The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Cosmo: Raunchy and Repetitive

3 min read


At the risk of being chastised by my fellow twenty something females of the world, I have a confession:
I am not a Cosmo girl.
Cosmopolitan, the world’s best-selling cause of eating disorders and STDs, is more than just a magazine to many girls my age.
It has become the ultimate guide for relationships, beauty and fashion, complying with the “Sex in the City” philosophy that the secret to female empowerment lies in commitment-less sex and $500 high heels.
In Legally Blonde,” the ultimate of chick flicks, Elle Woods refers to the superficial rag as “the Bible.”
Now, I’m no square or militant feminist. I like getting pedicures as much as the next girl. While I encourage women to embrace femininity, the overtly sexual cover stories that appear in Cosmo each month are inappropriate for the dorm room, let alone the check-out line at the supermarket.
The past three issues of Cosmo have been nearly identical: A lifeless blonde pouting on the cover, boasting about how Hollywood hasn’t stopped her from remaining “down-to-earth.”
Each issue includes some kind of list of the sixty-something hottest sex positions, some of which appear to be anatomically impossible.
After 40 or so, it’s hard not to have repeats, or slight modifications of “the reverse leapfrog.”
This is what thousands of women pay for to be delivered to their doors?
While there is value in continuity, the monthly “guy with his shirt off” page loses its appeal after two or three reads.
If you’ve read one issue, you’ve read them all.
In an odd way, I feel like I’ve outgrown Cosmopolitan, and I’m not even old enough to drink one.
Growing up in an oversexed society, my generation defied target age audiences.
I started reading my older sister’s Seventeen subscription when I was eleven, and grew out of the lip gloss how-to guides and “Does your crush think you’re kissable?” quizzes by the end of middle school.
As an obnoxiously curious fourteen year old, I would sneak into my sister’s bedroom and flip through her forbidden Cosmos, exploring a world of kama sutra and high fashion well above my pre-first base head.
I read articles about blow jobs thinking they referred to a procedure at a hair salon.
After reading a column about women in the workforce, I convinced myself that my career as an ice cream scooper would not be advanced unless I stood up to my boss about the nut ratio in the Rocky Road.
Clearly, my adolescent psyche was not ready for tips on getting rid of cellulite and six degrees of Colin Ferrell.
I have another confession: right now, I’m in the process of applying for internships at several newspapers and magazines for the summer, and Cosmo is one of them. I’m a sell-out: what can I say?
Cosmo is like the most popular girl in high school: the more I hate her, the more I want her to like me.
In the dying industry that is print journalism, it would be an honor to write for such a widely read publication, assuming my one in a million chance of getting accepted followed through.
Until something opens up at The New Yorker, I guess I’d just have to deal with writing about Paris Hilton’s ex-fiancé and whether or not wearing thongs causes yeast infections.
I won’t be including this column in my clip file for the Cosmo application.