Today's theme, remember, is The Lessons Of Cosmocking! Thanks to Katie and Rowdy for contributing on this one.
Red cover! Lea Michele! She's naked! No, there's a little bit of cloth sort of off to the sides of the photo! But not much! Usually Cosmo cover outfits are relatively practical so it's weird to see one that's way on the other side of the "could you wear this on the sidewalk" line! Best headline: "For His Thighs Only!" It reminds me of this comic! All of the headlines are about getting men, looking good for men, or having sex with men!
LESSON: Cosmo presents itself as a generalist magazine on "women's life," but it's really a hobbyist magazine, on the level of "Popular Woodworking" or "Outdoor Photographer." If your hobby is being conventionally feminine and boy-crazy, then I guess Cosmo is your hobby mag. But if you're any other kind of woman, you're a studio photographer--this magazine isn't exactly wrong, just not applicable. Being a Cosmo girl is just one of millions of options, not something you're stuck with the instant you get born female.
The unfortunate thing about Cosmo (besides having too much bad advice and misinformation to be a useful hobby mag) is that they won't acknowledge this, and pretend that there is, or should be, no line between "woman" and "Cosmo girl."
Inside, there's an ad for Maybelline that includes little samples of eighteen different foundation shades. They range from "110," which is about the color I am without a tan, all the way to "355," which is... about the color I am with a tan.
LESSON: The intersection of race and commerce can be a really sticky thing. I'll give Maybelline the benefit of the doubt and guess that they aren't excluding dark skin tones because of thoughtlessness, or because they're trying to cultivate some ultra-white image. More likely they did some market research and found that most of their potential customers happened to be white. Of course this is an effect as well as a cause of the limited selection, but it means that reaching out to black customers would be taking a risk. Is a company obligated to do something that makes sense morally but may not make sense financially? I'm not sure, but even if this is "just the market reality," it wasn't a wise choice to display it like this.
Maybe it's racism, maybe it's cynicism, maybe it's cold hard calculation. Maybe it's Maybelline.
Guys live in the day-to-day, so plans that need to be made months--or even weeks--in advance go straight to the back burner. It's not that he's trying to weasel out of doing prep work; he's just too focused on what you two are doing in five minutes to worry about the long term.
LESSON: Feminism has a lot to offer men. Although I'm afraid "low expectations" isn't one of the things on offer. Still, low expectations come with low esteem, and in the long run I think "men have all the emotions and intellect of a human being" works out a lot better for guys than "seriously, ladies, count yourselves lucky if he's potty trained."
What's up with guys cheating down?
You've gotta wonder why guys like Tiger Woods, Jesse James, and now supposedly Tony Parker are cheating on their wives with women who are a major downgrade.
LESSON: Think about what you're saying, for God's sake. Define your terms, if only to yourself. I bet you a couple bucks that if you asked the person who wrote this "what exactly do you mean by 'down'?" there would be a whole lot of "you know, c'mon, you know what I mean" in the answer.
But really, I don't know what they mean. Probably "sluttier," less "nice" and "refined," but I don't know what any of those words really mean. Wearing less expensive and more revealing clothing in public, mostly. Or being a sex worker or a woman willing to sleep with a cheating man, althrough it would be hard to cheat with any other type of woman.
They don't really mean any of these things. What they mean is "someone who makes me reflexively feel all disgusted and disapproving without the impulse ever passing through my forebrain." And that's a scary, scary thing. If you think about it.
Look down while you're riding him on top. "You'll be able to watch his penis penetrate you, and your brain will process this information, leading you to a stronger climax."
LESSON: Don't say stuff like that, because you'll sound ridiculous.
Or more generally, don't try to make yourself seem smart and authoritative by attaching the fripperies (but not the content) of science or philosophy. And don't believe a word out of the mouths of people who do that. If it can be said in words a ten-year-old would understand, it should be. Big Science Words are necessary to communicate Big Science Concepts, but when you really just have a simple everyday concept, the honest thing to do is express it simply.
Look down while you're riding him on top. "You'll be able to watch his penis penetrate you, and that's awesome."
Is the remote always glued to your guy's hand? The next time his fave show is on, put on a girlie program, like "Real Housewives," before he has a chance to get to the TV. When he asks to change it, give the okay only if he'll split control of the clicker 50-50 in the future.
LESSON: One big problem with the "opposite gender" way of thinking--everything on Earth is either a man thing or a woman thing--is that in a heterosexual relationship, you have nothing in common. Sharing interests would make one or both of you, I don't know, gay. So not only do you miss out on the bonding experience of watching "Mythbusters" together, but your relationship becomes fundamentally adversarial, caught in the tension of whether you should do the girl thing or the boy thing any time you do anything together.
LESSON: While some compromises are always necessary, if your relationship is defined by hostage negotiation and ransom demands, it's probably time to move on. You split the clicker 50-50 because that's a fair agreement, not because one of you cornered the other into a disadvantaged tactical position.
There's a lot more Lessons of Cosmo to come! Also: rubbing nipples on testicles! Probably.