What Cosmo is really telling young women

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Hello readers! Today I thought I would do a little experiment and see what the magazine Cosmo was all about and by “see what it was all about” I mean mock the fuck out of it. The original concept can be found over at The Pervocracy, where the lovely folks take a Cosmo magazine and do a review on its contents. Intrigued by the idea, I thought I’d try my hand at doing the same and since Cosmo is largely centered on heterosexual women – this queer was going to give it her darnedest shot at faking straight in the name of science. Wish me luck in learning about the types of magazines marketed towards straight women.

The first thing I did when I got the magazine (apart from sneak it into the house) was look at the front cover:

 

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Apart from the busy and overcrowded cover, the first thing I saw was a woman with long hair, tanned, airbrushed to hell with an impressive near perfect cleavage that screamed either A) expensive bra or B) expensive boob job. The topics on the cover included:

1. Sex tips to keep him up all night
2. How to get a sexy beach body
3. Beauty tricks
4. A celebrity with tons of money getting an interview
5. A bridal special
6. How to go from fuck buddy to a relationship without talking to your fuck buddy

Like all good experiments we need a good sample size of the population, so I went through some Cosmo back issues.

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This issue features: a woman with long hair, tanned, airbrushed to hell with an impressive cleavage that screamed either A) expensive bra or B) expensive boob job. The topics on the cover included:

1. Sex tips (10 things he craves in bed)
2. How to get tight abs
3. Sex tips (How to read his dirty mind)
4. An interview with someone who was nearly murdered
5. An interview with a celebrity with tons of money to spend on plastic surgery
6. Sex tips (How to climax together)

Okay, so lets try again. Hopefully looking at more issues will tell me whether Cosmo talks about more issues than sex, how to be pretty, sex, celebrities that have more money than I ever will, sex, keeping men interested with sex, landing a man and marriage.

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Hey look! This time we’re on top! What a change of pace.

So this issue of Cosmo features: a woman with long hair, tanned, airbrushed to hell with an impressive cleavage that screamed either A) expensive bra or B) expensive boob job. The topics on the cover included:

1. Sex tips (A sex survey)
2. Springs sexiest make-up
3. Sex tips (What your man wants to sex during sex)
4. An interview with a hot male celebrity
5. An interview with a celebrity with tons of money to spend on plastic surgery
6. The dating scene and a gynecologist having a conversation with vagina’s

This issue is a bit of an improvement. Only 2-3 mentions of sex on the cover. Has anyone else noticed whenever Cosmo talks about sex, it focuses on pleasing the guy? “What he wants to see during sex”, “Read his dirty mind!”. Where are the articles entitled “How to be assertive and ask for what you want during sex”, “How to make sure you have fun in the sack”, “How to show a guy how to find a clitoris without using Google Maps”.

Next!!

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I’m starting to think Cosmo runs off a formula. The above Cosmo features: a woman with long hair, tanned, airbrushed to hell with an impressive cleavage that screamed either A) expensive bra or B) expensive boob job. The topics on the cover included:

1. Sex tips (52 sex tips)
2. How to boost your confidence (this looks promising)
3. More sex stuff (When your vagina acts weird after sex)
4. Four talks you should have had with him by now (Finally something about communication!)
5. An interview with a celebrity with tons of money to spend on plastic surgery
6. How to turn a guy on from across the room

Apart from the one off about communication, the majority of Cosmo’s feature such lovely messages such as: You should have a man already! What to do if you don’t have a man! How to get a man! How to keep your man around by giving him awesome orgasms! You don’t look like any of the models within our pages so you’re inferior! You’re inferior so here’s our confidence boosters and some makeup to kind of look like the celebrities we interview with tons of money to spend on plastic surgery!

One last chance:

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HOLY SHIT A WOMAN! A BLACK WOMAN! A BLACK WOMAN WITH SHORT HAIR! You surprise me Cosmo.

