You’ve got to know Cosmopolitan’s power people are loving the tempest in the media teapot over their Dakota Fanning cover — with Fanning pictured amid cutlines about vaginal well-being and pleasing one’s man in bed — because, right or wrong, all that harrumphing just sells more magazines.
It’s deja vu — the same thing that happened when Annie Leibovitz photographed a then-15-year-old Miley Cyrus topless in bed for Vanity Fair. The same thing happened when Rolling Stone featured a teen dream Britney Spears on the cover in 1999, lying on a bed, clad with a bra, shorts and an open top. The American Family Association called that one “a disturbing mix of childhood innocence and adult sexuality” and called for a boycott of stores selling Britney’s album — to no avail.
It’s not that we’re applauding sexing up of juveniles, which is potentially damaging and dangerous on so many levels. It’s just that the harrumphers often turn themselves into an unwitting marketing tool — proof positive that something is “edgy” or “controversial.”
Dakota, who turns 18 next month, is wearing a real dress and looks beautful. The “story” really isn’t one this time.