Walmart to put Cosmopolitan Magazine Behind Blinders

Walmart has confirmed their move to place Cosmopolitan Magazine behind blinders in a company-wide policy due to the graphic content of the magazine. We praise Walmart for this welcome move and thank them for joining Rite Aid and Delhaize America (owner of Food Lion and Hannaford stores) to help protect kids from sexual exploitation.
Cosmo regularly targets young girls as evidenced by a hand-drawn picture by one of their 6th grade readers in the August issue and a Disney star on the cover of the upcoming September issue. The problem is that this is a pornographic magazine with detailed descriptions of sex acts and dangerous sexual practices. It is just as pornographic as Playboy and should not be pushed on kids in the supermarket checkout lines. See the Cosmo Harms Minors campaign that we launched together with Victoria Hearst.

While the editor of Cosmopolitan said she is too busy to publicly debate our executive director, Dawn Hawkins, because she is “helping women have better orgasms” (her comments prove our point that this is a sexually explicit publication), it does seem that our efforts are affecting the editorial content of the magazine as well. The next issue has tamed down their headlines significantly. Our team has poured through 85+ issues of Cosmo over the last two years in preparation for this campaign and NEVER has the cover not included graphic sexual headlines until now.

The press is abuzz with news of these policy changes as well. The NY Times, Today Show, Breitbart, HLN, Fox News and at least 50 other news outlets are talking about the moves these major retailers are taking to curb sexual exploitation.

A few more stories in the news:

  • BreitbartRitAid, Food Lion, Hannaford Stores To Place Cosmopolitan Behind Blinders
    • NCSE launched its campaign against Cosmopolitan magazine in 2013 when the publication was named to its Dirty Dozen List, a list of the top twelve organizations contributing to sexual exploitation. In NCSE’s nationwide poll, the majority of Americans agreed that Cosmo‘s front cover is not appropriate for all ages.“We are thankful to RiteAid and Delhaize America for not allowing this harmful material to be in plain view of minors at their stores, and we encourage other chains to follow suit, and to refuse to sell this pornographic magazine to minors,” said Dawn Hawkins, NCSE executive director.
  • New York TimesCosmopolitan Magazine Covers To Be Shielded By 2 Retailers
    • “On the cover was this beautiful brunette model, and she was completely naked, but for a strategically placed boa constrictor,” Ms. Hearst said.

      “My stomach turned, and I just said: ‘Wait a minute, what is my family doing?’  ” she said. “This is pornography.”

  • World Magazine: Two Supermarkets to Cover Up Racy Magazine Covers
    • “This is a pretty significant victory and a step forward,” NCSE executive director Dawn Hawkins said. “With the leadership of Rite Aid and Food Lion, we hope other retailers would follow suit.”Since the campaign launched, Hawkins said, they contacted 30 retailers around the country, including Wal-Mart. The retail store responded last week saying it has a long-standing policy of covering the magazines. But a visit to four different Wal-Mart branches across the country showed otherwise.“I expect that Wal-Mart will start enforcing it as well,” Hawkins said. “We just have to show them it’s not enforced.”
  • LA Times
    • Cosmopolitan magazine’s racy covers are going behind a shield at Rite-Aid — and maybe some other retailers — just like pornography, WWD reported Wednesday. The decision comes in response to efforts by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Victoria Hearst, who launched a campaign called Cosmo Harms Minors in April. Name sound familiar?  She’s a great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, who founded Cosmo’s publisher, the Hearst Corp.
  • Yahoo! Celebrity
    • At a National Press Club press conference in April, Veronica Hearst claimed, “This is not a family feud, this is not ‘Mommy Dearest.’ We’re not trying to censor Cosmo. We’re not trying to put it out of business. All we’re saying is, if you want to print pornography, I can’t stop you. If I was queen of the Hearst Corporation, this magazine would no longer exist and the editor-in-chief and all the people there would be on unemployment. But since I don’t have that power, all we’re saying is, look — you want to print this junk, then print it. It’s adult material, it’s clear it’s adult material. Label it as such.”

The #CosmoHarmsMinors campaign is certainly making progress!

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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