Cosmopolitan

My Top 5 Posts.

by Jamie Sanford on October 22, 2010

5

Photo by Svenwerk on Flickr. Image is clickable.

I’ve never actually done one of these, but I figured why not.  I am slightly disappointed that over time, the most popular posts have been ones that I never really expected to perform well, but isn’t that always the way?

Product Review: Aura Paint by Benjamin Moore

Cosmopolitan magazine: good marketers, or an audience full of sheep?

Flickr Stats: Better, But Still Room for Improvement

Photo: Brahma Shrine at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater has a terrible photo policy.

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 This post was written by me, but I would be remiss to not mention the ideas that came out of discussing this issue with my husband.  Thanks Will!

Cosmopolitan, April 2009

Recently, during a class discussion of magazines clearly aimed at one gender or the other (i.e. Cosmopolitan, Maxim, etc.), my professor asked, “Do consumers mirror what they see or believe what is expected of them, or are marketers merely capitalizing on what they know as verifiable differences?”

I started this post and then ended up purchasing an issue of Cosmopolitan, since I couldn’t remember the last time I had read one.   I was completely disappointed when the magazine lived up to my low expectations.  It appears to be creating and maintaining a flock of sheep that will keep looking at Cosmo as a necessary guide to life, all the time feeding messages along that the most important topics are removing body hair and doing crazy sexual things to “keep your man.”

I will post a list of the article titles here because I want to display that I am not just exaggerating because I’m not at ALL into this magazine.

  • Cover Stories
    • Ashley Tisdale Blows Off Her Good-Girl Image
    • What Guys Crave After Sex (Besides beer and pizza)
    • Cosmo’s 50 Best Relationship Tips
    • Sex that Brings You Closer: These hot moves will start a bonfire in his pants…and his heart
    • Love Your Life! Sexy little tricks that add bliss
    • How to Save Your Ass At Work
    • 7 Yummy Fat-Melting Foods
    • Just Do This on Date #1 (and He’s Yours)
    • Fashion Extra: New ways to wear the clothes you have
  • Cosmo News
    • Hot Sheet
    • Why the Obamas’ Love is So Sexy
    • Beauty Stakeout: Refined or Rockin?
    • The Best Sex Life: Who’s Got It
    • Sexy vs. Skanky
  • Man Manual
    • The Man Report
    • TV’s Sexiest Bad Boys
    • Guy Spy
    • Cosmo for Your Guy: Create a Sex Goddess
    • Man on Fire
  • Fun Fearless Fashion
    • 7 Ridiculously Good Deals
    • The Best Trends for Your Body
    • Guilt-Free Designer Finds
    • The Still-Hot List
    • Style Secrets
  • Cosmo Look
    • Beauty News
    • Hair
    • Green Beauty Awards
    • Beauty Q&A
    • Get Soft and Sexy All Over
  • Celeb Spotlight
    • Fun Fearless Female
  • Love & Lust
    • Couples
    • Yes, You Have a G-Spot
    • What to Do When Your Guy’s on the Small Side
    • Can Google Doom A Date?
    • Ask Him Anything
    • The Cosmo Couple Quiz
  • Real-Life Reads
    • The Cosmo Post
    • “I Was Drugged and Raped by Two Men”
  • You, you, you
    • The Single Girl’s Bible
    • Bitch it out!
  • Totally Cosmo
    • Guys Uncensored: The Secret Thoughts of Men
    • 15 Things You Should Never Apologize For
    • “How I Totally Blew It With a New Guy”
  • Fashion and Beauty Now
    • Surf’s Up
    • What You’ve Always Wondered About Scent…
    • What’s Out, What’s In
  • Weekend
    • What to Do
    • You and Him
    • Living: Chic, Style on a Budget
    • Eat This Up
    • Healthy, Sexy, Strong
  • Health Check
    • 7 Ways to Fall Asleep When You Feel Wired
    • Cosmo Gyno
    • Your Body
  • Regular Features
    • From the Editor
    • Why Don’t You…
    • Confessions
    • Guy Confessions
    • Bedside Astrologer
    • Red-Hot Read
    • Shopping Information
    • Cosmo Quiz: How Passionate Are You?
  • Bonus Section
    • Sexy Ways to Go Green

With the exception of “I Was Drugged and Raped By Two Men,” all of the articles in this magazine were fluff.  Even that article was mostly a warning story with tips like “don’t take drinks from strangers in bars,” which I would really hope is something that is common sense and would be known by most of the readers of Cosmo. 

The focus on sexuality and beauty without any focus on developing mentally, learning about new things, etc, I find it to be so backwards.  Cosmo was a game-changer in the 60s and 70s when it addressed women’s sexuality and encouraged women to own it.  However, haven’t we moved past that at this point?  Apparently Helen Gurley Brown is still the editor for the international versions of Cosmo, surely she must realize that we’ve moved past this. We’ve established that women are just an interested in sex as men are (exceptions exist of course – I’m not starting THAT argument), but now we are still dealing with the issue of women not being equal with men in the workplace.  Women don’t make as much money as men and have issues gaining the same level of respect and opportunity as men.  (Again,exceptions exist to this, I know I am generalizing.)  These are the things that a magazine like Cosmo should be focusing on, the current magazine staff should take a cue from the challenges real women are dealing with nowadays, the new “revolution” should involve women taking control in other areas of life, careers, education, etc. 

I’m not saying that a magazine for women shouldn’t offer information on fashion and beauty topics, I’m interested in that too.  However, I have a brain and I’m trying to carve out a career for myself, just like millions of other women out there.  It frightens me to think of the impact this will have on young girls who seem their older sister or mother reading a magazine whose cover in coated in  messages saying “you aren’t good enough – so do this to fix yourself.”  The Cosmo girl needs to become the Cosmo woman, and the Cosmo woman lives in 2009, not 1965.

These magazines are selling.  They stay in business month after month and they make money so nothing will change.  Those who are reading these magazines and taking this information at face value are feeding back into the machine, which suits the marketers just fine.  As long as those magazines are selling, they have a built-in audience of people who aren’t expecting MORE.  Unfortunately, that flock of sheep will keep growing, especially as children are raised into the flock mentality. 

A magazine could certainly play into my gender a bit, but please provide me with content that celebrates women and is helpful to women without being judgmental and playing on the self-esteem issues that our society is breeding.

</soapbox>

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