For my next foray into women’s magazines I decided to read Cosmopolitan. Now, if we were comparing Vogue and Cosmo to actual women, I would say that Vogue is the smart, confident, motivated girl who went to grad school and is now settled down with a family. If I were to describe Cosmo it would be the raunchy sorority girl who did keg stands in college, went to law school, still goes out well past her mid 20s and can’t figure out why she is still single, but she is also a good friend and someone you can talk to about anything. Anyway, Cosmo definitely focuses on some different themes and issues.
I was not distracted by any odors of this magazine, but I was immediately drawn to the headline “PMS News: The Fruit that Prevents Bloating”—that seemed like it would make an interesting read. Cosmo is all over the place in terms of what they focus on. They seem to really try to appeal to all women but I’d say about 70% of the content dealt with men, sex, looking like celebrities and things to do when you’re naked. Cosmo covers a lot so let’s get to it….
If anyone is wondering (and I’m sure you are) the number 1 thing that was listed on “What’s Sexy Right Now” is Brooding British Boys—guess it’s time to start working on my accent, not sure how to improve my ‘brooding’ skills though…
Lea Michele was the cover story for this issue. I must admit I am quite a big Glee fan, not only for the wonderful singing but also for the great assortment of attractive women on the show. Anyway, nothing too insightful here except that she is probably the 23,343,435th celebrity to use this line “I am very focused and driven. I am also grounded and really know who I am”. Glad to hear that; I was concerned.
Moving on….to our first and second
Fashion Lesson #1: Once again the Urkel pants or ‘rock flared bottoms’ are mentioned as being so hot right now.
Fashion Lesson #2: Curly hair is popular
Cosmo seems to just be a smorgasbord of facts and statistics taken from readers or random quotes from specialists. This was my favorite though:
‘The Chatter Chart: Some Subjects Just Keep Coming up In Your Convos With Friends’
The breakdown was as followed:
How Incredible Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig must be together in bed: 4%
The Popularity of Teen Novels like The Hunger Games: 4%
Whether Salvia is Good or Evil: 14%
Whether Wikileaks is Good or Evil: 17%
The Hotness of Ryan Gosling: 27%
The Grossness of Hugh Hefner Marrying a 24year old—ugh!: 34%
I now see why I’m single…I should have been asking about Ryan Gossling from the beginning…
The next article (I feel like there weren’t too many in this issue) I got to was “Quit Ragging on My Chest Hair—Please”: this is an issue which is close to my heart (nickname in high school: Wolverine) but it was interesting to see how a women’s magazine needs to make the point of not teasing about body image. Men are sensitive about these issues too and it was intriguing to read it from the perspective of how women may not realize that.
Fashion Lesson #3: Cat Eye Shades are in along with something called a ‘Ruffle-Front’ Maxi Dress
The next section was entitled, “The Best Silhouette for You”. Apparently a silhouette is the balance between your top and bottom (give me a break…I’m still learning). They compared three celebrities and their silhouettes and why they worked. This corresponded with an overall theme of taking fashion advice/look from celebrities. Obviously that makes sense because they are ‘trend setters’ but it seems that most of Cosmo style tips deal with looking like someone else and not so much with creating your own identity, but one that is built on top of someone else’s style.
The beauty Q&A was extremely informative. I have never asked nor heard these questions asked before: ‘My legs itch badly after I shave. How can I prevent this?’ and ‘The skin on my eyelids is flaking. What’s going on?’—I didn’t even know that was possible.
More skin product ads…
Scientific Fact! Women have three types of acne: Gadget Acne, Hookup Acne and Comfort Food Acne
Birth control ad…
Fashion Lesson #4: Wedge shoes are popular
The ‘For Keeps’ section mentioned some interesting topics such as when farting is appropriate in front of a boyfriend or when peeing in front of a boyfriend is appropriate—the short answers: never.
Fashion Lesson #5: Exposing your shoulders is considered both sexy and sophisticated
The next section featured a comedian and how she is now secure with her body and herself. It was a different tone than the rest of the magazine. It was about an independent woman who was comfortable with herself and seemed to serve the purpose to motivate its readers. It seemed a far cry from ‘Getting Perfect Eyelashes’, which was featured earlier in the magazine. But once again Cosmo is all over the place, which leads us to by the far the most informative, scary and uncomfortable article in the whole issue….
