Dakota Fanning will be posing for Playboy Magazine.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let me be the first to say that this definitely isn’t true. The article I found it on, DAKOTA FANNING POSES FOR PLAYBOY was hosted by Weekly World News, a “news” site that features categories like “ALIENS” and “MUTANTS.” It’s unfortunate that at least one person out there failed to question its validity, but that’s just the internet for you.
While I was initially taken aback by the news, a perfunctory Google search revealed it for what it was, while also calling attention to something that actually happened. 17-year-old Dakota Fanning appeared in this month’s issue of Cosmopolitan, and people got fairly upset about it.
A bit of context: Fanning turns 18 on the 23rd of this month. That being said, many were outraged that a minor would appear on a cover with such headlines as “His Best Sex Ever” and “Too Naughty To Say Here!” According to The Daily Mail twitter users were particularly vocal, with one user tweeting: “Dakota Fanning is 17 years old and on the cover of Cosmo. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?”
On the other side of things we have self-described former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and mother of a 21-year-old daughter, Bonnie Fuller. She takes the stance that since the media [primarily shows like Gossip Girl, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, etc] has, and continues to depict sex “pretty explicitly,” this is nothing to get upset about. Add to that the fact that Fanning has already taken on many “very adult” roles and what we’re looking at was more to be expected than anything else.
There’s a certain legitimacy in both viewpoints. On one hand, there’s something that should be at least mildly disturbing about a teenager surrounded by sex headlines. On the other, culture as a whole is doing little to hide the fact that teenagers have sex and we know and are okay with it. Where Fuller gets a little shaky is leaving the specific context of Dakota Fanning on the cover of Cosmo. Would her viewpoints change if it were a different 17-year-old? How young an actress does one have to be to raise her hackles? She cites both Miley Cyrus’ scandalous photo shoot and Kendall Jenner as crossing the line, so clearly she’s bothered by some cases.
In general, Cosmopolitan is a magazine that has not shied away from its sexual content, using catchy headlines like “YOUR ORGASM GUARANTEED.” As “the lifestylist for millions of fun fearless females who want to be the best they can in every area of their lives” the publication is a force that affects women and the way they view themselves and each other. How exactly they choose to do this remains entirely up to them.