On March 28, 2018, retailer-giant Walmart announced its decision to pull Cosmopolitan magazine from its checkouts across the nation. Walmart called this a “business decision,” but also revealed it had heard its customers’ continuing concerns over Cosmo.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation called this a “family-friendly decision” and “sexploitation-free” in a public statement praising Walmart’s move:
Walmart is using its platform to take a stand against sexual exploitation, by instituting a broad sweep of all Walmart stores, removing Cosmopolitan Magazine from each and every checkout aisle. This unprecedented effort will impact more than 5,000 stores across our nation.
That’s over 5,000 stores where families and individuals will no longer be automatically exposed to Cosmo’s hypersexualized and degrading article titles that regularly promote pornography, sexting, BDSM, group sex, anal sex, and more, all while marketing toward young teens with Disney star cover models.
Nationally representative surveys show that the majority of Americans believe that Cosmopolitan’s graphic headlines are not appropriate for all ages, and young girls and boys alike have often reached out to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation reporting how the magazine’s normalization of sexual objectification and pornography compound peer-pressure to engage in more risky sex, which has negatively impacted them.
We at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation have been working behind the scenes with Walmart for months regarding this policy improvement, and applaud Walmart for making their checkout aisles family-friendly and sexploitation-free.
In addition to pushing risky sexual behaviors and hyper sexualized photos of women on anyone standing in a checkout lane — men, teens, women, and children — Cosmo is also known for its abortion advocacy.
In 2014, Amy Odell, editor of Cosmopolitan.com led the magazine’s political efforts, which included endorsing candidates. Odell flat-out stated, “We’re not going to endorse someone who is pro-life because that’s not in our readers’ best interest.” She went on to describe that young women in particular might need to “terminate a pregnancy,” all while failing to mention that what they really need in modern society is support to give life to their children, even in less than ideal circumstances.
For decades, Cosmo’s agenda has been nearly identical to Planned Parenthood’s: objectify women as sex objects, claim sex is the most important part of a woman’s life, and push abortion on them. When women called Planned Parenthood to ask about their pregnancy options, a Live Action investigative journalism effort uncovered the abortion corporation leaving women high and dry:
Cosmo, similarly, paints a fake view of life for women — instructing them that if they can craft themselves into a toy with perfect sex appeal, little else will matter. The magazine also continues to print articles that insist abortion is the best solution to a woman’s issues, with practically zero coverage on real health information that women need.
If Cosmo ever wants to provide women with real, accurate health information on abortion, it should consider posting the Abortion Procedure videos on its site and covering them in its magazine.
For now, thankfully, Walmart has come down on the side of women by removing the pro-abortion, pro-sexploitation Cosmo from its checkout stands.
You can thank Walmart by going here, and you can also work to get Cosmo out of your favorite retailer: Target and Walgreens are two that need public pressure.