'How Not to Get Raped': Viral Tweet Shares 'Triggering' 90s Magazine Cover

A tweet has gone viral this week after a woman shared what she called the "most triggering magazine cover of the 90s." She says it's indicative of rape and diet cultures that were prevalent then, one of which might still be.

The cover in question is the January 5, 1993, issue of Woman's World magazine which features a series of controversial—and "triggering"—story teasers.

"How not to get raped," reads one block of text just below the magazine's title.

"Raised a boy, now Nikki says 'I'm pregnant,'" reads another.

The cover features a photo of a woman seeming to struggle with zipping up her pants next to the words "Lose weight like a star!"

"I have found it: the most triggering magazine cover of the 90s. It has everything: normalizing dieting, a weird lens on trans stuff, 'how NOT to get raped'," reads the text accompanying the tweet posted by writer Karina Longworth.

"Rape culture" as well as "diet culture" are two notions that exist in American society and can be perpetuated in media and pop culture through television and film, music, and magazines.

The Women's and Gender Study Center at Marshall University describes rape culture as "an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture."

"Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women's bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women's rights and safety."

Magazine
A tweet has gone viral this week after a woman shared the "triggering" magazine cover from a 1993 issue of "Woman's World." Above, a stock image shows a person flipping through a magazine. FabrikaCr/Getty Images

According to VeryWellFit, diet culture is the "pervasive belief that appearance and body shape are more important than physical, psychological, and general well-being."

In 2021, Good Housekeeping reported on examples of diet culture in everyday life. From Barbie's "thigh gap" and 18-inch waist to Kim Kardashian explaining how "necessary" it is to "squeeze" into shapewear under a dress so as to not show cellulite.

Furthermore, dieting is a pervasive phenomenon for many adult Americans with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finding that between the years of 2013-2016 nearly half of U.S. adults tried to lose weight in the last 12 months.

Longworth told Newsweek in an email that she came across this magazine cover while doing research for her podcast, "You Must Remember This." She was looking for magazine stories dealing with Melanie Griffith in the late 80s-early 90s and this issue of Woman's World came up in an eBay search.

Longworth said the most striking thing about this cover was the cover line regarding rape.

"Just the Implication that there is something rape victims could have been doing for centuries to avoid this, if only they had access to this supermarket magazine—which is also the implication that rape is the victim's fault," Longworth said.

People gathered in the comment section of the viral tweet to discuss the nature of the copy featured on the cover with many struggling to understand the thought process behind such headlines. Many agreed with Longworth's disdain for the one specific cover line.

"Gotta love the little underline under 'not,' just in case anyone was confused as to what the advice was for," one commenter wrote.

"'How NOT to get raped' might be one of the most messed up headlines ever--- and for it to be bold on a magazine cover reeks of entitlement and belittlement," another commenter added.

One commenter shared that they think many of these topics are still pushed on readers today.

"The truly horrifying thing is that you can walk into any one of 1,000s of supermarkets and find basically the same woman's world cover today. Except the diet tips are now keto," the commenter wrote.

Longworth believes that today we live in a culture that is "absolutely just as diet obsessed, but it's called 'wellness'."

"I can't imagine seeing the headline about rape today, and some of the responses I saw indicated that people thought that because of that line, this was a fake cover," Longworth told Newsweek. "But when you start to get into it, you will have your mind blown by how culture treated women in the 80s and 90s."

According to Magazines.com, one of the most popular features in Woman's World magazine are weight loss stories—still often featured on the cover.

Newsweek contacted Woman's World magazine for comment.