This Cosmo features: a black woman with short hair, airbrushed to hell with an impressive cleavage that screamed either A) expensive bra or B) expensive boob job in a great looking outfit that is unfortunately being promoted as fetish gear because it isn’t colourful or cotton. The topics on the cover included:

1. Sex tips (Kinky sex)
2. Guys top sex secrets
3. More sex stuff (Sexify your eyes in 5 minutes (because the first thing I think of when I see a woman with sexy eyes is “Gee nice eyes, I want to fuck you”)
4. Sex tips (Bigger, better pleasure)
5. An interview with a celebrity with tons of money to spend on plastic surgery
6. A Cosmo confidence booster

That was painful and I haven’t even gotten passed the cover yet. So far all Cosmo has told me about being a (pretend) straight woman is:

1. I’m inferior to all the models so I should feel bad
2. But Cosmo has beauty tips for me!
3. Cosmo has confidence boosters for me because I feel bad about looking at their models because I am neither tanned, airbrushed, toned or have long fan-blown hair
4. My life should revolve around keeping my man interested by pleasing him in bed, looking for a man if I don’t have one by being beautiful and looking sexy – once I get the man, I need to keep him interested by sex because all men think about sex
5. Having a casual fuck buddy is bad so I need to manipulate him into being my boyfriend without ever communicating with him
6. Getting married is important
7. Celebrities have more money than me
8. Being beautiful and being able to please a man with no regard for my own needs is top priority

Well fuck, that sounds tiring. My genitals are crawling away at the thought of all the sex Cosmo says I should be having, no-one gay or straight can have that much sex without something falling off or falling out.

One thing I’ve noticed about magazines that are centered towards straight women such as Cosmo – it’s all about making the guy feel good, there’s an article entitled “25 Ways To Blow His Mind With Your Mouth”, where’s the article entitled “25 Ways To Blow Her Mind With Your Mouth” in FHM magazine? Those magazines are geared towards men with pictures of women in sexy lingerie to reel the guys into buy it because the women are pretty and apparently all guys are easy pleased – just give them pictures of pretty women! Guys are simpletons (That’s what we’re lead to believe anyway). The purpose of the models in mens magazines are to make the men feel good, the purposes of the models in Cosmo and the articles in it are to teach women how to make men feel good (and make us feel like shit and ugly). Apparently we’re meant to look sexual, act sexual towards men and please them but not actually be sexual or have sexual needs for ourselves. So blow jobs, yes. Having fun and asking for our sexual needs being met, No.

Also all the articles in Cosmo are written by women which is great but I’m hoping the articles about what men like in bed are well researched. Men would know best about what they like in the sack rather than women going on experience or opinion. Better yet how about some featured articles on how to talk about sexual matters? or how to be assertive about your sexual wants and needs? or how to communicate about relationships and relationship boundaries in general? Where are the articles about how to change a tire? How to budget or how to start up a small business? Actual useful things women should know.

And the advertising is just terrible. Cosmetics, expensive clothing, hair care products, exercise equipment and diamond jewelry. Where’s the book reviews on educational books? Where’s the advertising for universities or tips on how to advance your career?

Another thing I have noticed about Cosmo is the total lack of realistic models. Where are the average looking women with freckles? Where are the oddly shaped birth marks and stretch marks? Where’s the cellulite and love handles? Where’s the larger women? and the short unmanageable hair? Where are the bodies that haven’t had 6 hours worth of work out per day at the gym? Where are the bodies that haven’t had thousands of dollars worth of surgery done to them?

If you get famous for promoting a minority body look and marketing it towards an audience that is made of up majority average looking bodies – that audience is going to feel bad because they don’t look like the models in the magazine. It’s a form of emotional manipulation to get more sales – make the audience feel bad so they buy more magazines in the vain attempt to get tips on how to look like the models in the magazine. Buy more products to look like the models in the magazines so you feel less shit about not looking like the models in the magazine.

I wonder how the workers at Cosmo sleep at night knowing that they are contributing to the rise in body dysmorphia and eating disorders all over the world? I wonder how they sleep at night knowing their product can lead to feelings of misery and depression.

Excuse me while I go burn the magazine and bury the remains.

 

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8 Comments

  1. You should get a popular male magazine and compare them to this.

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    • I intend to. I was thinking FHM magazine.

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  2. thank you so much for this amazing article. everything you said is sadly so true and i wish for this to be seen by everyone. may i post links to this on tumblr?

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    • Go for it. All my articles can be shared by anyone.

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  3. I appreciate what you did here. When I was 17 or 18 I actually had a subscription to Cosmo. That ended when I learned exactly what you did in this article. Every Cosmo issue is basically the same. And I felt worse about myself after reading an issue than I did before. It’s just not worth it. Now, at 28, I subscribe to fantastic magazines written by and for thinking women, like Bust magazine. Be your smart, beautiful selves and pick up an issue, ladies!

    (On a side note, you could use a grammar editor. Feel free to let me do that for you. :) )

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    • Thanks but I get my point across.

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  4. Thank you, this article has left me with much to think about. It’s opened my eyes a little and at an important time to. A time of self discovery.

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