Cosmopolitan magazine was introduced in 1886 and what started off as a magazine for women about well-being and taking care of their families. With headlines on the cover back then such as “Physical Training at the Universities” and “The Progress of Science” while displaying images of women on the cover wearing broad hats and conservative ruffled shirts. The magazine took a turn in 1970 when Helen Gurley Brown became editor-in-chief and brought the failing magazine back to life by focusing on sexuality while portraying women in a sexual manner on the covers. Models were displayed on the covers showing an abundance of cleavage showing a lot of skin. The magazines popularity soared. Women had become more independent and liberated. The 1980’s portrayed even more sexuality on the cover, the 1990’s took it even further. (1)Today, even with its many critics, Cosmopolitan Magazine is one of the most popular magazines in the United States and throughout the world. Aimed mainly at woman age twenty and up, this magazine dictates the popular trends and ideals among its readers. (1)Media and the Cosmopolitan Woman http://ww.jhu.edu/anthmedia/projects/cosmopolitan/index.html) Green, page 2 You can pick up an issue with your favorite celebrity displayed on the cover of Cosmo with headlines beside them stating “First take off his pants”. (2)A new study finds that women who read sex-related articles from popular women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to view premarital sex as risky. Previous studies have found that Cosmopolitan magazines will have numerous stories promoting casual sex for women’s pleasure. A study was done with 150 women in college who were assigned to read articles from the magazine. One group read articles about sexual relationships from the magazine and the other group read articles from the magazine that did not talk about sexual relationships. Researchers found that the group of women who read the sex- related articles where in fact more likely to promote risky sexual behavior. Cosmopolitan magazine being a part of pop culture does in fact have an effect on women and their sexual identities. With images of primarily Caucasian women or those of other ethnicities with Caucasian features all of whom are extremely thin and airbrushed to perfection, with long flowing locks and full pouty lips. The magazine is promoting the nearly impossible standard of beauty. Cosmopolitan is like a guide to being a desired women. No wonder so many women deal with having complexes about their body image and/or low self-esteem. With plastic surgery procedures becoming more common every day and financing available to those who qualify prove that the images women see and words they read have a huge impact. With eating disorders on the rise you would think a change would take place. (2)Rick Nauert, http://psychcentral.com /new/2012/09/05
Green, page 3 While writing about the latest sex moves and how to please your boyfriend in the bed the magazine is making a huge statement about our society and how our society feels about premarital sex and casual sex. Millions of Women and teenage girls are taken in by the messages that cosmopolitan puts out. With the increase in teenage pregnancies, single mothers (aka babby mommas) children being born out of wed lock and the increase in sexually transmitted diseases prove that there is definitely an increase in being sexually promiscuous. There is even a song called promiscuous girl. Being promiscuous and having casual sex along with trying to perfect outer appearances has seemed to swallow up our society and making the owner/publishers of Cosmopolitan magazine successful. It is a harsh reality in our culture that sex sells and always has. People have sex, that is part of life, and people seem to love to read about sex, women want to be sexy and be better sex partners according to Cosmopolitan Magazine. Our culture seems to be fascinated with the subject and magazines such as Cosmopolitan love to write about it. You would think that it would get played out after a while constantly writing about the same thing all the time just a new angle. With articles about how to achieve sexy big hair, and sexy lip shades that sizzle. Cosmopolitan is like a guide to being a desired women. No wonder so many women deal with having complexes about their body image and/or low self-esteem trying to perfect outer appearances has seemed to swallow up our society and making the owner/publishers of Cosmopolitan magazine successful. Quizzes that judge what kind of girlfriend you are to advice on how to flirt. Articles on how to lose weight and what foods to avoid and what foods are good for your sex drive. The Emphasis Seems to always be on sex or revert back to sex.
Green, page 4 Then how to look, dress, how to act followed by more sex. Our society is at risk with the messages they send to Women. It scares me to see that the emphasis is being put on things that have no value morally for the women of today. Even scarier that it holds such popularity and that some women have any proclaimed to love Cosmopolitan magazine. I myself found the magazine to be border line pornographic with all the sexually explicit articles and talk about the vagina do’s and dont’s and I don’t mean hygiene. Offering quizzes to take that tell if your “good” in bed. If you need a quiz to tell you that, then you need more than Cosmopolitan magazine, you need professional help. Our society is full of women who need instructions. Not promoting abstinence till marriage or having self respect by not sleeping with every guy you meet seems to be a thing of our society’s past. Instead promoting how to keep your boyfriend sexually satisfied in order to keep your relationship tight. Or how to make him notice you are the focus of the Cosmo woman today. I believe it is ok for women to feel sexually free and independent but not the way Cosmopolitan magazine describes. Don’t promote being a whore that only cares about what she looks like. Sadly this message is popular throughout our culture today and so many women thinks it is cute. They aspire to be the next Kim K, nicky ménage, Pamela Anderson. Etc. Are these celebrities so bad? Well it depends on your definition of bad. To me it is all connected. Cosmopolitan promotes each and every single one of the celebrities mentioned above. Every time you go to the market or convenient store and on the magazine racks right by the checkout stand you will see Cosmopolitan Magazine with big bold letter across the cover with an article titled ‘The Sex Angle That intensifies Female Pleasure” call it G-Spot Geometry” with a thin model who is the image of American Beauty right in eye sight for all to see. Messages are constantly being put in our heads about what society wants us to look like and Green page 5 be like. Cosmopolitan is just one of the many popular magazines in our culture that promote the American idea of beauty followed by the idea of a women’s sexuality. References:
(1)Media and the Cosmopolitan Woman http://ww.jhu.edu/anthmedia/projects/cosmopolitan/index.html) (2) Rick Nauert, Cosmo Women Feel More Sexually Empowered, Less Risk.