The Wrangler

Walmart Pulls Cosmopolitan Magazine from its Shevles

After exploitation of sexually degrading material from an activist group, Walmart decides to pull Cosmopolitan Magazine from its checkout aisles.

The Washington Post

After exploitation of sexually degrading material from an activist group, Walmart decides to pull Cosmopolitan Magazine from its checkout aisles.

Abigail Kim, Photojournalist

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After an activist group made accusations on Cosmopolitan Magazine of hypersexualizing their material with degraded content, Walmart decided to pull the the gossip sensation from its shelves. Checkout aisles of 5,000 different stores have been swept clean of the magazine on March 28. A Washington-based, nonprofit organization, known as Mortality in Media, opposed provocative content because the “Hearst-owned magazine was ‘targeting young girls with their advertisements’” (Washington Post).

 

On an extremely popular app, Snapchat, the brightly pink colored pages lure the femininity of adolescents and young teens. Although there are “Disney stars that appear on it and [articles about] the Jonas Brothers and One Direction,” the more its viewer scrolls, the more explicit the content gets (Washington Post). Some articles promote sexting, sexual positions, and orgies. However, they also give some insight on clothing, fashion trends, and and the latest celebrity gossip.

 

On the flip side, an editor of Cosmopolitan, Joanna Coles, defends the photoshop controversy that the magazine is infamous for. Although their extent of photoshopping female bodies has decreased, touching up is still frequent. “If there was a cellulite dimple, we might take it out” but they “certainly don’t slim anyone down by 30 pounds… we do very little retouching” (Daily Beast). She acknowledges that body image is an especially fraught matter for their Cosmo readers. In 1965, Helen Gurley reinvented the magazine made for housewives as a “sex-positive lifestyle guide for ambitious, free-spirited ‘single girls’ in search of fun, love, and career-success” (Daily Beast).

 

On Tuesday night, Walmart stated that they would still have the magazines available for customers, just not directly in the checkout aisle. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, its voice on gun rights impacted Walmart. Later, the corporation “issued new restrictions on guns sales” (CNBC). Thus, social and political activism in the US have influenced how large corporations like Walmart manage their business practices.

 

“There can and should be discussions on how Cosmopolitan helps and hurts women,” says Kate Taylor in Business Insider. But, she believes that “blaming a publication” that was created by women and aims at publishing about “sexual harassment and assault many women endure is an embarrassing repurposing of the #MeToo Movement” (CNBC). Agreeing with the statement, Alexis Wilens (12) states that “it’s a magazine that informs women and generates ambition between free-spirited women” but “at times it may get vulgar and explicit if younger readers choose a certain article out of curiosity.”

 

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Walmart Pulls Cosmopolitan Magazine from its Shevles