Walmart will pull Cosmopolitan from its checkout aisles amid complaints that the magazine is too sexualized to be seen by children.
“Families and individuals will no longer be automatically exposed to Cosmo’s hypersexualized and degrading article titles that regularly promote pornography, sexting, BDSM, group sex, anal sex, and more, all while marketing toward young teens with Disney star cover models,” read a statement Tuesday from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which spearheaded the campaign.
The group said that both boys and girls have contacted them asking for help fighting the “magazine’s normalization of sexual objectification and pornography,” which they said “compound peer-pressure to engage in more risky sex.”
Walmart responded to the months-long campaign by removing the magazine from checkout aisles at 5,000 Walmart locations, although it can still be found on magazine racks elsewhere in the store.
The move was “primarily a business decision,” but “the concerns raised were heard,” Walmart said. “As with all products in our store, we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes.”
Although heavily promoting sexual freedom, Cosmopolitan has also written articles supporting the #MeToo movement, including one defending young “Twitter feminists.”
Critics pointed out that Cosmopolitan is a magazine marketed at and created by women.
Pulling a magazine that empowers women to talk about sex in a healthy and positive way is counter-productive. Not only does Cosmo publish articles about sex & relationships, it also discusses politics, health, news and so much more. Don’t de-emphasize that important work, Walmart https://t.co/0iucxipd4U
— Amanda McKelvey (@ammckelvey) March 27, 2018
Targeting Cosmopolitan is an “embarrassing repurposing of the #MeToo movement,” Business Insider said.
Some supported shielding children from the magazine’s hyper-sexualized content but opposed using #MeToo as a reason to pull it from shelves.
I don’t agree with @walmart using the #metoo movement to pull the mag, really bad timing & poor excuse. But honestly, Cosmo should’ve been pulled years ago. The topics & pics on the covers are inappropriate for children’s eyes. I won’t miss seeing it in line.
— Anna just Anna (@atheniangal1) March 28, 2018
I am so grateful to @Walmart for having Cosmo-free checkout aisles! Cosmo magazine is verbally pornographic, and degrading to women. I can finally be shop without being unwillingly exposed to this content! #ThanksWalmart
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— Lisa Mladinich (@lisamladinich) March 27, 2018
— Mary McClusky (@MMcClusky) March 27, 2018