On Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelor,” ten women were surprised with a group photoshoot featuring Cosmopolitan’s Editor-in-Chief Jessica Pels. The women competed for the attention of Pels and her photographers to win the grand prize of the date: being the cover model for Cosmo’s March edition.
Contestant Victoria Fuller won the competition. Fuller, along with Bachelor Peter Weber, shot their Cosmo cover in a waterfall in Arenal, Costa Rica.
After the Monday night episode aired, Cosmo announced they were pulling Fuller from the front cover of the magazine because pictures of the bachelor contestant modeling “Marlin Lives Matter” clothing and a logo reading “WLM” or “White Lives Matter” were unearthed over the past week.
Fuller is seen here on the far left modeling a hat reading “WLM.”
The “WLM” logo does not stand for “White Lives Matter,” or represent the group which was established in response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The “White Lives Matter” movement describes itself as “dedicated to the promotion of the white race.” But the “WLM” logo and coinciding “White Lives Matter” slogan Fuller modeled for is a parody label which promotes the conservation of billfish such as the white marlin.
Yes, you’re reading this correctly. The editors of Cosmo are so woke they pulled Fuller’s cover photo because she wore an off-colored, humorous baseball hat calling for the conservation of fish.
According to USA Today, the Ocean City Boardwalk’s White Marlin Marina sells t-shirts and other merchandise with the phrases “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter.” The goal of the gear was to be humorous and simultaneously promote conservation of white and blue marlin fish.
Cosmo is fully aware Fuller’s modeling with “WLM” was simply an off-colored joke.
“It’s been reported that what she modeled for was actually a Marlin Lives Matter organization focused on preventing white and blue marlin from being overfished, which used ‘white lives matter’ and ‘blue lives matter’ messaging on its promotional shirts and hats. In my view, the nature of the organization is neither here nor there—both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic,” Pels wrote in a letter from the editor published after the episode aired.
In her letter, Pels equated the humorous shirts to Fuller being a full-blown racist by supporting such a brand. She concluded by stating the White Lives Matter movement — the one that Fuller never modeled for — does not reflect the values of Cosmo, therefore they would remove Fuller from their cover.
“Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color,” Pels said.
ABC and Fuller have yet to comment on the incident.