Last week, my friends Casey and Rebecca, helped bring to light the horrible story of Casey Nocket, aka Creepytings, and her vandalistic spree through our western National Parks. Casey’s post “Art” In The Parks, on his website Modern Hiker has an excellent summary of the whole issue (including updates on the case as they happen!) but in short a 21-year old named Casey Nocket using the Instagram handle “Creepytings” is a suspect in vandalism cases in eight National Parks and National Monuments; overall she has been implicated in vandalism in ten parks and monuments.
As disturbing as the Creepytings case has been, an article was published on Cosmopolitan.com, the online wing of the popular women’s magazine, entitled “Female Graffiti Artist Is The New Most-Hated Person On Instagram: And Possibly Your New Hero.”
My new hero?!?!
Cosmopolitan, often known as “Cosmo,” proclaims itself as “Fun, Fearless, Female.” Much of its content is relationship, sex, and dating related although each issue also includes content on the success of women and refers to challenges faced by women in the world. Normally, I consider Cosmo to be mostly a positive force for women. It focuses more on appearance than what appeals to me but I feel as if it also encourages women to embrace their sexuality not to mention really pursuing things in their lives and careers that drive them.
This article, however, completely blew that tradition out of the water. Helen Gurley Brown, who was responsible for this iteration of the magazine in the 1960s, would be mortified.
First, writer Lane Moore, referred to Casey and Rebecca’s as having “ratted her out on the Internet and to authorities.” Um, ratted out?
If I were willing to let that inflammatory phrase go (and I really wasn’t…I was disturbed that Cosmo would be sympathetically aligning themselves with Ms. Nocket), it got worse…
“…it’s hard to know where in the world Creepytings is right now, but wherever she is, she’s inspiring a lot of girls to break some rules.”
WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for Cosmo. Every few months I’ll buy a copy and enjoy it’s frivolousness. Moreover, one of my best teenage memories was the first time my parents let me take my friends on a two hour car trip. During spring break my sophomore year in high school, we were allowed to drive out to the ocean for a day. Along the way, we bought a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs and our very first issue of Cosmo. I was a naïve, young sixteen year-old and I felt so so naughty reading about sex and dating in its pages.
I feel so let down that this magazine (or at least its online equivalent), would be telling me, or even worse that sixteen year-old girl I used to be, that I should be inspired by Creepytings is absolutely appalling.
So I tried to do something. I emailed Cosmopolitan.com asking for a retraction. I Tweeted at the author Lane Moore and at the main Cosmopolitan account. I tweeted at Cosmopolitan.com editor Amy Odell, Executive Features Editor Lori Fradkin, Senior Community Manager Elisa Benson, and finally the Sex and Relationship Editors Emma Barker and Frank Kobola (Moore is normally a Sex and Relationship writer for the website). I have had no response from anyone at Cosmo (although Moore does appear to have deleted a tweet regarding just “blocking” those who were mad about her article).
So what now? Well, I guess I should just let it go. It’s not really hurting anything. However, usually the comments section of a controversial piece is a really scary place. This time, it’s been really supportive preserving our parks and almost 100% of the commenters called out Cosmo for endorsing Ms. Nocket’s behavior.
I’m still hopeful the article can be made to go away, or even better, to be replaced with an appology and a celebration of women who support our National Parks.
I’ve embedded my tweets to the editorial staff below. Feel free to retweet them often: