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Cosmo at the 50 and Fabulous Gala For the Pill

Is Cosmo's Crime Just Not Changing With Times?

Cosmo magazine was the guest of honor Monday night when celebrities, the media, and pro-choice people who attend galas gathered to celebrate the pill's 50th birthday. Its magazines covered the walls, and its editor spoke but not before comedienne Samantha Bee took a stab at the old rag. It's the "publisher of all the hard news that other magazines are afraid to touch," she said. "Like, 'The Dumbest Thing You Can Do to Your Boobs.' And 'Are You Enough of a Bad Girl?'"

We've already discussed how Helen Gurley Brown turned Cosmo into feminism for the working girl in the '60s. She advised women to use their looks to get ahead, because that was better than the alternative of depending on men. She had a point, but it's no longer valid.

So what did Cosmo's current editor, Kate White, have to say? Find out below.

I'm very proud of our efforts. When Helen Gurley Brown relaunched Cosmo in 1965, one of the cover lines on her first issue was, "The New Pill That Promises to Make Women More Responsive." She told me years later that she wanted the line to read, "The New Pill That Promises to Make Women More Responsive in Bed," but her boss made her change it. That guy probably rolled over in his grave when he saw me put the word "Va-Jay-Jay" on the cover.

Clearly, White believes the magazine's a changed woman. But while the words may have changed, the message hasn't. Besides, isn't the media's fear of saying vagina just the 2010 version of the same censorship?

Join The Conversation
rubylipstick rubylipstick 6 years
TresSugar, you must have read my mind! I'm currently taking a Women's Studies course at university and just recently read this issue of Cosmo. I couldn't help but think that the magazine is actually not that empowering for women - most of the content in it is focused on pleasing men. Whether it's how to snag a man, what to wear that will please a man, how to please a man in bed....what food to cook to get him to marry you, etc....
chatondeneige chatondeneige 6 years
I've always described Cosmo as sounding like the kind of pathetic mid 30's lady whose entire concept of men comes from Kate Hudson (though I guess the modern equivalent would be Katherine Heigl) movies rather than actually paying attention during interaction with men - platonic or otherwise, with a whole bunch of equally pathetic lady friends who think that Katherine Heigl's characters *really know* what they're going through. It's kind of sad, but also amusing on occasion.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I am a little curious... take off his pants and then what?????
kea718 kea718 6 years
I love Cosmo. It's my ultimate guilty pleasure. What Pistil said is right though, once you've read one issue, you've read them I don't know why I enjoy this mag so much but I do... Guess that's why it's a guilty pleasure.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I absolutely loathe Cosmopolitan. I think it should move beyond teaching women how to be a sex toy if it wants to return to its status of female empowerment.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 6 years
Cosmo always comes across as the middle-aged woman trying to squeeze into the clothes too tight and young for her....just trying too hard. I think Glamour is a better, more well-rounded magazine and frankly, just less stupid. I would never buy that Cosmo with those quotes on the cover.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I agree with MeiGaku. This magazine does not empower women. It tells how to make their men happy, what their men like and all that bull.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years
I think it's funny. Some of the advice is stupid, and not very helpful. Other advice just has me saying "why is it always about the guy?" But as long as you don't take it seriously, it's a good, fluffy read
Carri Carri 6 years
I have to agree with MeiGaku. I used to read Cosmo when I was more interested in pleasing other people and not doing what was good for me. Now the headlines seem like such a joke. It's definitely geared towards the 24 year old single club hopper, and not the wife with kids.
lemuse20 lemuse20 6 years
Great timing with this post... I was just thinking how distasteful Cosmo is after I flipped through one while getting my hair done the other day.
MeiGaku MeiGaku 6 years
i used to think, wow this mag is all about women power and pleasuring women sexually, etc. but as i grew older (and have taken countless numbers of media and cultural studies as well as gender studies classes) i've realized that the magazine just reinforces many of the problems we have with the female image and how it's portrayed and used in the media. the magazine is half about how to pleasure the guy the right way, a fourth about the kind of make up/fashion you should half, and the rest is pretty much ads. i'm not saying that cosmo wasn't great when it was relaunched in the 60s, but we have to get passed this women and sexual equality. it's time to push the limits once again and stop trying to claim that pleasing our bfs, having nice clothes, and awesome make up is what a woman a woman. BUT i do have to say that once in a while they do have good things--such as articles about strong women changing the world and whatnot. and don't get me wrong, i'm a make up fiend. it's just that it's not all i am. =)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I buy one cosmo every three to five years and it's plenty. I LOVED it in high school though. Seemed so grown up!
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I figure you've read one issue of Cosmo, you've read them all.
icecreamsprinkle icecreamsprinkle 6 years
I feel like I could take this magazine more seriously if it weren't for the provocative and cheesy headlines on the front.
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