The Anti-Cosmo Mission Gets a Surprising New Twist

    I had lunch with a devout Christian last week. She fervently supports the Anti-Cosmo Mission…which isn’t surprising. But what may surprise you is the name of the woman who is just as enraged about this magazine as I am.

    Her name is Victoria Hearst. And she happens to be the granddaughter of the very man who created Cosmo, William Randolph Hearst. By joining our cause, Ms. Hearst is saying  – very publicly – that the Hearst publishing empire is doing the world a disservice by continuing to publish this trash and freely allow young people to purchase it. She is bravely standing up to those in her own family who choose dollar signs over the damage this magazine is causing young women worldwide. This is a story she told me:

    I was at the grocery store with one of my dance students. I decided to test my theory that even a child could buy Cosmo, no problem. I handed her some cash, a Cosmopolitan magazine, and sent her to a completely empty checkout line. There were no adults. There was no way this girl could have been mistaken for someone who was purchasing the magazine with someone older. Now, this was your typical Cosmo with headlines like “75 Sex Tips!” and “Hot Ways to Please Your Man!” But the checkout girl took this child’s money, gave her the change, and handed her the magazine without blinking an eye.

    Over soup and sandwiches, Ms. Hearst and I made a pledge to team up in our fight to get Cosmo sold to adults only. We brainstormed how we can shield innocent children from the  headlines that scream out sexy tips, month after month. We are both shocked and saddened by the fact that underage children can freely buy a pornographic magazine with articles that encourage girls to act like prostitutes with one-night stands.

    Ms. Hearst told me that her grandfather didn’t originally conceive Cosmo to be a pornographic magazine. She described how during the 60s, as the magazine struggled, the owners looked to the new feminism movement as the editorial answer. But the publishers made a decision that breaks my heart – they equated feminism with degradation. They decided that being an independent woman means throwing away the notion that your body is holy. That your relationships are holy. Cosmo magazine became the magazine that tells you to lose all of your self respect in your quest to “get a guy.”

    I don’t have a problem with adults making the choice to read Cosmo. If they want to put garbage in their heads, that is their right. But Ms. Hearst and I BOTH have a problem with the magazine being easily available to impressionable, vulnerable children under 18.

    Ms. Hearst revealed many fascinating stories about how she has worked through the years to get the publishers of Cosmo to do the right thing. I wish I could recount all of them. But suffice it to say, even someone with the last name Hearst can’t get the magazine sold to adults only without your help.

    We need at get at least 100,000 signatures if we want to truly get the attention this issue deserves. Let’s get the government to turn their minds to what is REALLY important. I want a Senate hearing. If our government is so interested in prosecuting a few baseball players accused of taking steroids, why don’t they pay attention to the pornography that is on display to thousands upon thousands of children in supermarket checkout lines?

    Please! Tell all your friends to come to our petition and join the cause. Come to the website and add your name to the mailing list. Ask your local supermarket to pull Cosmo out of the checkout line.

    Together we can do this. We have God … and now we have Victoria Hearst … on our side.

    Team Project Inspired
    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!


    1. Cosmopolitan is not a magazine “with articles that encourage girls to act like prostitutes with one-night stands.” They encourage you to have sex with someone you love. The magazine only has 10 pages of sex in it out of the whole 200 page magazine. I read Cosmo.

      • “Cosmopolitan is not a magazine “with articles that encourage girls to act like prostitutes with one-night stands.” They encourage you to have sex with someone you love. ”
        You’re either a very bad troll or sorely misinformed. A friend of mine, in Jr. High, brought a Cosmo magazine to school, and it said just what you’re denying. So has every subsequent issue I’ve heard about.

        Also ” only has 10 pages of sex in it out of the whole 200 page magazine” is NOT an excuse to read Cosmo.

        Trash the magazine, it’s awful.

        • I am not “a very bad troll or sorely misinformed.” I’m in high school, which is older than your Jr. High friend. I am most definitley not misinformed because I read Cosmo, while you only hear about it. And by pointing out that it only has 10 pages of sex out of the whole 200 page magazine, I was merely showing that it is not a sex based magazine. I wasn’t saying it was excuse to read it. I’m not going to trash the magazine because I don’t think it’s awful.

