other adult content. And model Nicole Weider wants it to end.
The March issue just hit stands and has former Disney star Selena Gomez gracing the cover next to the phrase "50 Sex Tips" in large font. While Gomez is 19, a legal adult, the magazine is likely to be picked up by her fans who are mostly tweens and teens.
The new issue has been promoted on the Dream Out Loud – Gomez's clothing line – Facebook page. All 255,952 young fans are being urged to "get your copy." Gomez also has 26 million Facebook fans on her own page.
Appalled, Weider wrote on her website for girls, ProjectInspired, "How many girls went and purchased the magazine because Gomez is on the cover and she, through her brand, urged them to do so? The thought of so many young women reading these sex tips is horrifying."
Weider, an outspoken Christian, is leading a national anti-Cosmo campaign and demanding that the magazine be sold in a non-transparent wrapper to adults.
Overtly adult content in magazines requires that publications be sold in non-transparent wrappers and only to consumers who are over the age of 18. Yet Cosmo, with cover articles featuring graphic sexuality and sex tips (the March issue includes "Your orgasm guaranteed"), claims that its publication is targeted to readers who are of age.
Weider argues that the magazine is targeting a younger audience not only with its new 2012 designs such as larger font and brighter colors but also with young celebrities. Last month, Cosmo featured 17-year-old Dakota Fanning on the cover with the phrase "Too Naughty to Say Here. But You Have to Try This Sex Trick."
Gomez, who just ended her Disney career in January, is now the new face of the adult magazine yet she has fans between the age of eight and 14 years of age. Many young girls watched her get her start on the "Wizards of Waverly Place" and are avid listeners of her music as well.
The pop star launched "Dream Out Loud" last year and claims it's a brand for teen girls ranging from 12 to 18 years of age. Additionally, Gomez dates Justin Bieber, another teen pop sensation with an extensive fan base of young teenage girls.
Weider asks, if the magazine is not targeting an underage audience, why are teen heroines on the cover?
"Cosmopolitan Magazine is filled with graphic sexual messages. Every day we hear uncomfortable stories of parents standing in the checkout line and their children asking questions about what is written boldly across the cover," she stated.
She said many parents aren't even aware of the graphic content, and might buy the magazine because their young daughter is a Gomez fan. But they should know that most issues contain tips on how to perform oral sex and other sexual advice not suitable for young girls.
Weider has launched a petition and is building up a case of evidence that Cosmo is actively targeting an underage audience.
"The petition is progressing fantastically," she told CP in an email. "Each week it receives more than 100 new signatures, and nearly 25,000 people have signed in support so far."
Her goal for the petition, she summed: "That no one 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 legally buy Cosmopolitan magazine."
The petition has received support from churches and ministries across the country, as well as from thousands of young girls. She told CP, "We're currently looking into several potential partnerships to further the mission's reach and help us achieve our goal that much faster."