We Heart: Fake Magazine Covers That Expose Real Inequality

What would happen if, instead of celebrities and supermodels, magazine covers showcased women and girls who are invisible to society?

That was the motivation behind the Cover Stories campaign, launched by Catapult, a crowd-funding site that connects nonprofit women-oriented projects to potential donors and supporters (think of it as a feminist Kickstarter). In observation of International Women’s Day, Catapult released a jarring collection of mock magazine covers that highlight human rights issues that affect women and girls the world over.

As we mark IWD, women and girls still face the horrors of sex trafficking, child marriage and slavery. The fake magazines use provocative titles that play on well-known publications–Child Bride, Good Slavekeeping and Thirteen–with the goal of making IWD “more than just a cover story.” To further the satire, the covers sport dark headlines such as”Dazzling Bridal Gowns: Now From Ages 7-12″ and “Boyfriend or Pimp? The Telltale Signs He’s Selling You For Sex.”

Catapult then backs up the covers with compelling statistics:

  • 14 million young girls will be forced into child marriages this year.
  • In New York City, the average age a girl first falls victim to commercial sexual exploitation is only 13.
  • An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked into slavery each year, the majority being girls.

Despite this, only 2 percent of every development dollar the U.S. spends goes to adolescent girls and 1 in 5 women’s and girl’s rights organizations are in danger of closing, according to Catapult. The people behind the Cover Stories campaign hope people will be motivated to work with or donate to the more than 140 girl-and-women-focused organizations Catapult supports.



Associate editor of Ms. magazine