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There are Powerful People Willing to Protect Young Girls by Banning Controversial Ads

The “sexualization” of young girls is prevalent in Hollywood and the media. We’ve discussed this often on Project Inspired. But there’s still hope.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently banned an ad featuring actress Dakota Fanning. The ad shows 17-year-old Fanning sitting on the floor with her legs straight and an over-sized bottle of perfume wedged between them.

Although Fanning is dressed appropriately, her gaze is seductive and the positioning of the bottle is controversial. The Advertising Standards Authority found the image guilty of “sexualizing a child.”

It’s not the first time that an ad has been pulled for its inappropriate content. In 2010, a Calvin Klein billboard in Australia featuring Lara Stone was banned by the Advertising Standards Bureau. In this ad, the actress is shown in a sexually submissive position with 3 half-dressed men. After complaints, the bureau had the board removed, stating that the image was “suggestive of violence and rape.”

Sadly, using sex to sell products is very common in advertising. But when the model is a teen, then the advertiser needs to be called out. Abercrombie & Fitch is a prime example. It often uses images of young men and women who are in controversial poses and mostly undressed, which is ironic since the retailer sells clothes.

“Sex sells” is a well-known phrase. But even if it were true (although I don’t believe it is), children and teens shouldn’t be a part of it, whether they’re in the ad or exposed to it.

Compare the following two perfume ads. The first, for a Yves St Laurent fragrance, was banned by the ASA because it believed the French actress dancing “simulated drug use,” and that the ad itself “was irresponsible and offensive.”


The next ad promotes Taylor Swift’s fragrance. I know I frequently use her as an example, but I feel that she’s a pretty good reflection of moral virtue, and her efforts should be noted and emulated.

What a contrast, don’t you think? And seriously, which fragrance would you like to try?

There are so many instances in which young girls are being exploited or exposed. But the good news is that there are people in power who strive to protect young children by banning controversial ads that may harm them.

Even here on Project Inspired, you may have noticed or even been a part of Nicole’s efforts to protect young girls from inappropriate content on the covers of Cosmopolitan magazine. Check out her most recent Anti-Cosmo video below.


The direction in which Cosmopolitan is heading is a dangerous one for young girls. But we all can make a difference by exposing it for what it really is. If you wish to join the fight to help protect girls from inappropriate material, take a moment to SIGN THE ANTI-COSMO PETITION.

Let’s pray that further efforts to protect young girls take place and that they’re successful!

Do you think advertisers should take more responsibility in protecting young girls?

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Image: Marc Jacobs


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  1. theteenfashionista

    Posted by theteenfashionista on March 6, 2016 at 11:16

    I looooooooooove Taylor Swift–but she posed for Cosmo not once, not twice, but THREE times!

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Zenda on November 26, 2012 at 06:26

    I do not know why girls always think they should “show some skin” in order for men to notice them.
    You are beautiful just the way you are and should not have to change for anyone.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by U.r.a.Blessing on September 4, 2012 at 13:24

    Thats heartbraking. Im speechless. Its honestly terrible about the exposure of little girls and inapropriate magezines!!! Ugh, the world would definately be a better place if there was no pornogrofy.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by GodsLittleGirl on December 13, 2011 at 16:12

    When women portray themselves as a “voodoo doll” like in Cosmopolitan and ads similar to the Calvin Klien and Yves St. Laurent ads, it makes me think of how degrading that is to other women, and what stereotypes women are classified under because of it.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by iamagirl on November 29, 2011 at 18:45

    I didn’t see any simulated drug use.

  6. Posted by on November 26, 2011 at 00:09

    Hello, Nicole. I understand that Cosmo is a pretty horrible magazine, and that it should have a bag on it, but your Anti-Cosmo issues are just as repetitive as Cosmo’s covers are. I respect that you are doing something about it and am glad that all these girls that are my age look up to you. It’s noble of you to make such an inspiring site.

    I have a question though: how many teen girls actually read Cosmo magazine? Also, woman these days DO treat their bodies like toys. And guys like toys, and women like to please men. I am sure that is how it always was, before our time, it just wasn’t publicized. I am disappointed in society for stooping so low, but I think we sometimes bring it on ourselves. We, and I mean woman, need to learn to stand strong, but not in a way that makes us equal with men. We should get paid the same and get charged the same, but they should also “where the pants” in a relationship. Chivalry should not be dead. They should still open doors and hold our umbrellas, but we also need to be nice to them and do things for them. And when I say that, I don’t mean sex. I mean cooking and cleaning and buying them as much things as they buy us.

