I used to read Cosmo often as a teen but once I entered college, I left it behind. That was largely due to the fact that in college, I did not have the luxury of finding spare time to read magazines.
If I did have a free moment, I spent it napping.
I really didn’t give Cosmo another thought until it popped up on Snapchat with its own story. Cosmo, like various other media companies and news outlets, has its own story on Snapchat under the “Featured” section so users don’t have to buy the magazine or even visit the website.
Many of the quick articles Cosmo posts are interesting and helpful: for instance, there are pieces about beauty hacks, budget management, and STD information.
However, the one obnoxious trend that prevents me from opening up Cosmo’s Snapchat stories is Cosmo’s tendency to insert narratives or lists describing what cis men desire from or find attractive in women. These range from men’s favorite sex positions to what type of personality traits men want in girlfriends. I find these articles tedious and degrading. Men already insert themselves in conversations where they are not needed or wanted too often.
I, and most women, get unsolicited opinions and advice from men on an almost daily basis.
I don’t want to go on Snapchat and be confronted about what kind of sex they want from me or how they want me to have ambition, but not stress over small things.
Their comments are irrelevant.
If Cosmo was founded for women, then why are readers getting advice from men they never asked for?
The ridiculous lists about “what guys secretly want in bed” are the unsolicited dick pics of journalism. Why should women care about what men want during sex, especially while reading a publication that is supposed to empower and inspire women? How about publishing detailed diagrams of the clitoris, so men can actually find the damn thing and get us off for once?
If a woman wants to know what her fuck buddy, boyfriend, or husband wants, she will most likely ask him and they will hopefully discuss what works for both individuals.
Women don’t need Cosmo to bring in a small army of twenty-something fuckboys to project their own insecurities or bitch that women who aren’t chill and laid-back are no fun to be around. Cosmo seems to need women to believe that men’s assumptions about sex and relationships carry some type of significance.
This is a classic example of straight, cis men being in spaces they don’t belong. As a reader, I don’t want to find out what guys “really think” about blowjobs, orgasms, the ideal date, women’s personalities, or marriage.
I want to read articles that have positive supportive rhetoric surrounding women’s bodies, sexuality, and lifestyles. By giving men a platform to voice their (often dense) opinions of women, Cosmo simply sets women up to be objects of desire and gratification for men.
I’ve avoided Cosmo for the most part because I am not interested in seeing “surprising quirks” that turn men on. My friends and I often lament about the absurdity of men sexualizing women in women’s magazines.
I don’t want men speculating about my body, my clothes, or my life goals, whether it be in person or in print.