The average magazine cover is nothing to write home about. A celebrity bares her toned abs and super white teeth, a teaser line proclaims "Have the best sex EVER!!" or "Revamp your style with this simple trick!" But you won't see any of that on the February issue of Cosmopolitan U.K. Instead of a flawlessly airbrushed actress, you'll find an image of emotional and physical distress so profound that it's sure to stick with you.
Emblazoned with an intense photo of a distressed woman wrapped in plastic, the cover was designed to raise awareness about honor killings, described by AdWeek as incidents "in which a person is murdered by a family member for bringing what the killer believes is shame upon the family." Cosmo's cover, designed by Leo Burnett Change and photographed by Erin Mulvehill, specifically references the 2004 murder of Shafilea Ahmed at the hands of her parents, who killed her after she refused to participate in an arranged marriage.
The cover is accompanied by a seven-second video clip, also created by Leo Burnett, showing the plastic wrap around the magazine being torn, which stands for "the release of women from violence." While I certainly believe in brands and magazines using their powers for good, I hope that the material inside the issue is worthy of the cover. It would be distasteful of Cosmo to make such a grand statement on the front only to have all the content focus on typical women's mag fare like sex tips and salad recipes.
Check out the chilling video clip below:
Image: Cosmopolitan UK