Cosmopolitan Magazine Analysis

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According to Merriam-Webster, Cosmopolitan means “having wide international sophistication.” It is also a popular beverage made famous by HBO’s Sex in the City. Cosmopolitan, therefore, is undoubtedly a fitting title for a magazine geared towards single woman who are looking for advice about sex, fashion, and sophistication. Each month a variety of hegemonic articles are presented to Cosmopolitan’s target audience as a means to satisfy their desires to learn about sex, fashion, and beauty while continuing to subliminally reinforce the contrasting notion that women are flawed individuals and must change themselves to be more readily accepted by men and the rest of society.

Cosmopolitan directs all articles and advertisements towards a specific target market. The magazine’s audience includes primarily single, white, upper-middle class women between the ages of 18 and 39. Cosmo includes models of other ethnicities but places an emphasis on Caucasian females. This publication is also directed towards heterosexuals. While an occasional article will discuss the topic of homosexuality, the focus is on how heterosexual women can learn to be accepting and tolerant of “those girls.” There are two types of readers who will purchase Cosmopolitan: the one who refers to it as her bible and the other who enjoys a good laugh and the mere entertainment the monthly magazine provides. Each type of reader has different goals, concerns, and interests. The faithful magazine-lover meticulously reads the articles from cover to cover with intentions of learning the newest fashion tips and hottest sex position that she “must try tonight!” This reader has her favorite sections, possibly “Real Life Reads” or “Love and Lust” and has high expectations that this month’s article will top last month’s list of Top 10 Ways to Meet Your Man. The casual reader, however, does not have the same expectations. She flips through the pages, reading other girls’ embarrassing stories, taking a silly...
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