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?

ChildBride

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.”

GoodSlavekeeping

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.Thirteen

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.

 

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Anita Little is the associate editor at Ms. magazine. Follow her on Twitter.

 

 

Comments

  1. So creative and poignant! Great article–thanks so much!

  2. Keep up the good work.

  3. Anita — these are brilliant. Thank you. What more to say, other than: I would love to interview you.

  4. I agree BRILLIANT!! Now we need to get fashion mags to get a conscience.

  5. I can’t think of anything more deserving of going “viral” than these fake magazine covers spread around as memes. With the abundance of non-readers and non-information junkies, whom are always excused from the rest of the world because their world is all they have time for, memes are highly effective as they can reach those who have short attention spans, lack reading and comprehension skills or just don’t have the time. Consciousness memes work on those with a conscience and the ability to empathize. Those who lack these abilities, the image and what it represents disappears from their minds almost instantly. For many, the humanity switch is frozen in the off position. And with the increase in population, the more humans, the more inhumanity exists. Yeah, it’s not rocket science. And it seems the balance of humanity is way off once again and you only need look back in history if you want to see the future. Just follow the cycle and see it repeats, infinitely. Have they stopped teaching children in schools that slavery was abolished? Have they told them that the equal pay act was signed 51 years ago and is a joke? What is it now, 80-something cents for women to the man’s dollar? All I know is if we continue at this rate, I highly doubt the human race will ever truly evolve. I believe this planet will not survive us and our assaults forever. And yeah, why are they colonizing mars?

    • ms. mischa allen says:

      Agreed!!

    • “HipJipC says: With the abundance of non-readers and non-information junkies, whom are always excused from the rest of the world because their world is all they have time for, memes are highly effective as they can reach those who have short attention spans, lack reading and comprehension skills or just don’t have the time.”

      So basically what you’re saying is, if you dont read some shallow gossip mag, you are “selfish, have a short attention span and lack comprehension skills”

      Do you know what depresses me about this? All of the issues discussed here are not unique to the plight of women alone, there are men who also experience these issues too, slavery, sexual exploitation , physical abuse etc. Yet I dont see any organisational charity called “stop violence against men”. How about we as a people focus on our similarities instead of segregation which is a crime in itself.

      People are people, regardless of gender and all deserve not to be abused

  6. ms. mischa allen says:

    And people still don’t get it.

  7. dreadlockmafia says:

    Totally using these in my feminist unit plan with my students! Kudos to the creative mind behind this campaign!

  8. Striking images and message.. They did a really good job making these and I agree, it should go viral. It shocks me how many people have no clue this is happening today. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard ignorant comments from grown adults like “but slavery is abolished” and “in the old days when kids had to work…” Not to mention the attitude toward street workers. :( How many people don’t even realize they were victimized as children and forced into that lifestyle. Every one deserves compassion and understanding, except of course the horrible people that harm others in these ways… they deserve things I can’t mention but certainly legal justice and social accountability would be a start.

    Thank you for writing an article with substance!!

  9. Frank Regan says:

    Well done. Brilliant. Keep up the struggle.

  10. Tim Hildebrand says:

    i just stumbled on this totally by accident. this is awesome. keep up the great work Anita and friends.

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