Cosmo controversy: Boycott over Dakota Fanning cover?

Jan 9, 2012 at 9:34 a.m. ET

Cosmopolitan magazine is facing a petition to have the mag's February issue removed from newsstands after editors published a saucy cover featuring teen star Dakota Fanning and a myriad of "sexually explicit" headlines.

The February issue of Cosmopolitan magazine features a smoldering Dakota Fanning on the cover and a bit of controversy.  

In August 2010, model Nicole Weider began a campaign to ensure that the magazine's often racy headlines are kept out of sight from people under 18 . And anyone else who finds "explicit" and "pornographic" content, like "Ways to Seduce Your Man" and "50 Ways to Achieve a Screaming O," highly offensive.

So imagine Nicole's displeasure when Cosmo unveiled its latest cover, featuring The Runaways star surrounded by a series of racy captions, including "His Best Sex Ever," "Virgin Orgasms" and "Too Naughty To Say Here: But You Have to Try This Sex Trick!"

Dakota,  who turns 18 at the end of next month, looks considerably older than her age with dark eye makeup, long, flowing blonde hair and a form-fitting dress.

Several critics have joined Weider in taking aim at the magazine over the controversial cover. Many readers have taken to Twitter to express their outrage. Opponents argue that Dakota appears out of place surrounded by the saucy headlines.

Dakota Fanning creeped out by her own ad >>

"As a former reader of the magazine, I happened to pick up an issue and was reading it and was completely shocked at how pornographic and explicit the content had become," Weider told FOX411's "Pop Tarts" column last week.

"I immediately thought of my young teenage brothers and it horrified me to think that they and their friends could be reading this material and the damage it would do to them if they did. So I decided to do something about it."

The cover has created such a stink that approximately 10,000 online petitioners are supporting an initiative to get Cosmo out of your face at the checkout line.

On Saturday, the publication issued this statement on the controversy:

"We're thrilled to feature Dakota Fanning on the February cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and she looks stunning. Dakota, who turns 18 this month, is a mature, fearless young woman and we are proud to honor her as our Fun Fearless Female of the year," a Cosmo spokesperson told Fox News.

The Cosmo controversy comes just months after a perfume campaign featuring Fanning was banned in the UK. Ad censors across the pond yanked Dakota's spot for Marc Jacobs' Oh, Lola! fragrance because it appeared to "sexualize a child."

The image in question featured the actress sitting on the floor with the perfume bottle between her thighs.

The fashion house defended the ad.

Photo credits: Flashpoint/