Review: This Month’s Issue of Cosmopolitan

A few months ago, a female housemate of mine bought a male housemate a yearly subscription to Cosmopolitan, mostly to make him embarrassed. Well, this month’s (May, according to Cosmo) issue just arrived, and I’ve got one more day of spring break, so I’m going to skim through it, reviewing as I go.

Readers beware! Cosmo warns on the cover that this is “The Sex Issue,” though I’m not sure how that’s different from any other month. I will be as tasteful as possible when covering such material as “Steamy Texts to Send Him,” but this issue of JRTW will probably be at least PG-13 no matter what.

cosmo magazine

9 Foods That Burn Fat While I Eat? YES

Ok, let’s start with the cover. We see here that Cosmo has chosen to shine the spotlight of the printing press on that most inspirational of female role models: Khloé Kardashian. Kardashian is one of those people who’s famous for something trivial that I can never remember. Possibly she was the first woman to spell Chloe with a K? Possibly she and her sister Kparis are heiresses to a reality TV show empire?

Inside the magazine, we find a bunch of ads with photos of women staring intently/wistfully into your eyes/something just to the left of you and holding stuff to smear on eyes/lips/armpits. Past that is the Kardashian article, which I honestly don’t have the fortitude to read all the way through. Kardashian’s “Cosmo Quiz” answer sheet, though, reveals that she doesn’t “care about rumors! #BOOM.” Apparently hashtagging now works on platforms other than Twitter; already I am better #educated.

A little farther on, (immediately after an ad for a weight loss pill called Fastin*) the magazine has flash cards that you can clip out and carry around in your purse. On these flash cards are little mini-articles, like “6 Hot Things to do With Ice” or “A Sneaky Way to Decode Him.” Thank goodness! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the go and only been able to think of 3 hot things to do with ice, 4 at the most.

Then it’s on to the Sexy articles about sexy sex. To credit of this issue, its articles don’t focus entirely on the dude, the way Cosmo articles usually do. Of course, the articles aren’t perfect. In their article, “99 Naughty Sex Questions,” I greatly disagree with their answer to question 63, “What the best food to bring into the bedroom?” (They say whipped cream, but it’s obviously pizza rolls, since pizza rolls are delicious.)

On a slightly more serious note, Cosmo deserves some kudos for giving a page to Sandra Fluke, the law student who testified before Congress about the importance of health insurance covering birth control. Of course, I wish they would have done more…they could have a) given Fluke more space, b) put her on the cover instead of a Kardashian, or c) mentioned that Rush Limbaugh is a steaming pile of dogshit. But with Cosmo, you take what you get.

The downside to Cosmo’s occasional moments of actual seriousness is that they make the rest of the articles seem all the more regressive and pessimistic by comparison. Despite the carefree tone in the writing, Cosmo holds a pretty cynical worldview. If you only had Cosmo as your guide to learn about humans, you’d assume that all women all shallow, fragile, insecure drips** who fret constantly about securing a man (A sample article tagline: “It’s not like women sit around all day, thinking about getting hitched. Only on Sundays. Kidding!”). And men, or “guys”, as they always seemed to be called in Cosmo, are arrogant, sex-crazy, meatheads who need an ungodly amount of guidance and patience in order to do such tasks as carry on a conversation. Yes, this is the material of a thousand stand-up comedy acts, but it’s depressing to see a magazine continually feed its readers these low expectations.

Welp, I guess this review wouldn’t be complete without consulting my dating horoscope. Here’s what it says for me.

Gemini…Dating Tip: Sometime near the 26th, the competitive Sun urges you to challenge your friends to a flirt off (sic) at a party full of cute men. Winner is the girl who gets asked out first.

Well, half a point for so blatantly half-assing the whole astrology thing. “The competitive Sun”….man, that’s awesome. Which raises the overall score to a:


* No clinical study has been performed on Fastin.

** If women have a bad day, Cosmo recommends such tactics as “Slick on bright lipstick” or “Devour the cupcake.” Those are actual quotes.

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