Cosmo used to mean something — other than sex

Wow. I only know Cosmopolitan magazine from the salacious covers and headlines. Currently on their home page:

  • Bedroom Blog’s Shocking Twist — K. discovers the startling truth about Zach…
  • 77 Sex Positions in 77 Days — One couple takes this crazy Cosmo Challenge…!
  • 4 Make or Break Dating Moments — Can your love survive these tests?
  • What Beauty Editors Know That You Don’t — Cosmo’s experts share the latest trends…and much more

Oh, and:

  • Workout Tips from Olympians — You’ll love this exclusive advice from elite athletes

In case you thought it was all about sex.

What I didn’t know was Cosmo’s intellectual history. Back in the day they published fiction by Sinclair Lewis, George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair, and H. G. Wells. In the 1940s it was known as The Four-Book Magazine, and it contained novels. I’m all for empowering women, and I understand that the era of fiction-based magazines is long past, but comparing Cosmo today to The Cosmopolitan of yesterday would be as if McDonald’s had started out as a four-star restaurant.


One thought on “Cosmo used to mean something — other than sex

  1. Rob McMillin

    My first girlfriend was a dedicated Cosmo reader, long after the Helen Gurley-Brown conversion to all humpa-humpa. Her goals in life were to either become a kept woman, or get her PhD in CS. Shockingly, she actually ended up with the latter. I assume Cosmo was no help in the former.


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