Fug the Cover: Dakota Fanning


I’ll take Cover Concepts That Gross Me Out for $500, Alex.  Among the many, many phrases I never EVER needed to have associated with SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD Dakota Fanning are: “His Best Sex Ever,” “Too Naughty To Say Here: But You Have to Try This Sex Trick,” and — WORST HEADLINE OF THE YEAR SO FAR — “Um, Vagina, Are You Okay Down There?” Let us all just take a moment to drink that one in: “UM, VAGINA, ARE YOU OKAY DOWN THERE?” SOMEONE WROTE THE WORDS, “UM, VAGINA,” AND SOMEONE ELSE DECIDED TO PUT THE WORDS, “UM, VAGINA” ON THE COVER OF THE MAGAZINE.  Um, personally, I hope anyone who says that to her vagina gets the shock of her life when her vagina responds, and tells her to get a) a grip and b) better reading material.

Now, here’s the thing. Of course seventeen year old girls are reading Cosmo surreptitiously, and I guess we should all be happy that Dakota’s not flashing massive cleavage or anything. Other than the fact that I think they’ve made her look much more generic than she actually is – which is a time-honored Cosmo tradition — she looks fine. But the idea that Dakota Fanning, whose parents and handlers have, to this point, done a masterful job of keeping on the refreshingly wholesome path, has her head right next to HIS BEST SEX EVER really irritates me. Because Dakota Fanning seems — and whether she actually is, or isn’t, is her own business — like a smart, classy,  girl. She’s never come off cloying or phony or tacky to me, and that kind of branding on your 17 year old starlet is FREAKING GOLD. I can not understand why you’d monkey with it by sandwiching her between UM VAGINA and HIS BEST SEX EVER. There are all kinds of ways to seem more mature, if that’s what they’re going for, than sticking your blow-out right next to UM VAGINA. In short: Why didn’t anyone point out to Dakota Fanning that Dakota Fanning is TOO GOOD FOR THIS?

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Comments (93):

  1. Christian
    0

    I will always loathe Cosmo. I am proud to say I’ve never bought a copy. Disgusting, poorly written garbage designed to make you feel as insecure about yourself and your vagina as possible. If you haven’t seen the video of the guy and his girlfriend trying out Cosmo’s many real “best sex ever” tips, please look it up, it’s great.

    • Alix
      0

      Back in the day, when Helen Gurley Brown was still the editor, Cosmo was the BEST magazine out there. It’s been Playgirl Jr. for ages now, and gets tackier and more stupid with every issue. Whether she’s 17 or 27, Dakota shouldn’t be going anywhere near this rag — it’s 100% Pure Brand Tarnish.

  2. wordphreak
    0

    So why would Fanning even accept such a tacky job? She bears some responsibility for even accepting this.

  3. LoriK
    0

    ITA. I have no idea whose idea it was for her to do this cover, but it was a mistake.

  4. theotherjennifer
    0

    I imagine when she posed for this (did they try to make her look like Reese??) – she probably never envisioned her 17 yo face would be next to to tacky headlines. Altho, with Cosmo, what else do you expect?

  5. Montréalaise
    0

    I used to read Cosmo years ago (OK, I’ll date myself – it was in the 70′s and 80′s, back when I was young and single) and I loved it then. It had terrific articles, not just about men and relationships, but also on friends, careers, finances, fashion. However, in the last ten (maybe fifteen?) years it has become unbelievably tacky. “Disgusting, poorly garbage” – yup, I’d say that was a good description of the magazine in its current incarnation.

  6. giggleswick
    0

    She looks a bit blonde Jennifer Carpenter here. And I don’t think those two look anything alike IRL. And, just ugh, Cosmo. Ugh.

  7. vandalfan
    0

    You took the ragey words right out of my mouth. She’s NOT AN ADULT FOR GODSSAKES. I’m having palpitations.

    Not to mention that her eyeliner is too heavy, and her hair too straight and stringy. Sigh, and I loved Cosmo back in my youth in the ’70′s. It seemed a little more subtle back in The Day when dinosaurs (and feminists) roamed the earth.

