Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Deconstructing Cosmo

For the past few months I've been on the receiving end of a free subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine.  It's like the universe is calling me an old lady.  Fuck you universe.  I am not buying a sky blue eyeshadow wand.  You can't make me.

At first, I just flipped through the inane articles, had a good laugh, and set it out for recycling.  But the more I started studying the issues, the more depressed I got.  If our young ladies are really taking any of this garbage to heart, the future of our civilization is doomed.

Here are a couple of the grossest cover headlines for August:

This is a compilation of makeup tips, so the title is a little deceiving -  until you start reading the article.  The gist of the whole piece is that you should wear red lipstick, blush, and use conditioner.  But they don't just say that.  That would be boring.  Instead, the fine writers at Cosmo turn a few makeup tips into a tutorial on fertility and desire.

He can't resist racy red lips.  Besides looking smoking hot... studies show that just seeing the color red raises a guy's heart rate and blood pressure, riling him up.  Women's lips darken when they hit puberty, the time baby-making estrogen levels peak, so the hue acts as a fertility announcement...

Jesus Christ, weirdo, are you even reading the shit that you write?  I hit puberty at 11, so yeah - gross.  Is our intention now to raise a guy's heart rate and blood pressure, riling him up?  Can't wait to hear the new version of the Twinkie defense:  She was asking for it.  The red lipstick made me do it.

He can't resist a flirty flush.  Research suggests that you are perceived as very trustworthy and easy to get along with when you're flushing... qualities men look for in a GF.  Revved-up circulation also makes you look vibrant, and again, fertile - two additional subconscious seducers.

I always thought men wanted to spend their early 20's having fun and not being tied down, but I guess I was wrong.  They just want to spread their seed all over the land.  Fertility rules, ladies.

Whatever might this be?  A copy of Emerson's, Self Reliance?  An image of suffragettes marching for the vote?  Maya Angelou's, Phenomenal Woman?  Um, no.

Keep a pair of hot red stilettos under your desk, and slip them on for an instant boost.  It sounds silly, but tweaking your appearance in a bold way can make you feel much better.

Let me get this straight.  If I'm feeling overwrought and intimidated in the work place, I should slip on a pair of red hot stilettos?  Yes, that will solve everything.  Fantastic idea.  I'm sure all of the people who work with me will be thinking, Wow, confidence!   Or maybe they will just be thinking, What the hell is wrong with Maria?  Why did she slip on stripper shoes before that meeting?  

I worked a private party for Mayor Bloomberg earlier this year.  His handlers were pretty interesting.  It was a group of about five ladies, all in their early thirties.  One of the ladies was in charge of the very important detail of deciding where exactly the peonies would be placed on the tables (Mayor Mike's favorite flower!), and making sure that we put the humus in arm's reach ( He loves humus!)  She was very detail oriented.  Right before the dinner began, she slipped off her sensible black pumps, and slipped on a pair of five inch heels.  The heels were made of lucite.

This is the actual shoe she put on.  Jimmy Choo makes stripper heels.  They are $2400.

At no time did I think, Wow, she must be really confident and able!  What I did think was, Is that woman out of her damn mind?  Why did she just put those plastic shoes on?  

As usual, I digress.  The point of this whole post is that Cosmopolitan is ridiculous, and they are doing their female readership a huge disservice by writing this crap.  I don't see why you can't have some smart things to say and sell makeup.  But that's just one, fed-up feminist's opinion.

By the way, I didn't buy the sky blue eyeshadow wand, but I did buy the brown one.  Advertising really works.


  1. I can't believe you read Cosmo ;)
    All those women's magazines are crap and include the same ridiculous tips pleasing men--sexually, visually and orally--and how to look good enough to piss off every other woman on the planet. Total crapola. Oh! And you can firm up your ass in two weeks by drinking tea and refusing solid food. To call it an actual "publication" does a disservice to the real magazines out there.

    But women buy it. They sell ads. I don't get it. However, to each their own. :)

  2. I wouldn't use a blue eyeshadow wand - when will blue eyeshadow ever go away?

    I have to say, I can actually see Cosmo's point about wearing rockin' shoes (let's get the hooker or stiletto part away from it). Having a pair of shoes (or wearing a dress, or outfit)that you absolutely love, makes it really hard to have a completely bad day, imo. What shoes are under my desk? Asics, thank you very much. They give me confidence to go out and go for a walk :-)

    1. Yes, Cosmo has a point. I just hate the way they make it! I would feel much better in the Asics, because I could actually walk in those!

  3. I keep a red pair of heals underneath my desk. Don't judge me.

  4. I have one pair of heels, and the only time that I've used them in the last year was as a hammer. That's bad, isn't it?

  5. Here in Argentina, Cosmopollution has invaded us as well. Let me tell you, people don't realize that they are trying to form an army of starved, super horny, empty bitches, whose only purpose is to trick a guy into making them feel that all they do is worth it because now "they got the guy", only reason to live, ever, of course.