Dakota Fanning Cosmo Cover Causes Stir
The February issue of Cosmo Magazine features a very grown-up looking Dakota Fanning. Lovely as she is, the problem with this photo is that the "Twilight" star is only 17 years old, making her officially a minor.
Just take a look at the titles framing the delicate star's face and you'll see why some parents and other watchdog groups are protesting the magazine's cover choice.
Admittedly, the photo is tasteful and doesn't reveal too much of the teenager's body. The objection to the pretty-in-pink Cosmo cover is that it's using a minor to sell an adult magazine and essentially oversexualizing the underage actress. Worse, it might lure other teenagers to purchase the magazine -- with or without parental consent.
But this is quickly becoming business as usual for the womens' magazine.
Almost to the day last year, I found myself entangled in a similar debacle after giving a reporter my opinion about Lea Michelle's revealing cover photo on this same magazine. My blog and my name made the rounds during the evening Hollywood gossip shows, and was featured on Access Hollywood as the background for the news segment. CNN.com also mentioned my site as well Fox.
The Glee star posed for Cosmo a few months after the infamous GQ Glee spread which featured Michelle in nothing more than underwear in provocative poses. This caused a scandal that likely sent sales of the men's magazine into overdrive.
Cosmo seems to be banking on this marketing ploy once again. However, by using a teenager the glossy is contradicting itself and maybe confusing readers.
In Cosmo's defense of Lea Michelle's plunging cleavage the magazine's spokesperson said, " We are thrilled to feature Lea Michelle on the March cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and think she looks stunning. Michelle is a grown woman and Cosmopolitan is a magazine for adults."
There it is in black and white, Cosmopolitan is a magazine for adults.
This year the magazine explained Fanning's Cosmo cover by saying, "We’re thrilled to feature Dakota Fanning on the February cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and she looks stunning..."
Evidently the mag needs to get a new scrip for the spokesperson.
Of some concern to parents is the conflicting message using a teenager on the cover of a magazine intended for adults sends to Fanning's fans.
As soon as my own 16-year-old daughter caught sight of Fanning on the Cosmo cover in her shimmering pink dress she told me, "If I didn't know any better, I'd buy that magazine because I love Dakota Fanning!"
My point exactly.
This ill-conceived cover photo reminds me of the same scandal Miley Cyrus and Vanity Fair created with a photo of then 15-year-old Miley looking like she'd just had tumble in bed wrapped in only a bedsheet and messy hair.
However, more bewildering to me is to think about the adults who sat around the conference room table and discussed and approved to use a minor on a cover of an adult magazine and then place her image between the words, "His Best Sex Ever" and "Umm, Vagina, Are You OK Down There?" At 17, I hope it is.
Last year, the young actress posed provocatively in an add for Marc Jacob's Lola perfume and was banned in the U.K.
What do you think: Is it OK to feature a minor on the cover of a racy magazine marketed to adults and which contains adult topics?