The Better of Two Worlds

A magazine heiress seems to want the better of two worlds.

Victoria Hearst, who sits on a huge fortune and earns millions of dollars in dividends from the Hearst Corporation – founded by her grandfather, William Randolph Hearst, and her father, who was chairman of the board in the 1970s and 1980s, during the heyday of magazine publishing – now finds herself in a bit of bother.

Although she plays no role in the business, she has often criticised the content of Cosmopolitan magazine, owned by the group. She believes that the racy covers amount to ‘pornography’ and should be displayed as such.

Recently she went further and said: ‘God told me to work to get Cosmo out of the hands of children, so that’s what I’m doing. It was His still small voice in my heart and soul.’

Working with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which says that Cosmopolitan’s sex tips ‘encourage readers to have hook-up sex with strangers, attend sex parties, try positions that are known to leave physical damage and more’, Dawn Hawkins, the Center’s director, said: ‘Cosmo is actually just another porn magazine glamourising and legitimising a dangerous lifestyle – pushing readers to try violent, group or anal sex.’

Walmart entered the fray and said that it was displaying the magazine inside a paper wrapper that exposed only its title and part of the cover model. Cover lines on the latest US issue include: ‘The Sex Move He will Worship you For’; ‘Five Minutes to Crazy Sexy Hair’; and ‘Feel your Best in a Bikini.’

Joanna Coles, the magazine’s US editor, branded the campaign sexist, saying that men’s magazines such as GQ had similar covers. ‘We’re not just about sex,’ she said. ‘We’re about empowering women in all aspects of their lives.’

If you want my honest opinion, this hogwash about empowering women is a lot of hot air to conceal its real motive. It is simply about money. Nothing else. Sex sells, full stop! Nothing else matters, full stop!

Cosmopolitan is, in truth, pornography wrapped in an elitist attire.

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