My Week as a Cosmo Girl

Cosmopolitan magazine is a mystery to me. At nearly 28 years old, I am allegedly still in the target demographic, but I don’t know a single soul my age who reads it. Of course, we read it in high school, back when we should have been reading Seventeen, which we read in elementary school, when we should have been reading Highlights, which we read in utero.

Oh, Goofus and Gallant. You so opposite.

Still, as a twenty-something woman with disposible income, a G-spot, and crippling insecurity, Cosmo has so much to offer me. Every time I go to the grocery store, there it sits, waiting to take me under its well-toned wing and give me all the secrets to a better relationship and poutier lips. It wants to give me a million orgasms per second. It has my best interests at heart!


Day 1:

I can see it in G’s eyes when I bring the magazine to the checkout. It’s the look of a man who knows he’s about to have a more powerful and sexy girlfriend in mere days. It looks a lot like a cocktail of disdain and confusion with a soupçon of fear, but it’s okay. He’s a WASP-y lawyer. That’s just what excitement looks like for him.

When I get the magazine home, I open it with glee. Who knows what kind of wisdom I’m about to gain?


After fifteen pages of ads, I finally get to a table of contents. One of the first things I learn is that there is such a thing as a butt facial. I feel more empowered already, so I go to fix a sandwich. Then I find out there’s a Parking Wars marathon airing and promptly forget about the magazine. This is not a good start.


Day 2:

My job is in trouble. How have I been teaching independent living skills to adults without being privy to such useful knowledge?


I call my boss immediately to tell her I’m a fraud. She is unmoved by my wails and tells me she is not going to fire me. She then tells me that it is not strictly necessary for my job to know that Channing Tatum thinks it’s endearing when a woman doesn’t give up on something, but she seems thankful for the information. At least, I think so. She hangs up on me after that.

Day 3:

I have got to stop getting sidetracked from my self-improvement journey. Time to sit down and actually make it through this issue. Are there supposed to be all these ads? They’re making me tired. I’ve never spent so much time thinking about my pores. I need a nap.

NO! No. I can do this.

Well, this is interesting. I’m learning tips on how to make my perfectly serviceable jeans into sexy ones by cutting holes in them. There’s nothing saying what kind of shape the holes should be. What do I do? Hearts? Stars? Pokemon? Fashion director Michelle McCool (shut up, that is NOT your real name because that isn’t anybody’s fucking name) isn’t saying. Maybe I’d better skip this.

An interview with Selena Gomez? Who? Wizards of what? Bieber why now? I don’t think I got the English version of this article. Moving right along.

Okay, I’m seeing a lot of sultry eyes and pursed lips. I can do that.

This is EASY. I feel sexier already.


Day 4:

Now that I’m feeling more confident in my Fun Fearless Female status, it’s time to up the ante with “Ballsy Moves Guys Love.” G won’t know what hit him.

“It looks like it’s going to snow tomorrow,” he remarks over dinner.

Now is my time. I laugh. I laugh loud and long. It is the sound of a million baby seals crying out as one. They are silenced when I black out. How’s THAT for ballsy moves, G?

He doesn’t say anything when I come to. He hands me a cold glass of water and disappears into his office for the rest of the night. I guess he wasn’t ready for this jelly. WELL TOO BAD. YOU’RE GETTING ALL THE JELLY YOU CAN STAND. IT WILL BE COSMO-APPROVED LEVELS OF JELLY ALL UP IN THIS APARTMENT SO THERE.

I comfort myself by reading a story about some woman messing with her roommate’s mind. It’s funny, I guess, but nothing will ever top the Sour Times story so why even bother?

Day 5:

Okay, so the laughter experiment didn’t work. Maybe he needs more time. I guess I should continue focusing on me for a while. He’s been in that office a long time.

Ooh, 15 feel-good things to start planning right now! I love plans. Sometimes I even make them.

Hmm. Sex playlists. Redecorating. Shopping sprees. Birthday party themes. I don’t… hm. Well.

Is it possible that these things are all really shallow? Have I been steered wrong?

Oh, wait. “What you’ll say when you meet Ryan Gosling.” I guess I haven’t given you enough credit, Cosmo. That’s absolutely the kind of thing I’ve been planning for years. I have so many questions about Breaker High, you don’t even know.

Hey girl.


Day 6:

I was going to try the sex tips today. After reading about lasering off pubic hair, I needed to lie down for several hours with an ice pack. I’ll let you guess where the ice pack was.

No, Mr. Labia. I expect you to die.



Day 7:

Having finally exorcised the mental image of a laser tilling my ladygarden, it’s time for the sex tips. I have learned my lesson on involving G in my Cosmofication without his consent, so I give him the list and a red pen with instructions to get back to me on which ones he is okay with.

An hour later, he comes back pale and shaken. He hands me the magazine and puts his head in his hands. I wait patiently for a response. Finally, he lifts his head.

“Please. Please, for the love of a God I’m not sure I believe in anymore, do not do these things. There is nothing wrong with sex the way we have it. We do not need… whatever these are.”

“Even the one with the–”

“ESPECIALLY the one with the… yeah. Please. No.”

I don't know Tiff, but I'm fairly sure she has many psychological issues.

Defeated, I close the magazine. Now how will I ever know if the orgasms I’m having are the right kind?


Day 8: Epilogue

Maybe I’m just not meant to be a Cosmo girl. I don’t have a whole wardrobe of designer clothes that go from day to night with the proper accessories. I don’t have a nondescript office job with the kind of income that could justify buying enough foundation to fill in a pothole. I definitely don’t have a boyfriend with the patience to follow all the mind games I’m supposed to play in order to keep his interest.

So why do I feel so awesome anyway?

2 thoughts on “My Week as a Cosmo Girl

  1. Cosmo is the Nickleback of periodicals, the way Nickleback is the McDonald’s of music. Or McDonald’s is the … McDonald’s of McDonald’s. Ok, that’s a First Cause argument I’m not drunk enough to explore.

    Back to Cosmo: I suppose there is an equivalent out there for men, but I am unaware of it, not being part of its market demo. Which makes sense since, to me, vaginas are more a marvellous bonus one sometimes gets for not being a doucheweasel when in the company of a woman, clothes are just something to keep you warm and cover your junk, and I mostly work out to keep my heart rate high enough to prevent me going into a coma.

    Also: this was marvellously funny shit, LB.

    Also also: For “No, Mr. Labia. I expect you to die”, you get a kidney reserved, yours to be claimed any time between now and roughly an hour after its owner expires.


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