I am going to admit to having a certain preconcieved notion of what I expect out of 'Cosmopolitan' magazine. I expect it will have articles aimed mostly at women, having to do with finding the right man, dressing sexier to find a man right now(if finding the right man isn't your goal) and how to both get, and give, more pleasure once you have found either Mr. Right, or Mr. Right now. There will also be a young lady of high aesthetic appeal on the cover.
It's a formula that has obviously worked for them for quite a while. I remember flipping through one once or twice after my parents got divorced, because my mom bought them to remind herself what it meant to be single again. I found it usefull because it had articles about 'what men are looking for in a woman', and since I was only a teenage boy, I wasn't certain what I was supposed to be looking for in a woman.
The only time I really notice Cosmo anymore is when I'm standing in the check-out line at the grocery store, because, well, it usually has the hottest young lady on the cover, and the most entertaining article titles. To me it's somewhere in between Maxim and Playboy for Women.
So...there I am today in line, and the new issue of Cosmo is out, and it looks much like I expect. There is a comely young blond lass on the cover, and an article called 'Your Vagina. What going on down there!', and another promissing 'His Best Sex Ever' Interesting. There is also an article about Dakota Fanning. Wait a minute...the comely blond lass on the cover looks familiar...hey...that IS Dakota Fanning.
Yes...the young Dakota Fanning from 'Man on Fire', 'War of the Worlds' and 'Charlotte's Web'. And I'm oogling her on the cover of Cosmo! I don't feel like a dirty old man, but...really, she can't be old enough to be on the cover of Cosmo...can she?
Well...a little bit of research later, I find nope...she's isn't 18 yet. Not until the end of February.
I also found that I'm not the first one to notice, or question the 'properness' of someone not over the age of consent in some states to appear on the cover of a magazine whose major selling point is SEX SEX SEX.
Heck, there is already a counter-argument on Huffington Post telling me to get 'my knickers out of knot'.
The Huff Po article makes some very good points, when putting the cover appearence by Ms. Fanning in context with the rest of our 'modern' society. She is very demurley dressed, wearing no less than she would on the cover of '17' Magazine. She then goes on to say that Miley Cyrus and Brooke Shields appearing on magazine covers at age 15 and 14 were wrong, because of their age, but since Dakota is almost 18, it's okay...get over it.
ALMOST doesn't count. Our laws are our laws...we HAVE to draw a line in the sand, because we can't afford to have legal ambivilance. If a 21-year old gentleman was to be involved with Ms. Fanning at 17-years, 11 Months, that would be WRONG. At 18-years, 1 DAY, it's okay.
The worst part is, I'm not even sure I really have a problem with her being on the cover. I'm a pretty big Robert Heinlein fan. In most of his last couple of books, Ms. Fanning would be considered a right proper candidate for joining one of his group marriages! I'm not a prude...I really don't think there is much difference between Dakota Fanning now, and Dakota Fanning 6 months ago, or 6 months from now. She is a great young actress, and is most likely more mature than half of the 20-year old's you are going to find out there.
Maybe there really is no problem, and I'm just mad at the folks at Cosmo for making me feel like a dirty old man, before my time.
I know...you stayed through all that, and not a peek of the cover that started this whole pointless rant. Link here.