  8. Mouse
    0

    My problem with Cosmo is that every single edition seems to have numerical lists on how to have “the best sex ever”….and that’s the past five years worth. How can the list still be continuing? Whose idea of “best sex” are we continuing to solicit in order to generate these lists? The list must be thousands of suggestions long by now… Strange. Having said that little rant – I must agree with everything. They’ve generically blonded her and killed any sparkle of individuality and personality that she has…and that “UM, Vagina” title is possibly the worst magazine article title ever.

    • Montréalaise
      +1

      All of the headlines are along the lines of “HIS best sex ever…How to please HIM in bed…..How to make HIM think you are the hottest thing in bed….” What about HER pleasure, HER needs? I mean, if this were a training manual for hookers, I could understand, but this is (supposedly) a magazine for non “working girls”. Cosmo used to be very good when it was edited by Helen Gurley Brown, who was very sexually liberated but who believed that if a woman had sex with a guy just to hold on to him, not because she lusted after him, that was a kind of prostitution.

  9. Jane
    +1

    I could be worse. I had to do a search to find a larger copy of the cover because I thought the sub-heading for Um Vagina was “Easy Fixes for Funky Boxes”

    And the sad thing is that if Cosmo did use that charming expression, I really wouldn’t be very surprised.

    (For others having trouble reading the text, it’s “Easy Fixes for Freaky Issues”)

    • Christian
      0

      “Easy Fixes for Funky Boxes” – thank you for making my day.

      • yeahandalso
        0

        What about “Easy Fixes for Funky Bunches” can’t Marky Mark get some love? Say hello to you mother for me

    • Anne B
      0

      There’s my spit-take for the day, thank you very much :)

    • Sandra
      0

      Yeah, I have a have an easy fix for this particular “funky issue”. Burn every copy of every format and fire everyone who had anything to do with this. Who does buy this stupid thing, anyway?

    • Alix
      0

      That subhead is GENIUS.

  10. labyrinthine
    0

    I am not at all up to date on what “stars”/”celebrities” wear, and yet I feel like I’ve seen that dress before.

    Also: worst headline. Not “worse”.

  11. Laucie
    0

    Everything you said in the post is true. AND she looks totally tarted-up for a 17 year-old. YUCK !

  12. Eliza Bennett
    0

    Question: Um, vagina, WHAT CAN BE “too naughty to say here” if the words UM VAGINA are on the cover?
    ….vagina?
    She’s not answering. Leave a message.

    • Alix
      0

      And is it just me, or does that phrase sound eerily similar to “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret”.

      /shudders/

  13. Stefanie
    0

    I actually think she looks pretty good. I mean sure, she IS looking like a knock off version of herself but that is what Cosmo does and we shouldn’t expect anything more. I don’t mind the dress at all and I venture to say if this was the cover shot of “Seventeen” I wouldn’t think twice. (Although there would be more teeth methinks.)

    That said (It is always good to start with a positive), WTF Dakota Fanning doing on the cover of Cosmo?! She IS too good for this crap-tastic magazine.

  14. Libby
    0

    I agree with your critique; however, Dakota has dabbled in non-wholesome work in the past, including Hounddog and The Runaways (there’s a photo shoot scene in there that is, ahem, very tarty). She’s not gone full-on Momsen, but she hasn’t engaged in only wholesome, age appropriate projects like, say, Anna Sophia Robb.

  15. Jill
    0

    I read Cosmo when I was in college but I swore off it after someone wrote in about a certain health issue and the Cosmo response referred to it as “a bitch of a butt itch.”

  16. Lynne
    0

    Why is Cosmo so horrible?

    Also, Dakota is lovely and I want her to never condescend to appear on the cover of Cosmo again.

  17. Stefanie
    0

    OH AND – I’m just happy it doesn’t say “Um, VAJAYJAY…” Because I would probably scream.

  18. Cee
    0

    Everything about those headlines makes me want to vomit. Dakota is too classy for this joint, right?

  19. RedPanda
    0

    Whatever combination of makeup and photoshop they did to her face makes her look at least 25, if not 30. There’s definitely a glint of pissed-off in her eye that has me thinking she’s starting to suspect what headlines they’re planning to sandwich her in between.

  20. TaraMisu
    0

    They made her face look …… off. The dress is cute though and I have nothing to say about UM VAGINA. Dafuq.

    And I used to read Cosmo way back when too. It really was a much better magazine back in the day. Now it’s just trash.

  21. Lys
    0

    Ha! This cover is downright “wholesome” compared to her role in the movie the Runaways.

