Conservatives Have a Problem with ‘Cosmo’, But It’s Not the One They Think

Readers have many reasons to critique Cosmopolitan magazine. But the article “7 Women Who Could Be Our First Female President” isn’t one of them. The list the magazine compiled includes Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Tammy Duckworth, Sheryl Sandberg, and Oprah. They are all Democrats, which prompted some conservatives to complain. One … Continued


Who’s Afraid of ‘Cosmo’ Girl?

The story of Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown is a classic of American self-creation. With too-wide hips, falsies to bolster a flat chest, and pancake makeup to disguise acne-scarred skin, Helen Gurley transformed herself from a self-described Arkansas “mouseburger” into the glamorous and powerful editor of Cosmopolitan, a publication that, together with Hugh Hefner’s … Continued


It’s Time for Better Women’s Magazines

It’s a tale as old as time. Beauty’s sweetness and gentility transformed the Beast. Princess Buttercup’s alluring refinement and fair visage motivated Wesley to brave Inigo Montoya and fearsome ROUSes. Helen of Troy’s face launched a thousand ships. Feminine beauty has long played a central role in the media for its power to captivate. In … Continued

Culture, Fashion

Was Helen Gurley Brown really a Cosmo Girl?

In 1953 Hugh Hefner’s Playboy offered single men a glamorous life of escape and fantasy. Fast cars, beautiful women, and the newest styles were all the college man needed to be a status symbol on campus. Twelve years later, Helen Gurley Brown offered women similar freedoms—sex outside marriage, racy clothes, and “girl power”—when she took … Continued


Cosmo Magazine’s “Wholesome Values”

The sex-crazy magazine Cosmopolitan is a force of nature. Not only is it the best selling magazine on the newstands in the United States, but it is also making serious waves worldwide with 64 international editions (Marie Claire has 35 and Glamour only 16)–a topic which was recently covered by the New York Times Magazine “99 Ways … Continued


“The” Sex Issue of Cosmo

I had to laugh when I saw the most recent cover of Cosmopolitan magazine, sitting on the stand of my local Barnes & Noble, which had the words “The Sex Issue” stamped on its glossy cover. The sex issue? It’s a running joke, even among Cosmo‘s most loyal readers, that every issue of the magazine is the sex issue. … Continued