Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cosmo Is Lame-O

Yesterday I read that Cosmopolitan Magazine is launching an iPhone app called “Sex Tip of the Day.” That’s right. Sex tip of the day. There’s an app for that! It sounded so ridiculous that of course I “ran” straight to to check it out. Ten seconds after the page opened, I forgot all about the app. My goodness, people. If you or someone you know reads Cosmopolitan Magazine, get help. I mean, I knew Cosmo was a little silly. One needs only to read the cover to figure that out. But, you know, I read Us Weekly religiously, so I am not one to disparage silly reading. What I didn’t know, though, is that Cosmopolitan Magazine is involved in an elaborate ploy to confuse and possibly disable young women under the guise of sexual progressiveness. Either that or the people who write for the magazine are just stupid. Tough call.

Let’s revisit the app for a moment. I wasn’t -- nor should anyone be -- particularly surprised that Cosmo chose “Sex Tip of the Day” as its foray into the explosive iPhone app business. Cosmo, if you don’t know, is all about s-e-x. Back in the 1970s, the magazine was launched as a woman’s periodical that catered to the “sexually fearless single lady who dates many men.” And back in the ‘70s, this was a pretty controversial and even revolutionary approach. But it’s not the 1970s anymore, and we live in a post Carrie Bradshaw world, so the whole shtick seems kind of tired. When I think of Cosmo, I think of quizzes about sexual positions and advice about dating dilemmas, and, frankly, I like my magazines to focus on other people’s dating and sex dilemmas. I’ll manage my own, thanks. I’m lucky that’s the case, because clearly the people who churn out this drivel are just making it up as they go. Worse, Cosmo’s vibe is a lot less “fearless single lady” than it is “confused desperate lady.” This inconsistency makes for a lot of mixed messages, as you can imagine. Although I could write for weeks about the nonsense I read on the website (don’t tempt me), I am going to focus on two articles. They are “What Guys Secretly Think of Your Hair and Makeup: The truth revealed” and “10 Beauty Moves Guys Find Sexy.” Now you might think after reading the headlines that these sound like the same article. You are right. And just in case you miss these two, the website also offers “Makeup That Turns Him On.” Third time’s a charm!

Let’s start with the obvious, which is that most of the magazine’s headlines have the word “Guys” in them. Cosmo definitely wants to tell you what GUYS like and what GUYS want because clearly GUYS are very important. Don’t get me wrong; I like guys. I have one of my very own. But, come on. If I wanted to read about what GUYS like so much I’d buy a GUYS’ magazine. But maybe it’s just me. Maybe some women really, really want to know what GUYS like. If you are one of them, I implore you, don’t ask Cosmopolitan. Because no one there has any freaking idea. To wit, let’s look at advice from my two favorite articles.  “What Guys Think of Your Hair and Makeup" cautions women against fake eyelashes. It recommends, “…you may want to rethink falsies. Men don’t like anything that looks fake. It’s distracting and they want to see the real you.” Okay. Men think false eyelashes are distracting. False eyelashes bad. Not exactly. Click over to “10 Beauty Moves Men Find Sexy,” where a GUY describes his girlfriend’s (false) eyelashes. It reads, “’Right now, her eyelashes look so fluffy,’ says Derek, 24, who didn’t know she was wearing falsies at the time. ‘Her eyes are her best features, so I love that her lashes make my attention go straight there.’” So…falsies attract his attention. False eyelashes good? I’m so confused! What do GUYS want? Fortunately, it all gets cleared up in another great article, “Sex Tips from GUYS.” Clint, 25, breaks it down: “A girl who looks virginal but is really a sex kitten is every man’s dream.” Ahhh, okay. So, let’s review. False eyelashes are good and bad, and women should be virginal sex kittens. Got it. Anything else? Oh yes. Turns out that mixed messages aren’t just for your magazines and your man. If you’re a fearless single lady, you should send confusing messages, too. “Sex Tips from GUYS” quotes Ron, 25, who tells us how much he liked it when his girlfriend “pretended not to want to kiss me.” Awesome. So, to summarize: GUYS think it’s hot when you do and don’t wear fake eyelashes, when you are prudish and promiscuous, and when you say both yes and no. No problem. Thanks, Cosmo!

I could go on – no, really, I could. But you get the point. Cosmopolitan Magazine makes no sense. I wonder if maybe the joke’s on me, and it’s sort of like professional wrestling. Everyone knows it’s fake, but it’s funny so who cares? Is that it? I hope so. Because if anyone out there – girl or GUY – takes this stuff seriously, we’ve got trouble, people. Trouble. Cosmo might want to think less about GUYS and more about positive messages for women. Maybe there’s an app for that.

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