    • Jessica
      0

      I meant her public image; lots of actresses take on edgy roles without it bleeding into their personal image (Charlize, Halle), and I think overall she’s done that well.

  22. Billie
    0

    Here is my main question (besides wondering why the Fanning team thought Cosmo was a good idea), do stars get a sample of the cover before it’s sent to print? Do they get to approve it? Or do they do the photo shoot, then see it on the news stands with everyone else? I always thought they might have some control over it, and if so, why oh why did they let those words be displayed so closely to her face?

    • Kendra
      0

      I think they would have to ask for that before signing on – I don’t think it’s gauranteed or offered to everyone. I remember a while ago some controversy when Mandy Moore was on the cover of Cosmo and she was really angry about the headlines they ended up putting on her cover

  23. Kaitlin
    0

    Comme d’habitude, the Fug Girls have taken the words right out of my mouth!

  24. Katie
    0

    Why did they make her look so OLD? And “Um, Vagina”??? What is this, the Vagina Dialogues??

    P.S.: “Women and Danger” kinda cracks me up. What decision could cost me my life? Maybe one suggested on the left side of the cover?

  25. Amanda in Austin
    0

    She’s unrecognizable. So, maybe folks won’t really notice she’s tarnishing her image?

  26. AJ
    0

    That doesn’t even look like Dakota Fanning, thank God.

  27. Emily
    0

    Does anyone know if an actress (or people associated with her) has any say over the final cover design once the photoshoot is over? I mean, I have a really hard time understanding how anyone associated with Dakota Fanning could have agreed to having that headline right next to her face, but maybe they never saw it or didn’t have a say as far as the headlines go. But then again, it’s Cosmo so you know the sort of stuff that’s going to be on there.

  28. Deanna
    0

    I looked at the picture before the headline and totally thought it was Reese Witherspoon with crazy photoshopping.

  29. yeahandalso
    0

    Yeah after wathing Runaways I don’t think I can really do any more pearl clutching over Dakota Fanning. I get the sense that she actually is smart enough to know this is the kinda BS she has to do for work.

  30. S Young
    0

    Wow she should not be on his cover since its about sex but thats my opinion.

  31. Susannah
    0

    Every time I pick up a Cosmo (at the dentist of course – I wouldn’t have that rag in my home with my 16-year-old daughter) I read a few pages and find myself suddenly wanting a shower. And possibly a shot of antibiotics. For an alleged “women’s magazine” it certainly has mastered the art of making women feel like inadequate and objectified.

  32. AJ
    0

    Why are people pearl-clutching about the movie “The Runaways?” Good movie.

    My friend just looked at this post and said, “Why is it always HIS best sex ever?” She’s got a point.

    • Heather
      0

      No kidding …. this is, after all, a women’s magazine.

      • understateddiva
        0

        I used to read this rag on occasion, tempted by some crazy cover claim (“Do you know the OTHER male G-spot? It’s different than you think!”) and then the big answer in the actual article is completely boring (“It’s his ego! Haha sucker, you just paid $4.95 hoping to read something kinky!”).

      • Mukel
        0

        Yes!!! And the “hot sex tips” are like “Try having sex with the lights ON…”

    • Mukel
      0

      It’s always HIS best sex ever, because Cosmo trades in the idea that the only way for a woman to “hold on” to a man, or indeed to have any power, is through sex. And the woman who can “give” him HIS best sex ever will be the most powerful one.

  33. Aria
    0

    I think she looks okay here, but the headlines/topics are disturbing. I tried to cancel my subscription last year, but apparently had already pre-paid for a couple of years – I should be down to my last 6 months now. My breaking point was a swimsuit issue in which my friend and I now refer to as “the crotch issue.” I swear, every, freaking picture had the model with her crotch front and center, legs parted etc. I suppose this was supposed to “artsy” or “editorial.” but felt like porn when I just wanted to see what the freaking swimsuits looked like!

    • Aria
      0

      Oh yeah, and I forgot to add, I don’t know the “shocking confessions” have gotten worse or if I have just become a pearl-clutching old fogey, but now I am stunned at some of the stupidity/sluttiness/tackiness of those girls.

      • Melissa
        0

        Yeah, someone said “it’s just Playgirl now”, but it’s really more Playboy. I wonder if the target audience isn’t middle-aged men – or the girls who want to be their playmats.

