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January 30, 2013

Cosmo Quickies: January 2013

It's time for Cosmo Quickies in the new year! We're getting this one just under the wire (since the month is almost over) but let's take a look at the January 2013 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

The cover promises "EPIC SEX" and "your hottest year ever!" so it's... totally like every other issue of Cosmo?

Carly Rae Jepsen is the cover model and just like last month, her cover story headline focuses on her in terms of her connection to a guy. "The Secret Bond She Shares With Bieber". Okay, so I'm sure that a lot of Cosmo's readers might be interested in her connection to Justin Bieber, but is this really the only cover-worthy tidbit of information they could find about her?

 In the Fun, Fearless Celeb section, there's a stupid feature called "Celebs by the Numbers". In it, they compare "star stats" that no one really cares about, like the number of people following Kim Kardashian on Twitter (16,573,908+) compared to the number of people Kanye West follows on Twitter (1, it's Kim).

Most of it is pretty innocent, but then we saw that they compared the rings of Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie:

8: Estimated carat count of Jen Aniston's bling from Justin Theroux
16: Carats in Angelina Jolie's flashy sparkler from baby daddy Brad Pitt
69.42: Carats in the famous Taylor-Burton diamond, given to Liz by hubby Richard (Her ring was 33.19 carats)
Aside from the fact that who cares how many carats are (estimated) in the rings of any celebrities, the fact that they chose to compare Aniston to Jolie is interesting. The media has been pitting these two actresses against each other for years and Cosmo has been no exception. We've had to read for years about how Jolie "stole Jen's man"... so now that Aniston is engaged to Justin Theroux they can't let us just be happy for her. We have to know that the ring Brad Pitt gave Jolie is twice as big as the ring Theroux gave Aniston!

Later in the same issue, in an article called "Take Your Love to an Epic Level", a sidebar on "Passionate Paris" featured Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with this caption:
Jennifer Aniston may have had Brad Pitt first, but he and Angelina Jolie are the ultimate alpha couple.
Ugh, seriously? They couldn't just call them "the ultimate alpha couple" (questionable) without having to go back to this nonexistent rivalry between Aniston and Jolie? Yeah, you know who else "had" Brad Pitt first? Robin Givens, Jill Schoelen, Juliette Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. And Angelina Jolie has been divorced twice. Jennifer Aniston has dated several guys before Pitt and after Pitt/before Theroux, so god, can we please just get over this Aniston-Jolie thing already? They have.

This month's Cosmo Question asks "Is It Good to Be a Bitch?" We're not sure that this is necessarily a "hot topic" (although it's at least a little more interesting than the "what's with the bodyguards?" question from last month). However, we're actually a little bit impressed by the article itself. It was written by Nahnatchka Khan (creator/executive producer/writer on the hit show Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) and not a Cosmo staff writer, so automatic plus right there. It starts off with a definition of "bitch", which the author rejects as unsatisfying, so she gives her own:
Someone who lives by her own rules; unconcerned with the opinions of others; free.
We're obviously all for reclaiming words and giving them new meaning (ahem, sluts). Not completely sure that the character Chloe from Don't Trust the B is a good role model, but she is certainly unapologetic and unconcerned with the rules and opinions of others. Overall, we think you should be able to be that way and still be a generally good person (and we're not sure Chloe is), but we can definitely get behind Khan's final lines:
I truly feel like women are embracing their inner bitches more than ever. They're going after what they want with a confidence that's both empowering and a bit reckless...in the best possible way. We all could benefit from a dose of Bitch Think. It might make things messier, but it sure as hell makes life a lot more fun.
And now, our "favorite" part of every issue of Cosmo (ugh): Sexy vs. Skanky!

Caped Crusader: Jennifer Hudson vs. Big Ang. (The photos below are not the exact pics in the magazine, but were taken at the same time and show the same outfits.)

It kind of makes no sense that they're comparing these two photos. Hudson doesn't seem to actually be wearing a cape, she's just got her jacket over her shoulders (you can clearly see the sleeves hanging). And the Big Ang photo is from a portrait photo shoot that may or may not have been for Christmas, but is no doubt supposed to be playful and fun. Why is it skanky? Because she's Big Ang. That's the only reason. Because she's from a reality show about mob wives. That's the only reason.

A little further down, they list "Sliding with your mini-mes" (Chris Martin and his kids) vs. "Sliding in your minidress" (Rochelle Wiseman). It's actually kind of interesting that Cosmo chose to slut-shame Wiseman for this photo because they make it seem like she did it on purpose, when she was reportedly really upset about it. The pic was taken back in October 2012, when Wiseman and her bandmates were at a pumpkin patch. She looks mortified and like she's struggling to keep her skirt down. So why is this skanky? It was a bad idea maybe, but skanky? Isn't shaming someone for an embarrassing mistake also pretty skanky? Isn't posting photos of someone's embarrassing mistake pretty skanky? Wiseman was reportedly furious about the photos being posted and the comments being made. She vented on twitter "I'm SO embarrassed! Surely there's some sort of law against this?"

And finally... Hanging out with your girls (January Jones, Jennifer Aniston, and Isla Fisher) vs. Letting your girls hang out (Joanna Krupa). Ugh. It feels like every month they make some kind of obnoxious joke about a woman being "skanky" for showing off her boobs. Now, we'll admit, maybe Krupa's outfit isn't exactly conservative. But the shirt might not be that revealing in the dark (it's obviously evening in those photos) but when a dozen paparazzi flash their camera flash bulbs on you at once, something "sheer" becomes "see-through".