        • As Christian girls we need to accept the fact that everyone is at a different point in their relationship with Christ. We need to trust Him to show us how to respond in any situation. For example I avoid picking up most magazines because i struggle with feeling like maybe i don’t measure up. Maybe that’s not a struggle for anyone else but it is for me.
          I would worn everyone to think about things that are pure, holy, acceptable etc. etc. and evaluate if Christ would like what you are filling your mind with. whether it comes from Cosmo or your whatever makes you think you are better than anyone else.

          God bless

    2. the person that commented that cosmo just encourages u to have sex w/ someone u love is not true! Since when do u need encouragement to have sex w/ someone u love ? That’s natural as God ordained within the holy bonds of marriage. What Cosmos does do is encourage underage girls especially to experiment w/ sex out of curiosity and not love which will only in the end leave them frustrated having lost their purity and sinning against their good moral conscience. Lust leaves u used. Love leaves u loved. Gods way is far better!

    3. I can’t believe the girl got away with buying Cosmo! How sad! I seriously can’t believe how available and how disturbing it is. I cannot believe the govt. doesn’t really care about our children. I mean, I hear on the news every now and then about the new “rebellious” things teens are doing to be teens, but I don’t hear much about what is being done to stop this from happening. Thanks for telling us about this HUGE growing problem, Nicole!

      • Hey Nicole Weider! I did some research about Cosmo in the past half-hour about how Cosmo got started, and this is what I learned about:

        I actually have been doing a little Cosmo research in the past couple of minutes, just because I was curious as to how Cosmo started out. Although it’s not the most reliable source, Wikipedia states that “Cosmopolitan began as a FAMILY MAGAZINE, launched in 1886… as The Cosmopolitan.” The magazine was mostly for moms and had advice about things like cooking and children. Eventually Cosmo “became a leading market for fiction,” and even came out with plans for a school in 1897. “In 1905, William Randolph Hearst (Victoria’s grandfather,) purchased the magazine for $400,000 (approximately $11,000,000 in 2007 prices.) So basically, Cosmo used to be about books.

        In the 1950’s, Cosmo started to “run less fiction during the 1950s. Circulation dropped to slightly over a million by 1955, a time when magazines were overshadowed during the rise of paperbacks and television. The Golden Age of magazines came to an end as mass market, general interest publications gave way to special interest magazines targeting specialized audiences.” If you actually go to the anti-Cosmo mission website ( and scroll down and look at the past covers of the magazine, you can see that from years 1896 to 1949, the magazine is about fiction, stories, novels, etc.

        “Cosmopolitan’s circulation continued to decline for another decade until Helen Gurley Brown became chief editor in 1965 and remodeled the magazine as New Cosmopolitan.” If you click on the cover from year 1956 to 1967 you can see a slightly major change–this is the first time the magazine has printed the word “sex” on it’s cover. Helen “finally landed an opportunity to put her perspective on a magazine. The magazine was renamed…Cosmopolitan in 1967, and it was refocused as a magazine for women. The magazine eventually adopted a cover format (layout) consisting of a usually young female model typically in a low cut dress or bikini. The magazine focused on young women and published articles that openly talked about sexual issues.”

        In the 1970’s when Helen Brown was starting out as an editor, she received a lot of criticism. And now it is very common knowledge that Cosmo is a sex magazine, although Wikipeida states that it is also about “relationships, beauty, fashion and health.” (Which I find to be a 99% false statement, but I was told that it did have fashion advice once.)

        Anyway, I just wanted to share this big chunk of information with you Nicole, and I amm interested to see what you knew about this and what you didn’t know about this previously. My sources are the Anti-Cosmo mission and Wikipedia:

        • I also don’t think that Victoria’s grandfather was at fault when he purchased the magazine, because of the magazine’s purpose back in the day. I think it was his way to get people into literature and fiction, that’s all. I think we can say that Helen Gurley Brown is to blame for turning Cosmo into the sex magazine it is today.

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