Small victory: Power to the people!

I empowered myself today at the checkout of the grocery store.  I had Clark and Natalie with me and as we checked out, this lovely piece of literature was right at the level of my waist (in other words, right at Clark’s eye level).


I edited it for you a little.  You’re welcome. Then the same thing happened that always happens:  I got annoyed.  Then I remembered DeNae and how she became like a Las Vegas Lysol wipe.  (Put that on your resume, DeNae.)  I also thought that since I’m spending so much time on this Protecting Innocence Project*, I’d better walk the walk.  So I asked the lady at the checkout to call over the manager.

I introduced myself and then said, “I shop here a lot, but I have a concern.  Some of these magazine covers are inappropriate.  You can see that they are right here at my son’s eye level.  And he can read.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had a five-year-old, but I think you’d agree that this (pointing right at the headlines) isn’t something he needs to see.  What I would like is for them to be moved out of a child’s line of vision like the tobacco products or covered up.  I’m just asking for a little discernment about what is placed at a child’s eye level.”

He nodded in agreement because, really, you don’t have to be a preacher to know that “BAD GIRL es-ee-ex” (I’m trying to avoid the wrong kind of Google hits) is not a headline for a kindergartener.  He agreed that they would cover up all of their Cosmopolitan magazines with a black shield.  It just so happened that the magazine rep/distributor was there and he called her over and asked her to please cover them up every time she restocks the racks.  And that was it.  I thanked him, gathered up my groceries and my imaginary weapons of motherhood, and we were on our way.

It was that simple.

So arm yourselves, moms.  It’s not nearly as hard or as embarrassing as we think it might be.  The checkout lady said to me, “I’m sixty-nine years old and even I think it’s raunchy.”

And if the manager blows you off, get an address for whomever he reports to, and mail a letter like Captain DeNae did.  Fight on, sisters, fight on!

*The Protecting Innocence Project is getting closer and closer to launch.  Check out this draft of one of the logos (we’ve altered the shield a little to make it more obvious.)


When it’s all up and ready, I really hope you’ll help me publicize it because it’s going to ROCK.  Think form letters and contact information to make it easy for moms to complain, alert forums where we can get more voices to speak out against offensive material, tons of research, resources and links to organizations that promote the cause of protecting children from inappropriate media.  I’m telling you, the devil is NOT going to like this site.  🙂


26 thoughts on “Small victory: Power to the people!

  1. I need to be braver! I remember when the Dukes of Hazard remake came out. Shopko had a life size cut out of Jessica Simpson in short shorts and a tiny top. And boy was it anatomically correct! I thought about complaining, but then just decided to not shop there anymore. I’m going to speak up more and often. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Awesome. My friend once complained to Victoria’s Secret and the manager said, “Thanks for telling me you are offended, I have to have X amount of people complain before I can take them down, and I don’t even like them!” Since then I’ve been much more likely to voice my concerns. We all should! Go PIP!

    • In our mall, they actually placed a collection of massage chairs right outside the Victoria Secret store. Those chairs are always full of young, teenage boys, and it DRIVES ME CRAZY like nothing in this world!

  3. Hooray for you!

    I have been watching your PIP program get up and running and felt as though I shouldn’t volunteer my services because we have just been so out of the loop what with all the visiting different countries, moving, etc.

    Now that we are settled in, I would like to let you know if there is ANYTHING else that you need done, I would love to chime in and do my bit. I am just sorry that I couldn’t help out earlier.

    xx Helen.

  4. Once again, you are my hero.

    Oh, and I’d like a yellow XL, scoop neck tee with that logo, please. On the back should be the website address in LARGE, BOLD letters. Let me know when you’re ready to start marketing them, and I’ll guarantee 100 sold!

  5. I love my grocery store. They have black shields in front of all their magazines. It is wonderful. I am so glad that they were so very accommodating. I can’t wait to help promote the PIP. Keep me updated!

  6. You rock. I haven’t paid attention to these covers because my older son isn’t with me when I shop, but he’s at the age where it’s exactly what would catch his attention if he were there and I need to remember that.

  7. Way to go Stephany. In the movie industry I understand that each person’s comment or complaint counts for 20,000 votes because that’s how many people don’t like the content but never care enough to write in. So if my vote is worth 20,000 (!!!!) votes I ought to make my vote and my feelings heard/count!

  8. That was great Stephanie. I’m going to be more observant and diligent. Thanks for the reminder! That mag was so raunchy!! I take things for granted here in Utah because they are all covered up where I shop. I will be on the look out now and speak up if there not.

  9. I am a friend of Desmama’s and she recently talked about a post she loved on your blog. I’ve been checking in ever since, but haven’t commented. I just wanted to say that I really admire what you did. This and previous posts keep me coming back for more, and I appreciate your commitment to protecting the values that we hold dear (for ourselves and our children). Keep doing what you’re doing!

  10. Check out, which I learned about in one my classes this week. It is the US government’s attempt to put all its resources on one website for normal citizens to gain better access.
    There is a section for parents, and sub sections on child safety. One thing missing, (surprise) is something about age appropriate content in media. One objective for this project could be to lobby for the FTC and media outlet complaint forms on the site.

  11. YAY!!!! You are so totally awesome and I can’t wait to wipe the floor with PTIP (or P-tip as we like to call it). Just sent a letter to FOX today, thanks to One million Moms dot com. I love that you did this and I commend and honor you as a warrior mother. (slap slap slap slap – that’s our warrior mommy hand slap).

  12. Steph, I have been very behind on reading your blog. Honestly, Many times the posts are so long that when I am “blog surfing” I stop by quickly but easily get distracted and never finish what I start reading. Today, being the Sabbath, I decided to stop by your site to read some great uplifting words, knowing I have missed so many great posts.

    This Post, .. wow. You are a great example to so many women out there. I am behind on this whole Protecting Innocence Project but am anxious to learn more. You brought tears to my eyes as I read of your strength to stand up for truth and righteousness. Instead of constantly trying to distract the kids with other things or telling them to not look, you decided to do something about it.

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I am absolutely amazed at your strength and desire more of it for myself. The way to get it, to stand up for whats right little bit by little bit. Thank you for this reminder.


  13. Feeling a little out of place here, not many other guys posting 🙂

    Just wanted to say thank you for standing up for the innocence of children. My wife and I are having a little girl soon, and I literally feel sick when I think of her growing up in a world where childhood innocence is viewed as an unimportatt part of life, and not worth protecting. When my wife and I first came to Australia five years ago we didn’t notice the things that PIP is speaking out against, but when you make the decision to have a kid, boy do you start noticing so many nasty things that could affect your kid in all sorts of bad ways.

    While I’m here, has anyone noticed an abundance of 6-10yr old girls wearing denim short shorts? What kind of parents would buy clothes like that for their daughter!?!? Sexualizing anyone underage should be illegal, but a nine year old wearing them!? Western society has hit a new level of shallow.

    My post is getting a bit too big, so I’ll finish now by saying thank you to Stephanie for speaking out, and to all others who do the same.

    Thanks PIP, you’ve renewed my hopes for a bright future for my (not-yet-born) little princess! 🙂

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