Magazines are written for particular segments of the population for a reason. One could never create a publication that would make sense and be of interest to everyone. There is literally a plethora of magazines for women – for virtually every age range, style, hobby and culture. And as American Real Women, we love having that kind of variety. We can stand in front of a magazine stand and pick and choose what we might like to browse.
We all know that someday I hope to see a Real Woman publication on the shelf. But until then, I join in with my other RW’s and select something else for the entertainment value. On a complete whim this weekend, (read: Impulse Buy), I picked up an issue that I haven’t read literally in years: Cosmo. I thought it might be fun to see what sorts of articles and ads are in this publication that is so obviously targeted at a demographic far younger than I: the 20-something woman. I recalled how I used to read the magazine fairly often in my exuberant youth, so I thought it might be amusing to see it again. Besides, Sophia Vergara was on the cover, and I happen to think she is a wildly fun celebrity and… well, she’s 40. So hey, what’s good for Sophia is good for me, right?
I was prepared to feel a bit, ah, mature, when browsing the pages. I was prepared to see fluff about celebrities (I don’t really care who was seen with who in an L.A. grocery store – although the spread about celebrity dads and their kids was pretty cute). I was prepared to see fashions that would look great on college students. I was even prepared for the naughty-girl Cosmo articles. But what I wasn’t prepared for was coming away feeling not just mature, but antique.
By about the 5th page in, I knew I was in trouble. This ad encouraged me (ok, not really me, but perhaps a 20-something version of me) to go for “Rebellious” hair color – bright and vibrant purples, reds and pinks. All right, some women like to experiment with funky hair colors, that’s fine…but when I read “washables and chalk also available”, I said “huh? Chalk? For hair? I don’t get it.” Next was an article about “to die for” shoes. Now, mind you, I’m all for sexy, fun heels, I’m a shoe-aholic. But the pairs they showed looked like something out of Fifty Shades of Grey. I had to wonder if they offered “pole with purchase.”
And the old Cosmo-naughtiness I remember reading when I was younger? Far tamer than the topics now. Clearly if you don’t regularly sleep with a guy on the first date or do outrageous acts of PDA in public than you may as well put the magazine back on the rack. One helpful how-to article explained how to look your best “the morning after” so you look great for the “walk of shame.” Really?
I was about to set the magazine down when I saw that next up was an article about the “go to outfit” for summer. Oh, good, maybe I can grab a tip or two to update my look. Well, not likely. Their Go-To outfit was a vest and cut-offs. I haven’t worn cut-offs since…well, since I was about 17….
My last hope was the article on Sophia. Perhaps I would read fun information about this flamboyant actress, how she got her start, how she feels about her career, her characters…. Nope. The topics Cosmo hit on with her were about jewelry, girlfriends and her bust size.
I closed the issue, sighed, and put it in the pile to be recycled. I realized that one can never go back to the magazines of one’s youth. It only serves to be confusing, unnerving and a bit depressing. There is no sense in fighting one’s demographic. Instead, I reached into my bag and pulled out the selection of magazines I had packed from home that were all a bit more my speed: Food Network, Real Simple and More.
Hello, old friends.