Cosmo Magazine: Feminine or Not?

Kim Kardashian cropped.
Nicki Minaj covers Cosmopolitan magazine.
Sex is mentioned on nearly every issue of Cosmo.

Cosmopolitan magazine is not, in fact, a feminine magazine. The sad thing about this magazine is that it is so far from what its title describes, that it is disgusting. Many of the young, impressionable readers of this magazine are unaware of the actual definition of the word “cosmopolitan,” which is actually synonymous with words like “cultured,” “sophisticated,” “suave,” “urbane” and “glamorous.”

However, today’s question is not about whether or not Cosmo magazine is falsely advertising itself, but whether or not it is a feminine magazine.

Why are we asking this question?

Well, Ladies Again, is a place where we discuss femininity as it relates to women’s issues of the day. Unfortunately, many women today who are looking for womanly advice, turn to things like Cosmo to give them guidance about their issues. In fact, statista.com reveals that Cosmo magazine recently ranked as the number two top selling women’s lifestyle magazine in the UK (second only to Glamour), beating out magazines such as Women & Home and Good Housekeeping.

graphic display of top selling women's magazine shows Cosmopolitan as number two
top selling women’s magazines by statical rank from statista.com

Cosmo‘s own press kit reveals that it’s largest demographic is young women aged 18-24. It is number one among college women, distributed in over 100 countries and most of it’s readers are single, employed, college graduates.

image of graphical representation of cosmopolitan magazine demographic data
Cosmo’s press kit reveals it’s ability to influence young minds

If where we spend our money is truly an indication of our priorities, I believe the state of modern womanhood is in grave danger as a result of the relentless propaganda of filth being promoted as advice to modern women. On its website, Cosmo’s tag line states that it is: “The Women’s Magazine for Fashion, Sex Advice, Dating Tips and Celebrity News.”

This tells us two things worth mentioning here.

#1. It is marketed to women as  a women’s magazine, and

#2. It offers sex tips and dating advice as an authority to women.

There is even a Cosmo Girl magazine which is marketed towards teenage girls. Which gives Cosmo a firmer hold on the female education market, grooming women from a young age to enjoy reading what I generously refer to as smut.

Now, even though the magazine does not make any upfront claims that the advice it gives will get you married or engender you as a feminine creature in anyone’s eyes, but it does seem to be promoted as some form of authority on sex and dating. With this combination of it’s popularity and platform to condition women from a young age, we must ask ourselves, is what it is teaching us really worthy of our devotion?

Is Cosmo’s Sex and Dating Advice Feminine?

First of all, let me start by defining what I mean by feminine.

The dictionary defines feminine as delicate, pretty, ladylike. I, personally, believe these are subjective terms and do not really tell very much to a person interested in understanding femininity. So, I referred to Wikipedia and came up with words like gentleness, empathy and sensitivity. I agree more with those terms. I think that gentleness, empathy and sensitivity comes from the female biological quality of giving birth. We produce children whom we become bonded to emotionally. Our instinct to seek the well-being of others is probably why we are okay with selflessly allowing another human being to share our body with us for nine months. I believe when women lose these qualities, there is a relational imbalance on some level in their lives that is observable to others, even if they do not know her well.

I believe a lot of women these days are very confused as to what feminine actually is, because of media sources like Cosmo magazine. They see pictures of women smiling in articles about having one night stands and forget that the feminine instinct is not to bind oneself meaninglessly to another human being and then discard them. Women become indoctrinated into the Sex and the City mentality these magazine purport and lose sight of the long term emotional and physical consequences of being frivolous with one’s body, mind and soul.

But what am I really talking about? Well, let me give you a few examples.

The following are actual articles from Cosmo‘s website:

  • “Why more couples are having kids before they get married”: This article was actually encouraging women to try to put the baby before the ring. Unfortunately, it’s logic was full of holes and unrealistic; but most of all it definitely goes against the feminine instinct to nurture. What sense does it make for women to aspire to bring children into an unstable environment? Furthermore, is it just me, or would being a single mother make dating that much harder?!
  • “A complete beginners guide to the messy blow job”: This article gives seven tips for women to give something called the “messy blow job.” I don’t need to tell you that this is an unladylike article, in fact, I’ll just let Tip #2. do the talking for me:  “Spit as much as you can and drink a bunch of water if you need to.” Uh…no!
  • How about these two articles: “10 Reasons why your one-night stand was actually a good thing” and “Casual sex can be good for you.” And before you go running to check out the articles, let me just give you two of their reasons why one-night stands can have a positive impact on your life. #1. “You go laaaaaid…” I kid you not. That is an actual reason given by an authority on dating for women as to why a woman should comfortably resort to promiscuity. Then there is #2. “You don’t have to wonder what you two are to each other.” Are these supposed to be perks for women, or sociopaths?!

So, at the end of the day, I don’t think I need to, but still I will reiterate that my assessment is that Cosmo magazine is in fact NOT FEMININE!

It reads like a pervy frat bro magazine written with the male pronouns swapped out for female pronouns.  I am convinced that any woman who still reads that magazine for relationship advice needs a wise older woman who has been happily married for 20 years or more…to slap her upside her head and knock some sense into her!

Do you read Cosmopolitan Magazine? Why or why not?

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Author: African Femininity

African Femininity is a first generation American-born Nigerian. That basically means, her parents were immigrants and raised her with a mix of selective cultural values from both traditions. Needless to say, this left her with a very dissonant understanding of what being a “lady” meant. Now, as an un-married 30 year old woman, she is on a mission to delve to the root of being a woman in a world where conflicting cultural values and traditions are leaving many confused and disillusioned. She use the power of the pen to defend a woman’s right to choose her own lifestyle: be it housewife, social climber or being conventionally employed. Check out her Amazon author page for books written by her at http://amazon.com/author/shadowjackson

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