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November 15, 2009

Cosmo Thinks Slut-Shaming is Hot

The Hot Sheet page is one of the most reliable sources of nonsense in an issue of Cosmo. In the December issue, their list of "trends on the rise right now" includes aliens and gossiping. Groundbreaking reporting, as always. But it's the "What's Not So Hot" item on the list that never fails to piss me off. This month, the target is former Danity Kane member and current Peepshow star Aubrey O'Day.


What's Not So Hot: Self-Love


Dear Aubrey O'Day,

We think it's just terrific that you have a positive self-image, but we're not sure you need to announce it on a tee shirt (or dis the opposite sex). Oh, hell, what are we complaining about? We should be thrilled you're even wearing clothes!

Love,
Cosmo

[Note: This isn't the exact same photo of Aubrey that Cosmo used, but it's an almost identical one from the same event.]





Okay, so first off I have to say that I like Aubrey O'Day. I know that she sometimes says and does and wears some ridiculous things, but whatever, I just dig her. But I'd be pissed off by this little love letter no matter who it was written about, because it's just so catty and obnoxious and stupid.

The shirt that Aubrey is holding is from a new line of shirts that's part of her Heart On My Sleeve collection. And I'm sorry, but I just can't buy the idea that this shirt is so horribly offensive and disrespectful to men. You might not like it or want to wear it yourself, but it's just a fun silly slogan. I guess it's just hard for guy-obsessed Cosmo to imagine why any woman would ever want to even hint at the idea that she doesn't spend every minute of every day loving men.

Saying 'I don't love men' (which isn't even really technically what this shirt actually says) isn't the same as saying 'men suck' or 'I hate men'. And of course, this is just another subtle reminder that lesbians, who could easily say that they don't love men without it being considered 'dissing the opposite sex', don't exist in Cosmo-land. Aubrey's line of shirts actually has one up on Cosmo in this department - she has a rainbow "Pride" shirt in the line, and slogans like "I Love Men", "Womanizer", and "Boy Scouting" are available in men's and women's shirts.

Also, I just have to laugh at the fact that the editors of Cosmo are actually trashing someone for having self-esteem. They don't describe what's "not so hot" about this picture as 'overconfidence' or 'shameless self-promotion' or something like that. No, it's "What's not so hot: self-love". Really, Cosmo? So being a "Fun Fearless Female" isn't supposed to involve feeling good about yourself, or being confident enough to say that you love yourself? If you wanted to, you could even interpret the shirt as having a 'love yourself before you can love someone else' message, which is really harmless and not a "dis" to Cosmo's precious men.

Of course, the letter really gets down to business at the end with the 'at least she's wearing clothes' dig right out of the Slut-Shaming 101 Handbook. (They pulled pretty much the same thing on Pam Anderson a few months ago.) This same issue has an article about how to turn a one night stand into a relationship, a plug for the new edition of the Cosmo Kama Sutra, an article about ways to use a vibrator with your guy (but not with another girl, because of course lesbians and bisexual women don't exist), and the obligatory feature article full of sex tips. I guess someone or something only qualifies as slutty when the Cosmo editors decide to draw their arbitrary line in the sand.

And then, the kicker - the caption on the photo of Aubrey says, "Well, somebody has to." As in, 'good thing you love yourself because there's no way anyone else could love your skanky self'. Well, I know I sure feel more fun and fearless after reading that! Nothing like cutting down another woman for absolutely no reason to create a false sense of superiority and empowerment. Suck it, Cosmo.

3 comments:

Castallare said...

You know, as much as I loathe shit like this, it's almost too easy to go after them. Not that I'm saying the opinions above aren't dead on but the shameless perpetuation of gross generalizations and women-hating-other-women-because-latter-woman-displays-confidence-that-former-woman-lacks is just so incredibly juvenile, it's like they proudly display their stupidity themselves. Repeatedly. On purpose. Proudly.

And as much as I'd like to think that these bitchy, mud-hurling women running the 'Cosmo' show are just overgrown prom queens with bigger wallets, I'm saddened by the fact that all of this is strategically-placed cattiness is done on purpose. Because the more women they can get to hate themselves, the more magazines and ad space they're going to sell.

Ugh.

truelove said...

Wow.. I can't believe it. Self-Love is not hot?! Maybe Cosmo should just gather all the little girls together and tell them straight out, "You are not important, but MEN are. Live your life accordingly."

Sorry. But the majority of the people working for Cosmo are idiots. Point Blank.

The.END.

FW said...

I think Cosmo's problem is that they only like naked women who are naked to make money for Cosmo. If she's doing it for any other reason, they don't approve.

Cosmo's like a possessive boyfriend that way. Creepy.