Also, it's not as though she's wearing this outfit on the red carpet or a TV talk show. She was out to dinner with her fiance. Most likely, Cosmo singled out Krupa because she is a former Playboy model and on a reality show.

In the man-thro-pol-ogy section, Cosmo continues to try to confuse and torment women "What He Texts vs. What He Means".
He texted: Hey, what are you doing?
He means: "If he doesn't follow up with an invite, he's just checking to see if you're available. This is a text guys use to keep you interested without expending time or energy."
Maybe "what are you doing?" means "what are you doing?" Cosmo does some kind of decoding every few issues, so of course we're not surprised that they're trying to find hidden meaning in text messages. And the truth is, sometimes guys do mean more than they say... but not all men are the same. Not all men mean the same thing when they say what they say. You can't generalize all men to know what "Hey, what are you doing?" or "Take care" means. It's a text message! It's not that complicated.

Also in the "man" section this month is yet another shout-out to Tosh.0! Dude, Cosmo, stop trying to make Daniel Tosh happen! He's a misogynist! He thinks rape jokes are cool! Get over him already. There are like a zillion other male comedians much funnier than you could talk about instead of him. And you know, there are also about a zillion female comedians much funnier than Tosh. Here's a newsflash, Cosmo: Some men like female comics too!

And yet again (again!!) Cosmo has "discovered" a brand new trend that isn't even remotely new! "The New Hollywood Leading Man" is... funny guys.
Funny guys are the latest arm candy (e.g., PDA-loving Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde). But is a laugh-a-minute type the one for you? It's the funnies vs. the hotties vs. the smarties -- who's the ultimate catch?

Then they proceed to pit three "types" against each other in the fight for who is the ultimate catch. In addition to "The Funnies" (Sudeikis), they list Channing Tatum as an example of "The Hotties" and James Franco as an example of "The Smarties". Here's how they break it down:
The good morning message he'll send you.
The Funnies: A YouTube video of a kitten giving the weather report
The Hotties: A pic of his freshly showered, still-glistening abs
The Smarties: A link to an inspiring TED talk

Hanging out with his friend is like being in a scene from...
The Funnies: New Girl
The Hotties: Magic Mike
The Smarties: The Newsroom

The compliment he'll whisper into your ear
The Funnies: "I'm so excited to see you, I peed myself a little. I don't do that with just anyone."
The Hotties: "Your hair is, like, so soft."
The Smarties: "God, if only someone like you were in charge of social security reform."

The sex move he hopes you'll be into
The Funnies: Motorboating your twins
The Hotties: Getting steamy in front of a mirror
The Smarties: Cerebral dirty talk (say he's "too big to fail" and watch his "NASDAQ" skyrocket)
Okay, this whole section is so cheesy that it's kind of cringe worthy that someone on Comso's staff actually wrote this shit down and then they actually published it. But going beyond how dumb it is, it's also pretty offensive. A funny guy has to be "on" all the time and is incapable of also being smart or hot? (If anything, being funny is kind of dependent upon being smart.) The "hotties" aren't funny or smart... and they're also extremely vain. So hanging out with a hot guy and his friends is like being in a scene from Magic Mike... because that's what hot guys do right? They just hang around together with their shirts off complimenting each other on their abs. We think Channing Tatum should be offended. (And the fact that he reportedly has ADD and dyslexia, we should all be offended that Cosmo is basically calling him stupid because of his looks. Because they basically just told us that being hot and being smart are mutually exclusive.) Apparently smart guys are boring. And all men only hang out with other men who are exactly like them.

Hey Cosmo, I think I want my next "arm candy" (a totally non-offensive way to refer to a significant other) to be a "new" hybrid that I've "discovered": The Smart-Funny-Hottie!

In the Fun, Fearless Work section there's an article entitled "Man Up and Brag a Little". While the advice isn't terrible (claim the credit you deserve) the term "man up" is just annoying and sexist.

In Love, Lust & Other Stuff, there's an article "I Fell for a Woman -- While I Was Engaged to a Man". We have to give Cosmo a little credit that they managed to print this story with little-to-no judgment. (Sadly, that's a huge deal.) However, it's not 100% perfect. We're not completely sure what makes this story worthy of being printed in a magazine. It's basically about a woman with a live-in boyfriend who cheats on him with a female friend and then gets engaged to him, only to pull away from the relationship because of her feelings for the female friend. Replace "female friend" with "male friend" and this isn't a sympathetic story at all, so why print it? The author doesn't even use what happened to come into a realization about herself (is she a lesbian? is she bisexual? does she consider herself to be fluid in her sexuality or does she think this was an anomaly?) and she doesn't end up with either the guy or the girl.

There's also this:
At 25, Sarah* had the big three down pat: great job, great guy, great friends. Then a girl crush came along that pulled the rug out from under her perfect life. 
The "big three"? Does "great guy" really fall under the big three? And did the girl crush really ruin her perfect life, or did it just let her know that her life wasn't as perfect as she thought? We also noticed that the photo acompanying this story (of two women laying next to each other with the caption "Straight, gay...it's not always that simple") has a disclaimer: "These are professional models" because god forbid anyone think these unnamed models in the magazine are lesbians or something. The story says "Names have been changed" so why would we think they used their real photos?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Using James Franco as the "smarty" example is probably the stupidest choice ever (pun intended). James Franco is pretty much universally agreed to be incredibly hot, and he's done more comedy than anything else. So he's easily all three.

(Actually you could say the same for Channing Tatum and Jason Sudeikis, but Franco's probably the most obviously well-rounded.)