What Cosmo is really saying to you

The guy who wrote this is clearly a bit of a misogynist (which is why I didn’t link to him), but if you think about it, he’s pretty spot on as to what Cosmopolitan thinks of its audience (probably because that’s what he thinks of Cosmopolitan‘s audience).

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9 thoughts on “What Cosmo is really saying to you

  1. I hate those things. I hate that they basically scream at me “LOOSE WEIGHT YOU FAT FUCK!!!! YOU’RE NOT WORTH ANYTHING UNTIL YOU’RE THIN AND BEAUTIFUL”. And don’t even get me started on the sex tips section, I remember I was flicking through one in the Doctors surgery and that time it was about how to give a really good blow job, “Don’t be afraid to deep throat!” and all that utter nonsense. Coz that’s what that section’s really all about, making you into your boyfriends favourite lil sex kitten.

    And also the utter randomness of it, “10 reason why you don’t need a man”, then 10 pages of glossy ads later “10 ways to get a man”. Just Argh.


  2. I used to like Cosmo, even with all of its sexism and frivolity.

    And then they published Laura Sessions Stepp’s ‘Grey Rape’ article (which blamed women for being raped by men) last year…and even though there were about a million feminist letter-writing campaigns about it (I participated), the only two letters to the editor they published in response to the article were positive. I can understand why they wouldn’t publish mine, which was about three pages long and used the word ‘fuck’ a few times, but I guarentee that out of all the people who wrote there had to be one short, firm, and unhappy letter they could’ve chosen.


  3. My better-half agrees that it’s pretty accurate. The one exception, according to her, is the “Money: How to turn your daddy issues into profit.”

    Despite the fact that I’ve never read “Cosmo,” I think that that “Money” headline really does betray the bias of the guy who wrote this parody.


  4. Yeah, that part sucked, and was the one part that made the least sense to me. The guy who made this thing’s an asshole, which I suppose is why he’s so good at capturing the magazine’s assholish message.


  5. It’s not so much what the magazine thinks of its audience. It’s more what the magazine is grooming its audience into.

    A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that magazines are in the business of selling content to readers. Nope. Magazines are in the business of collecting a readership, conditioning them into a certain state of mind, and then serving them up to advertisers.

    There was some Australian women’s magazine that demonstrated this perfectly, though I apologize that I can’t remember its name. They had the radical idea of putting a real live human woman of average size on the cover. The readers went wild, and the glowing letters of approval poured in endlessly. The advertisers, on the other hand, said “Oh no, I don’t think so,” and insisted that they never pull a stunt like that again if they want to continue business.

    And the contradictory messages are no accident. The readers are supposed to get anxious and insecure and confused. That’s a magazine’s job. Advertisers need them to be conditioned into desperation for someone to sell them something that will make them into a worthwhile human being. It’s even more apparent when you see them going back and forth between “Love your body, you’re beautiful as you are!” and “10 ways to lose that disgusting flab, you big fat fatty fat fat.”


  6. I think Psych is right on with that analysis. I’ve heard that “women’s magazines” started as merely catalogs – and then someone thought to put “content” in them and sell them. So by buying “Cosmo,” one is actually purchasing a whole bunch of dead trees with ads on them.


  7. I hate Cosmo. How many “ways to please your man” can there be? It’s a penis, it’s not that complicated.


  8. Oh yeah Cosmo and all the other magazines in the supermarket aisle. “You are worth less that used gum in the gutter as you are, so here’s how to starve yourself into the size of a pubescent child, paint your face till you look like anything other than your normal ugly self and make it look ‘natural’, and while you’re at it study these important new sex techniques or else YOUR MAN MIGHT LEAVE YOU AND YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT HIM!”

    I had the saddest conversation with a woman last week, who, after I “admitted” in the most unapologetic way that I shave nothing and won’t put up with anyone who won’t love me just as I am, told me that her husband refuses to give her oral sex unless she chemically removes all of her pubic hair. Where does one begin?


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