Cosmopolitan Magazine is known for their articles on sex and fashion advice for women, but many would be surprised to find out that the publication which started in 1886 began as a family magazine. The publication included sections for literature reviews, children of the family, and a women’s interests section.
The magazine continued to expand as it’s success grew during the World War II era, adding illustrations, fiction by renowned authors, and investigative articles. As TV and paperback novels’ popularity grew, magazine sales declined and Cosmopolitan shifted their direction. Under a new editor, the magazine put it’s interests into women and sexual liberation. Once again the magazine profited and in the years since, the publication has continued to refine that focused subject.
What Cosmopolitan magazine has become is further away for sexual liberation and closer to sexual imprisonment. In the 1950s and 60s talking openly about sex would have been freeing and new but in the year 2012 only talking about women’s interest in the context of sex and fashion seems more demeaning then empowering.
Every month the issue features a slender woman in revealing clothing and suggestive poses. Article titles include subjects like, “100 Best Sex Tips of the Year”, and “When He Shouldn’t See You Naked”. The magazine stresses issues of pleasing another person over the strength of a woman. They hide behind the facade that sexual freedom makes an independent woman but paint women as people who only care about sex, men, and fashion.
I encourage women to look other places for empowerment, starting with themselves. Look to your own accomplishments and experiences as a means of liberation. Don’t let 200 pages of nonsense tell you how to be a woman.