Fact Check

Cosmopolitan Magazine Cover Features a Woman Suffocating?

Rumor: The February 2015 issue of 'Cosmopolitan' magazine features a cover photo of a woman suffocating in plastic wrap.

Published Jan 19, 2015


Claim:   The February 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan UK magazine features a cover photo of a woman suffocating.


Example:   [Collected via Twitter, January 2015]


Origins:   In January 2015, an image purportedly showing the cover of the UK version of Cosmopolitan magazine featuring a cover photo of a woman suffocating in plastic wrap began circulating on the Internet:

Several publications, including Business Insider and Ad Week, reported the artwork would run on limited editions of the February 2015 edition of Cosmopolitan:

The artwork will only run on limited edition versions of the magazine and is in association with a UK charity called Karma Nirvana, noted on the front. The organisation works to help victims of violence such as honour killings.

While it's true Cosmopolitan created the image, with the help of the UK-based charity Karma Nirvana and artist Leo Burnett, the artwork does not appear on a cover of the magazine that is actually available for purchase. Cosmopolitan has been working with Karma Nirvana to promote a national day of remembrance for the young women who have been murdered in "honor killings," and the magazine hired Leo Burnett to create a mock magazine cover in support of the campaign:

Cosmopolitan UK has a mocked-up cover of its February issue featuring a woman suffocating on the magazine's plastic wrapping, in an effort to draw attention to so-called "honor killings," murders in which women and girls are killed by family members for bringing dishonor upon the family, usually by being perceived as breaking expectations around morality, marriage, or sexuality. The cover is a reference to Shafilea Ahmed, a 17-year-old British Pakistani girl whose parents choked her to death with a plastic bag in front of her siblings.

Contrary to some media reports, the plastic cover image isn't the actual February magazine cover it's a mock-up to support a campaign Cosmopolitan UK is working on with Karma Nirvana, a UK women's rights organization. The organization is working with Cosmo to promote a national day of remembrance on July 14 for women and girls murdered in honor killings.

So who is on the February issue of Cosmopolitan UK? That honor went to reality TV star Khloe Kardashian:

Last updated:   19 January 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.