    To T.M Gaoulette: I actually don’t see anything wrong with Dakota’s face or clothing. The dress is rather cute and her face isn’t sexual at all. Her pose is A LITTLE bit mature, but the perfume bottle isn’t “wedged between her legs”. I don’t think the add should be banned at all she is allowed to model whatever she wants, and since she is under aged, her mom or dad would have to approve. She wanted to do the add, so let her pose how she wants without getting criticized for wanting to make money. That is what America is know for: making money. We are great at it, and if that’s what posing with an oversized perfume bottle will get me, I would do it. She might actually be having sex or she might not. Dakota is a celebrity: she wants her face known, and her talents known, so let’s focus on that instead of a photograph. Buy the product or don’t.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by AbbyLovesToDance on November 25, 2011 at 17:10

    I tottaly agree with all of this! And I love Taylor Swift, because honestly, she doesn’t sing about sex and drugs, I have never ONCE seen anything inappropriate in her clothing, and music videos. And she is also a good singer 🙂 I want to sign the petition, but it asks for my address? Just wondering what that’s for?

  8. Posted by on November 25, 2011 at 15:50

    I LOVE Taylor Swift! And one of the reasons is because of her constant modesty and class. It shows that you don’t have to be “sexy” to make it big. It’s sad that most people think otherwise.

    • pinkpenguin318

      Posted by pinkpenguin318 on November 26, 2011 at 09:37

      Taylor Swift is naturally beautiful. That’s why CoverGirl choose her for advertising their NatureLuxe commercials and she doesn’t need to wear sexy clothes to look “hot”.

  9. pinkpenguin318

    Posted by pinkpenguin318 on November 23, 2011 at 12:45

    I did a little research, and in an ad that the perfume was in, it says the fragrance is for WOMEN. Yet…how come they used Dakota Fanning–who, by the age of 17 is still legally considered a minor–and made the perfume look like it was for teens by the way it was designed and the colors that they used? I see that ad in every issue of Teen Vogue, and the fact that it looks like Dakota is advertising sex in such a way (at first, it seemed like she wasn’t, but now that I have studied the image, it does look that way sadly), I do feel like we do have the right to say, “shame on you, Mark Jacobs!”

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by mcsnowball on November 21, 2011 at 17:13

    I loved Taylor’s Swift add even though I really don’t listen to her music that much. I would much rather wear Swifts perfume then the other one and I know my parents would much rather me wear her’s then the other one where the girl is acting sexual. I really liked your video Nicole. I never noticed befor what the magazin’s where doing. I know for myself at being 14 anything that has a celebarty on it I would pick up to see why they where on it.

    • Posted by Nicole on November 22, 2011 at 00:28

      thanks for being so honest! Don’t read cosmo because it’s absolute TRASH! 🙂 Did you sign the change.org petition?

  11. Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 13:37

    Do I really have to put my personal information in the petition? Is there any way to sign it without putting my address?

    • Posted by Nicole on November 21, 2011 at 15:26

      yes you don’t need to input your real address!

  12. Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 07:30

    One of the worst magazines that teens DO read, more than cosmo, is Seventeen. Talk about awful…it ENCOURAGES girls to be ‘suggestive’, and ‘active’…!

  13. Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 07:22

    The ‘Wonderstuck’ ad is absolutely gorgeous!!! very lush and elegant. Dakota’s little sister Elle Fanning has recently been in Marc Jacobs clothing ads, wearing clothes that look WAY too old for her, and there’s usually a guy in the ads too that look about 3 times older than her…weird. Girls Elle’s age (14) don’t have money for Marc Jacobs clothing anyways, and what adult wants to buy something a 14 yr old models?!