    • Stefanie
      0

      Uh oh! The models needed Tyra’s lessons for posing in a swim suit: Women’s mag = hunched shoulders, legs closed. Mens mag = Boobs out, crotch to camera.

  34. X
    0

    she IS too good for this

  35. Laura
    0

    My God! They are still selling this rag with headlines like “Clues he’s secretly into you.” WTF people. Men.are.not.secretly.into.women. This.does.not.happen. Gird yourself with some self esteem ladies. If you are even moderately attractive with a reasonably nice figure every single straight male friend you have is into you. Too much of my single life was wasted on this drivel. If you like a guy & he is your friend & he is single & he is straight: TALK to him. Freakin’ make something happen people! /rant

    • Claire L
      0

      I <3 Laura

    • Faye
      0

      And I would add to that, if he’s into you, he’ll ask you out. Men really aren’t all that complicated.

      Also, Dakota on the cover of this trash rag makes me sad. She can do so much better.

  36. Claire L
    0

    I think I’ve worked with actors too long ( local theater, couple who have made it big time, etc.)…. because I totally separate her work in The Runaways ( she was playing a role ) with her being her on a cover of a magazine. In The Runaways she wasn’t Dakota….on Cosmo she’s Dakota. I guess it doesn’t make much sense if you aren’t in the midst of it…..I just know really sweet and ‘ well behaved’ young women who were brazen as all get go in Cabaret or Spring Awakening….and yet I would be completely freaked out if I saw them as themselves in a questionable picture/pose/setting.

    • Jessica
      0

      Exactly.

    • AJ
      0

      That’s what I was thinking, if we were going to do any pearl-clutching over the “The Runaways” we really need to hop into the TARDIS and go back to the ’70s and do it over Cherie Currie, not over Dakota Fanning who was playing a role based on Currie’s life.

  37. Heather
    0

    Isn’t ‘Um, Vagina?’ a Judy Blume novel?

  38. kath
    0

    First, David Brown must be rolling in his grave right now since he was the one who wrote all of the cover blurbs. Secondly, I have a 17 year old daughter and neither she nor any of her friends have any interest in reading Cosmo. Apparently it is no longer considered a “cool” magazine for that age group. Third, I am going to imagine that Dakota Fanning and her parents are not thrilled about seeing this cover. We don’t know if they had a chance to see a mock up of the cover with all of the blurbs on it, but my guess is after this, you definitely will never see Elle Fanning on Cosmo.

    • Megan
      0

      That’s a pretty big guess when you actually have no idea about her, her parents or her agent/ manager that might have just thought it was good publicity

  39. smj
    0

    I thought that was Rachel Weisz with a bad dye job. I love RW, and DF is cool by me too, but the mashup is alarming.

  40. The Other Molly
    0

    Heather…ahahahahaha!
    Yes, “Um Vagina, It’s Me, Margaret: Conversations Between A Young Girl And The Body Part She Just Discovered”

  41. Izalika
    0

    Ahahaha I saw this in the store today, and immediately knew I’d find it here when I got home and logged on. Amazing.

  42. witjunkie
    0

    In my opinion, her parents or whoever signed off on this is getting exactly what they deserve by having Best Sex Ever and Um Vagina floating around her 17 year-old self. What. Were they thinking. Everybody knows what Cosmo is. Her career is not going to deep-six if she doesn’t do the Cosmo cover. It’s OK to say no sometimes, people!

  43. Alice
    0

    Really? Dude, get over it. 17 isn’t 12. 17 year olds have sex, and vaginas. Why does she have to be an older woman’s version of “age-appropriate”? Isn’t that the most condescending term ever? I actually find all your talk of branding her pretty offensive – she’s not a brand, she’s a person.

    • Megan
      0

      Totally agree – she actually seems more mature the my twenty something friends :)

    • vandalfan
      0

      It is not an age appropriateness issue, which would be as if I (or any elder statesman) wore a miniskirt, thigh-highs, and a belly shirt, which might be cute on a teen, See: Mutton Dressed As Lamb. This photo, her dress and pose, is perfectly age-appropriate. Momsen’s outfits are not gross because she’s a minor, it’s flashing the hoo-ha, at any age, that is inappropriate. Madonna doing that is just as gross. It’s the captions.

