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January 30, 2011

Cosmo Quickies: January 2011

New year, same old Cosmo! Let's take a look at the January issue.

-We recently learned that Cosmo shows a different version of their cover to potential advertisers. The advertiser cover tones down or replaces the sex-related article titles. How very fun and fearless! (If you're new here, "Fun Fearless Female" is Cosmo's tagline, although it can sometimes be hard to figure out why when you're actually reading the articles.)

-In this month's From The Editor column we learn that Editor-in-Chief Kate White recently received an "Excellence in Contraceptive Reporting" award at an event for the 50th anniversary of the the Pill. I will say that Cosmo's sexual health advice is usually much better than their actual sex tips or relationship advice, but I never thought of it as award-worthy "reporting". I'm also going to guess that magazines like Bitch, Ms., and Bust weren't nominated for this award.

-This month's Guy Insight column is called "10 Things I Don't Get About Women" and is allegedly written by Glee star Chord Overstreet. Does anyone out there actually believe that these celeb guys have anything to do with crap like this? Especially when the "insights" sound suspiciously like the same old Cosmo-speak. But if you do believe, then you should know that Chord Overstreet thinks that confidence is sexy and doesn't like it when you wait too long to text him back or start getting ready for a date. Adjust your life accordingly.

-101 Things About Men includes a lot of decoding advice this month.
  • In "3 Signs He Has Something Up His Sleeve", a professional poker player helps you figure out if your guy is hiding some kind of secret. So if he pushes up his sleeves, gulps, or touches things with his hands, he's probably secretly gay or married or he's leaving you for a Pilates instructor or something. Be afraid.
  • Then there's "Decode His Emoticons", and I have to admit that I actually agree with some of their emoticon analysis. For example, a happy face means "I know you want me to say something nice, so I'm sticking this stupid smiley face here." Pretty accurate in my experience.
  • Finally, we have "Pillow Talk". Yes, Cosmo wants you to analyze the way that a guy lays his head on a pillow. Apparently "how he rests his head can tell you a lot about his personality, including his relationship MO." If he spoons the pillow he craves comfort and if he puts his head in the middle of it he's confident. The more you know...

-There's a hilarious piece called "What Your Ex's Next Girlfriend Reveals About You". Basically, no matter what she's like, it means that you're super awesome and way better than her and he wasn't good enough for you anyway, that stupid jerk.
  • If she's "the girl next door", that means she's basically a boring homebody and he was just "threatened" by how spontaneous and fun and fearless you are.
  • If she's a "plain Jane", that means "your beauty (and brains) intimidated the hell out of him" and he's better off with someone "bland" while you find someone "confident enough to be your equal".
  • If she's a "wild card", Angelina Jolie type? Well, according to Cosmo, "A man goes this route when he is lost (ahem, Brad Pitt) and wants a take-charge woman, whereas you accepted him for who he is. Don't change; just aim for a guy with clear goals." Boy, there sure is nothing worse in the world than a take-charge woman, am I right? And hey, way to stay topical and current with the Jen/Brad/Angelina reference. That will never be played out.

-In the Guy Watch section there's an article called "The New Male Grooming Obsession (They call it 'Back, sack, and crack'.)" I just...can't. I'm sorry. But I do look forward to future Cosmo investigative reporting on whether there's a male version of vajazzling.

-Here come the sex tips! This month, we've got 60 Hands-Free Ways To Wow Him. (#44 - "Lick his eyelids, and then blow on your saliva.") Here's how it breaks down:
  • Licking/sucking/kissing/biting - 21
  • Boobs - 9
  • Feet - 7
  • Inner wrist/forearm - 2
  • Chin - 1
  • Cheeks - 1
  • Armpit - 1
  • Hair, whipped back and forth -1

-Next up is Ask Him Anything, where Cosmo "guy guru" Ky Henderson solves all of your problems. Here's an example:
My husband and I used to have a great sex life. But in the past month or so, he often says he's not in the mood when I try to initiate action. He says he's just tired, but should I be worried that we're having less sex?

When a guy does not want to have sex, something's wrong. Though it could be a sign of cheating, this sounds more like work stress or general depression. The problem also could have something to do with you. Did you gain weight recently? Have you started pressuring him about having kids? Is there another unresolved issue?

Instead of trying to get him to have sex, think about why he isn't into it...and what you can do to address that. He is, after all, a guy. Once the problem is solved, his sex drive should return in full force.
Okay, let's recap. Since all guys are full-on horndogs 24/7, less sex is obviously a big problem. The good news is that he might not be cheating on you. He's probably just depressed or something. Obviously you shouldn't do anything silly like trying to talk to him about it. Instead, assume that the problem lies with you. He's probably just not attracted to you anymore because you got really fat (in one month) or turned into a huge nag. Just be a better wife and then maybe he'll want to have sex with you again.

-There an article in the You, Even Better section called "Are You Running Out of Time to Have a Baby?" I think it's a law of women's magazines that each of them must run an article about this topic at least once a year. There's a similar one in the new issue of Elle. Biological clocks must not be ignored!

-This month's Cosmo Confidential article is called "I Gave In to My Girl Crush". It's about an "intense college friendship" between two women that becomes "a frantic affair their boyfriends didn't know about". It's got lines like "Being around her gave me butterflies like no guy ever had - including my boyfriend" and "Hooking up with a girl for the first time was thrilling, but it also felt natural." But not to worry! She's totally not, like, gay or bisexual or anything. She reassures us at the end, "I still consider myself straight...I haven't had the same feelings toward another woman and don't think I ever will." What a relief.

We already have the February issue in our hands, so stay tuned for another month of fun fearless blogging. Remember, we read Cosmo so you don't have to. You're welcome.


reading. writing. revolution. said...

You guys rock! Yeah, the "fake" cover thing is bullshit.

Lea said...

Actually, Jezebel's original article and interpretation of the Cosmo "advertiser" cover is a little off.

It's very standard within the industry to have different covers for subscribers and newsstands. Subscribers are already interested and committed readers, while newsstand readers still need to be lured in from among dozens of other screaming headlines.

So these different covers say more about what sells (or what Cosmo thinks will sell) on the newsstands.

The Jezebel blogger only contacted two other mags for "research," so not exactly a representative sampling. A number of commenters pointed out the same thing, based on their experience in the magazine industry or as readers.

Plus, what advertiser doesn't know what Cosmo sells, or wouldn't see it on the newsstand anyway if they wanted to?