‘Escape From Period Insanity’
Obviously, I am a man. I do not have periods, or PMS. I don’t normally talk about periods or PMS unless it is in some form of crude humor directed at a co-worker who is being rude (I’m just being honest). When I was younger and my mother took me into the women’s restroom I thought those dispensers were for candy and I believed that till I was 11. This article was a definite eye-opener due to the fact that the female body is so complicated that even women don’t know exactly how it works. I wrestled with the idea of going into too much detail about this article, but I figured why not. So here are some quick bullet points that can help a women escape a period:
-Ibuprofen every 6 hours helps with cramps and taking it can also be a preventative measure
-Increasing vitamin D intake, calcium, and working out can stabilize mood swings
-Eating foods high in potassium can prevent bloating
-Caffeine can help with migraines but increase breast soreness—so I guess you’re screwed either way
-Apply benzoyl-peroxide to any skin breakouts
-Getting more sleep can help with exhaustion (duh)
Probably goes without saying, but that was quite the read. I am pretty happy that men don’t go through anything like that so I do have a newfound respect for women’s toughness. The only thing that I am jealous of is that women get to call their doctor’s ‘gynos’—it sounds like some cool Star Trek weapon. Anyway, moving on…
Fashion Lesson #6 Sheer material that subtly reveals a women’s body is growing in popularity
As I said before the main things mentioned in this issue of Cosmo were men, sex and things to do when you’re naked. I thought I would break those sections down….
I would say Cosmo does do a good job at giving a male perspective for women. Overall though most of the sections dealing with men were either about how to get them to do something or an ‘insight’ that wasn’t very insightful at all…
91% of men love it when a woman makes them feel wanted…really? What did the other 9% think the question meant? Wanted money, wanted like a criminal—sometimes it is hard to defend my gender.
In the section ‘10 Ways to Let a Guy Know You’re Interested’, actor and wannabe superhero villain Topher Grace (who ruined Spiderman 3) wrote these. He had some great insights such as ‘Don’t Flirt with Other Guys’ and ‘Don’t Ignore Him’–this guy should write a book.
Another insightful nugget: Don’t use a man’s razor while staying at his place. Kind of goes both ways.
A section that surprised me was ‘Where to Meet Your Future Boyfriend’. It gave advice on places to go and events to do to meet men. This is an actual problem? It seems that anytime I go outside it’s essentially a meat market for women.
I think the Confessions from Men section is complete bullshit and is written by 4 types of douche bags: The Liar, The Kiss and Teller, The Prankster and The Exaggerator.
Article on ‘Why Men In Love Are Dragging their Feet’ made men far too complicated in my opinion. We are simple creatures. It laid out almost a gameplan or strategy to bagging a man, sections such as Sealing the Deal, Tying the Knot and Filling the House With Rug Rats essentially goes through a bird’s eye view of forming a relationship in three pages. I didn’t realize it was that easy.
Moving on to what else…
Of course I could say the whole issue was about sex, but these were some sections that caught my eye.
I took my first Cosmo ‘Sex Quiz’ and apparently I am a visual person…this was quite the read. It was informative and didn’t really come off as raunchy but more so as genuine advice. The sheer openness of sexuality in this section surprised me (pictures to boot too!). Also similar was the Sex Q&A section, which created an open forum for its readers to ask whatever they wanted to.
Openness about women’s sexuality was a central theme throughout the issue. Sections ranging from How I Fixed an Awkward Sex Issue to The Erotic Touch that Draws Him Closer which read like a ‘Dear Penthouse’ letter.
There was the ’25 Fun Ways to Go Naked…Without Freezing Your Butt Off’. They broke it down in 3 sections: Try These With Your Guy, Try These Solo and Try These With Your Friends. My favorite suggestion: Order spicy Thai takeout, then strip down for one hot meal—that just sounds awful, have you seen people eat with clothes ON? Imagine that but with more movement from everywhere.
And finally, I scored a 4 on the ‘Do You Work Too Damn Hard’ Quiz—apparently this means that I am team player…one more thing to add to the resume.
Phew..quite the magazine Cosmopolitan is. It deals with a variety of issues for women, but overall the one thing Cosmo does is create an open conversation; it was an open forum for women to share their fears, successes, questions and thoughts without judgment. Some key learning’s to take away from this issue:
- Women are much more open than you think about a lot of issues
- They are just as interested in figuring men out as men are at figuring women out
- Some things men might find obvious are not as obvious to them—and vice versa
- Women plan everything—kind of like how I strategize my fantasy football team.
Second Post. Complete.