      No one, old or young, needs to appear with captions like that. The fact that she’s a minor, an infant in the eyes of the law, legally incapable of entering into binding contracts like getting a credit card or renting an apartment, just makes it that much worse.

  44. Kendra
    0

    There’s a small part of me that thinks maybe she & her team agreed for her to be on the cover (NOT agreed to the headlines) to help differentiate her from her sister. Elle is becoming bigger and bigger profile, they look so similar, they’ve done a number of shoots together, and since Elle is – not more popular; but you know, newer and therefore slightly more interesting to the public – that this is could serve as an…oh right, Dakota Fanning is Elle Fanning’s OLDER sister. They’re not the same person, or twins. And Dakota is a slightly more established actor.

    I do not remotely think that she or her team are okay with the headlines though, or the placement of them. UM VAGINA indee. Oh my goodness.

  45. anny
    0

    Dakota Fanning whatever, but here’s what gets me: WHY IS THE TITLE TYPE CROOKED? (Is it a result of all those collisions?)

  46. dee cee
    0

    She is gasping dying to turn eighteen and play fully adult roles with all the immoral, depraved, repulsive characterizations X one million.

  47. Sara
    0

    Let’s not forget the fact that these are the same handlers who agreed to her posing for those gross Lola perfume ads.

  48. TonyG
    0

    Are Cosmo cover-girls, or their PR people, even aware of what text will be on the cover with their photo? Asking ’cause I don’t know, and it seems unlikely, but then again, I’m not too familiar with the publishing business. If so, I wonder can they pull out of the cover, even if they want to? Poor Dakota though.

  49. Chrissy
    0

    Cosmopolitan is THE worst women’s magazine. It always has ridiculous headlines like this (although the “Um, Vagina… ” one really does take the cake). And while I am sure many 17 yr old are reading this drivel, unfortunately, I agree that it is particularly unfortunate to have these headlines on the cover with Dakota Fanning who has seemed pretty level-headed and classy. Being the way it is, she just doesn’t belong on the cover of a Cosmo. I don’t love the picture of her either. The Lola ads were inappropriate for her age too. So yes she is definitely too good for this. But then so are most of the good actresses in hollywood.

  50. MissThreadBare
    0

    I decided to Google this cover to see what kind of furore had erupted and read in one article that on the interior of this issue there appears a photograph of Dakota in a pair of bunny ears with the line “two years ago this would have been cute, now it’s hot”. Forgetting her age for a moment – WHY THE F*CK do women keep purchasing a magazine that quite obviously supports the objectification of their entire gender?

    For years I have thought of Cosmo as nothing more than a disgusting piece-of-trash publication. What’s sadder than the fact that these kinda of magazines still exist is the fact that pathetic women keep buying them. I have absolutely no respect for the subscribers of these types of magazines, much like I have no respect for the men who buy ‘lad mags’. I’m sick and tired of the trivialisation and commercialisation of sexuality. This cover basically sums up everything I hate about modern culture.

  51. Sajorina
    0

    I agree wholeheartedly, GFY Jessica, SHE’S TOO GOOD FOR THAT! But, she’s growing up and I trust that she knows what she’s doing because she’s a mature young woman! And, she looks GORGEOUS on this cover… Love the hair & makeup, the simple styling, and would kill for that dress!

  52. ferena
    0
  53. ChaChaHeels
    0

    This cover makes her indistinguishable from other generic blondes, including Amanda Seyrfried, Drew Barrymore, any of the already interchangeable Olsens, the earlier victim of magazine covers Reese Witherspoon, and so on. Maybe that’s a really good thing, here.

  54. gryt
    0

    Photoshopper please go away.

  55. Mia
    0

    This is also the same girl and the same parents who okayed that Marc Jacobs Lola perfume ad that came out recently and oh-so-briefly before I think they pulled them. So inappropriate.

  56. Athena59
    0

    I agree – shame on Cosmo, absolutely.

    It’s a shoddy way to treat a young woman who’s a good role model, and appalling to suggest (regardless of the cover model) that a young woman’s primary interest should be in providing men with “his best sex ever”. Yet that is what they did with the placement and size of that text.

    Thanks for covering this, GFY.

  57. crystal
    0

    This cover would be would be sad for a woman of any age, but all that aside: Dakota Fanning is seventeen, not fourteen. She’s gotta grow up sometime, you guys!