Walmart has announced this week that Cosmopolitan magazine will no longer be flaunted to kids and adolescents in its checkout lines across the country.
This is welcome news for Victoria Hearst, founder of Cosmo Hurts Kids and the granddaughter of Cosmopolitan owner William Randolph Hearst.
It all began with a bad relationship.
In December 1995, Victoria Hearst was reeling from one when she said the sinner’s prayer and gave her life to Jesus.
Not only did Victoria let go of the relationship, she surrendered all of the plans she had for her life.
“God, I don’t know what I am doing anymore,” Victoria says on her website, recalling her prayer to the Lord. “You take the wheel. You drive. I’ll go wherever You lead.”
Fast forward to 2018.
The Lord has done a fruitful work in her life: Victoria is the founder and head of Praise Him Ministries, a non-denominational ministry that includes Praise Productions Christian Store and Ridgway Christian Center.
And, in her spare time and at her own expense, Victoria is on a crusade to get the word out about how Cosmopolitan‘s pornographic images and content are damaging to kids.
How Cosmo Lost Its Way
Victoria Hearst’s grandfather W.R. Hearst was the founder and head of the Hearst publishing empire until his death in 1951.
From humble beginnings with one newspaper—The San Francisco Examiner—in 1887, Hearst Communications has grown into a multifaceted corporation with 360 plus businesses.
One of its many media offerings is Cosmopolitan magazine.
In 1905, Victoria’s grandfather bought Cosmopolitan, then a family magazine devoted to women’s issues.
Victoria’s grandfather hired authors and journalists such as George Bernard Shaw to contribute to the magazine. A British playwright, Shaw wrote 62 plays over his lifetime and was the 1925 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
However, revenue started to slide at the magazine after W.R. Hearst’s death.
Victoria recalls, “As a child, I heard my father, Randolph Hearst, discussing the situation with Hearst executives. Should they discontinue publication or try to keep it alive?”
In 1965, they hired Helen Gurley Brown, author of a popular 1962 novel encouraging women to be liberated sexually and financially to be chief editor … and it was all downhill from there.
“That is when a ‘first-class family magazine’ turned into a sex rag,” concludes Victoria.
Victoria’s father passed away in 2000 but became a born-again Christian prior to his death.
Meanwhile, Cosmo stayed on its course of sexually explicit content.
Protecting Kids and Her Grandfather’s Legacy
Seeing the total stripping of moral fabric from the once-revered magazine has spurred Victoria into action.
As she states on her website, “William Randolph Hearst was not a perfect man, but I am sure that he would NEVER have allowed Cosmopolitan to become the PORNOGRAPHIC magazine that it is today.”
What Victoria is after is not to destroy the magazine. Rather, she would like it labeled as “adult material” so that it cannot be sold to anyone under 18.
Targeting Young Girls
The content described is bad enough on its own. But consider the target market: “Cosmo seduces underage girls into reading the magazine by putting teen and ‘tween’ idols on the cover and by printing articles listing the best colleges to attend to have sex,” says Victoria.
Does all of this sound like something you’d want you middle-school aged daughter to read?
We thought not!
The covers of Cosmopolitan magazine are on visible display at checkout lines and news stand aisles at your local drug store, and grocery store, where adults and children can readily see them … over and over again.
The October 2017 issue proudly proclaimed to offer “76 Sex Secrets” and other questionable content, for example.
Part of a Broader Issue
It’s not just Cosmo. Virtually all media monitored in multiple studies gave “ample evidence of the sexualization of women,” according to a 2007 American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualiztion of Girls report.
It’s everywhere you turn—from TV shows to the Internet, to movies and music, and of course, in advertising. And it’s in video games and media that are popular with kids.
Women are objectified and sexualized, and a narrow view of physical beauty is endlessly paraded in front of all of us.
What does this do to girls?
When girls are constantly exposed to media images sexualizing women, it leads them to view themselves (and all women) as sexual objects. Their value becomes centered on physical appearance rather than on achievement or character.
A girl who feels her only value is her sexual appeal (not her intelligence, quick wit or artistic talent, for example) and views herself as merely a thing to be used for other’s gratification can experience low self-esteem, depression and eating disorders.
The APA report suggests that it may even affect their career choices. How many of these women will pursue an engineering career or aim to be a cancer researcher or the next great IT company founder rather than a supermodel?
What does this do to all of us?
Girls aren’t the only ones who suffer from this inescapable, near-constant exposure to a very narrow ideal of female attractiveness. It can also make it hard for men to both find a partner who meets this standard and to experience true intimacy with their spouse.
More far-reaching effects can include a rise in sexual aggression, sexism and even the demand for child pornography.
Enough Is Enough!
Now more than ever, our nation is desperate for weapons to combat the onslaught of pornography in our society.
Offering a total renewal of the mind that leads to a life of peace and freedom, the Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series that is helping thousands of men overcome pornography.
“This series has helped change my life. The healing it has caused has revolutionized my relationship with my wife, kids, and people at church. I thank the Lord every day for this,” said Matthew Cook in his review of the Conquer Series. “The only thing I regret is not having this info 15 years ago.”
Teenagers aren’t too young, with parental guidance, to deal with this issue. Sandra Barnes says, “Thank you, guys, for making this program. My teenage sons have watched it and we have all learned so much!”
Tammy Miller from Canton, Ohio, agrees:
“I absolutely love this disc series!!! This is how good it is: our 19- and 17-yr. old sons exist in their phones-texting, listening to music. Not 15 minutes in, we saw them put down their phones, take the earbuds out of their ears and watch intensely. Each time we put in the DVDs, the phones went down and they watched and took in all what was being said…EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT series!”
The enemy wishes to destroy society through attacking us from all angles in the area of our sexuality. The Conquer Series will help you armor yourself and those you love for God in this increasing worldly battlefield we live in.