  14. Posted by on November 19, 2011 at 22:04

    That is a contrast! In the first one, did you notice near the end that she got into a sex pose? Plus the perfume has the word “opium” in it; opium is a drug! On the other hand, Taylor Swift’s is innocent wonder, beauty, and shyness at the guy’s harmless interest in her.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by AbbyLovesToDance on November 25, 2011 at 17:12

      I know. I have always loved Taylor Swift! And her dress is age appropriate, and beautiful 🙂

    • Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 07:24

      I know, I love Taylor’s ad- I like how she’s slightly mysterious, like she’s not going to let the guy find her so easy 😉

  15. Posted by on November 19, 2011 at 17:09

    I totally agree with you … I am SO tired of seeing “sex this” and “sex that” at the top left hand corner EVERY issue, and I do not even buy the magazine. I only see it in line at the grocery store.

    I mean, come on, are there not other things to think about in life besides sex? The lack of creativity on Cosmo’s (and other magazines, I do say) part is saddening … there are so many other issues in life besides that one.

    I’m proud of you for your willingness to take a stand and try to make a difference. 🙂

  16. Paris

    Posted by Paris on November 19, 2011 at 08:38

    I don’t see what’s wrong with that Yves commerical at all.

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by NoraMarielle on November 19, 2011 at 07:05

    the yves st laurent commercial was just stupid and awkward. lol. The Taylor Swift one was colorful and enchanting!

  18. Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 14:00

    Oh my goodness! Some people just do not see the respect you should have for yourself and I guess don’t realise that your body is something to care for and your temple. Btw Taylors vid is way better! I’d rather try that haha

  19. Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 10:38

    Okay, here’s the thing no Cosmo isn’t the best magazine out there but really is it the worst? What about Maxim? To me that is WAY worse! Or how about Rollingstone? Both of those magazine covers get racy and they get racy fast too. Or Vogue? Here’s my point. The world we live in is a very sexual world and yes as Christians we do need to know when to stand up and say no but honestly why is Cosmo so much worse than the other magazines that have racy covers? Personally I have purchased Cosmo before and I just skip over those parts and I love their fashion tips and other articles.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Mary K8 on November 20, 2011 at 14:14

      Vogue focuses more on fashion than sex, and Rolling Stones’ focus is music. Maxim is a men’s magazine if I’m not mistaken, and Nicole’s main focus with this petition is preventing young girls from reading/seeing that trash. You say that you skip over the sex articles, but think about it: most of their fashion and beauty articles rotate around impressing guys, and that’s not what life is all about.

    • Posted by Nicole on November 18, 2011 at 13:37

      Cosmo is the #1 selling magazine in the United States, and young girls rrequently read it as opposed to Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone doesn’t get into graphic sex tips, like Cosmo does. And I’m not worried about the high-fashion magazine Vogue, Cosmo is WAY more damaging.

      • Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 07:26

        ‘Teen Vogue’ is like that- fashion-centered. It occassionally has the teen pregnancy article, but focuses on it’s topic- FASHION!

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Pure4him on November 19, 2011 at 18:49

        ISn’t cosmo like porn? I am against it, but I think it is vilgar and frightning! >:/

  20. Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 06:40

    while i was reading this article i saw an add for victorias secret on your website where the girls was wearing no shirt, just a bra. i dont mean to critisize you nicole, but really? dont you have control over the adds on your website?

    • Posted by Nicole on November 22, 2011 at 00:48

      thank you for bringing that to my attention! I will figure that out asap.

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by RachelMarie on November 17, 2011 at 19:37

    I do agree, that first one was disturbing but the TSwift one was very sweet and cute. it should be the idea that girls should want to be. however, the only reason i dont like TSwift is because her songs always seem to be about guys. i know not all of them, but the majority of them seem to be. is it any better to be completely obsessed with guys than it is to be with them?

    • Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 07:28

      I think it’s not so much that’s she obsessed with guys, but that happens to be what she feels most emotional about when it comes to writing songs.

    • Posted by on November 19, 2011 at 22:11

      I am not a big Taylor Swift fan either…her song “Mean”, though is really good. It’s about standing up to bullies. And she is very beautiful!

  22. GoatyGirl

    Posted by GoatyGirl on November 17, 2011 at 18:07

    I LOVE that Taylor Swift ad! I love that she dresses like she’s in a fairy tale a lot. I like how that perfume smells too! 🙂

  23. Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 17:40

    Do they think sexualizing everything makes it more attractive? I actually found the Taylor Swift one enchanting. I wanted to watch it again! The other one was slightly disturbing and very appalling.
    Thanks so much for that article! 😀

    • Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 06:28

      haha, its kinda funny that you used the word “enchanting” since the song that is playing is Enchanted

  24. Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 15:12

    Ok… Nicole… You and everyone else here is starting to get annoying. I am sorry…… But Cosmo has NOTHING to do with this article. And you all need to stop. Ok? I love all of your writings…. but I am sorry…. the thing is… is that you guys are just… you are just causing issues. You need to write an article and leave it. Not try and force everyone to agree with you. Infact… the whole cosmo thing… look… Seeing the words “100 sex tips” on a magazine… listen… most children are not even going to know what it is talking about. And if they speak latin or french… they are going to think it says “100 6 tips* alright? So please… just stop all of this! I am getting sick and tired of you trying to force this on everyone! Cosmo is not the worst thing there is.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Bmac on May 16, 2012 at 14:04

      Look,Bryna Nicole Is NOT forcing anything on Y-O-U which is really who you are worried about, second COSMO IS AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! third don’t get on this website if she annoys you!!!!!!

    • Posted by on November 23, 2011 at 12:41

      I agree! I like this site, but an article is suppose to present the facts and leave it to the reader, not the writer to try to persuade them! It’s journalism ethics.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Mary K8 on November 20, 2011 at 14:09

      Actually, cosmo has everything to do with this article. All it is is sexualizing women, and it feeds us the lie that all we are here for is to be sex objects. What did you think the article was talking about? No, Cosmo is not the “worst thing in the world,” but does that make it okay?

    • Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 07:40

      If the fact that Nicole is trying to help young girls bothers you than maybe you should stop complaining and not read her articles. You have to freedom to stop reading this website, no one is forcing it on you. You are choosing to read these articles. Nicole shouldn’t have to stop writing something because YOU find it annoying. Your comment makes you sound full of yourself and ignorant. You might not be either of those things so next time you might want to think about other people before you comment again. Nicole obviously really cares about the cosmo issue and is putting in a lot of work. Don’t be rude just because you disagree.

      • Posted by on November 19, 2011 at 22:08

        Heather is right! You don’t have to agree with everyone, but you do not have to be rude about it either. Not everyone is immune to Cosmo’s influence. Not that I’m criticizing you either. It’s good that you honestly express your opinion, but there is no need to do it in a rude way.

    • Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 06:38

      um, no one speaks latin so…

      • Posted by on November 26, 2011 at 12:08

        Kat- Thats just what i was thinking!!

    • Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 18:07

      Really? You think 9-17 year old girls don’t know what sex is? Do you live under a rock? And Nicole is not the annoying one, you are! It’s people like you that are responsible for why girls today have such low self esteem.

      • Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 19:30

        freedom of speech. Don’t like what she says? You shouldn’t read it. Plain and simple =)

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by EngineeringChristsWorld on November 17, 2011 at 16:16

      If everyone thought like this, we would have no freedom in America. Maybe Nicole feels she has an obligation to help young girls who can’t always speak up for themselves. Nicole doesn’t settle like everyone else in this world. Just for that, I say: More power to her!
      Also, this article was written by T.M. Gaouette and I would like to thank her also. 🙂

  25. Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 14:28

    I love Taylor’s dress! Seriously, it’s cute!

    • Splendisa

      Posted by Splendisa on November 29, 2011 at 19:03

      Yes! I love her dress! 😀

    • Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 07:23

      Stunning! it’s like the girly-girl’s dream dress 😀

  26. Project Inspired

    Posted by emilychrissy777 on November 17, 2011 at 14:10

    how is sexualizing young girls under 18 not illegal yet? it’s give a bad message to anyone who looks at it….especially offenders…

  27. Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 13:58

    I love how they claim to spend so much time on the “health” of our nation, yet they fail to realize the horrific results of emotional neglect by feeding our youth and young adults poisonous material that is not only suggestive but demoralizing. This is an outrage. I wonder if they sleep well at night knowing their daughters and fellow female associates are getting paid well, but have no true moral steps to stand on.

  28. Posted by on November 17, 2011 at 13:44

    Wow…..what a contrast….I like the Taylor Swift ad. I hope most people would go for “cute” and not “sexy”, though it’s pretty sad many go for the other.