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Music & Culture

The Very First Issue of Cosmo Magazine–From 1887!

Nicole Weider

I knew I needed to do research and obtain copies from when Cosmo first launched so I could pinpoint when it declined into a pornographic magazine. The magazine first was published in 1887 (can you believe it!?) and focused on how to have a healthy marriage, how to be a classy lady, and other useful advice!

This  story shows women how to have proper etiquette while eating out. (Cosmo never would offer advice on how to be classy now!)


Cosmopolitan issue from 1938 with a story on how to have a healthy marriage: 

Join me in my fight to put Cosmo in a non-transparent wrapper to protect young kids from reading explicit headlines splashed on the cover. Please sign this petition and fill out this complaint form (Note: You don’t have to input your address, you can leave that blank if you want.) This email goes straight to the FTC, which has the power to get Cosmo off the shelves and in a bag where it belongs!

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well (2 Thessalonians 1:6).

God’s Will:

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5: 15-17).

[Images: Cosmopolitan Magazine]

Image: Cosmopolitan Magazine


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by laxgirl3 on February 8, 2012 at 17:07

    Wow! Big difference! I liked the first one better than the ones now! I could have actually read those if they stayed like that… But nooooo, they just had to change it because it just had to be modern! And you know! If it’s not modern than it doesn’t work! The BIG question is… WHERE DID WE GO WRONG? <3

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Paypay13 on January 11, 2012 at 12:34

    Wow, it sure has changed from the very first time it was published! I’m going to get my parents okay, and then i will totally sign this! Cosmo is an awful example!

  3. Saphira13

    Posted by Saphira13 on January 8, 2012 at 10:18

    that’s pretty shocking

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by avaguitargirl91 on January 6, 2012 at 15:42

    I look to this website for Christian advice and it upsets me that all that is on here now is stuff about cosmo magazine. Yes, Cosmo doesn’t always have Christ-like articles. But I want to read Christ-like articles! I am tired of reading all of these articles bashing Cosmo. I am getting sick of this website. PROJECT INSPIRED. I want to be inspired! So stop posting a billion articles about Cosmo and give us better articles!

    • kara719

      Posted by kara719 on January 7, 2012 at 17:50

      she INSPIRED me to fight for something I believe in. It’s also her mission so don’t complain about it. There are other articles on here. These articles are the same she wants us to make the world a better place by BEING Christ-like and we can’t just sit around acting like nothing is going on.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by morgi on May 18, 2012 at 14:00

        Theres a ton of articles other than cosmo ones!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by brennareads on January 7, 2012 at 12:07


  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by 1_artist on January 5, 2012 at 19:43

    Wow, I though Cosmo was a more recent magazine. It’s crazy to see that some of these magazines actually go way back! (like Rolling Stone for example).

  6. hlaluvzjesus

    Posted by hlaluvzjesus on January 3, 2012 at 17:55

    what do you bubble in for the cause?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Mary K8 on January 4, 2012 at 10:09

      look at the article form a few days ago about the ftc forcing cosmo to write back, and it gives you instructions 🙂

    • Posted by Nicole on January 3, 2012 at 18:03

      please sign the petition and fill out a complaint form to the FTC at the link above!

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by BriaLovesJesus on January 3, 2012 at 17:40

    I love how they had a segment on martha washington 🙂

  8. pinkpenguin318

    Posted by pinkpenguin318 on January 3, 2012 at 17:30

    I do want to send in a complain to the FTC, and I would like to know what other areas I can keep empty for privacy purposes.

    • Posted by Nicole on January 3, 2012 at 18:07

      your phone number, and your email I’m pretty sure you can leave blank too. It’s a completely safe website, but I understand what you mean! Just try to leave those spaces blank you want to keep private!

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by KristenLovesJesus on January 3, 2012 at 17:30

    At my University’s library, I found the books that have the magazines from many years ago, the oldest Cosmo we found was 1972 and it was just as bad as it is today, I was shocked..

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by JennaBel on January 3, 2012 at 17:24

    Due to how much they wrecked Cosmo, it was at one point wholesome and clean!! The people who created it would be VERY disappointed. Its so sad. Why would they do that? It makes me sick. I’m glad we have the oppurtunity to fight it. Thanks Nicole!! 🙂

    • Posted by Nicole on January 3, 2012 at 18:04

      you’re welcome! did you sign the petition and also fill out the complaint form? You don’t have to put your address!

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by JaneAusten on January 3, 2012 at 15:11

    NIcole, I think you are forgetting something. Look at the cover… back then.. she was considered half dressed. I mean, back then, things that were considered scandalous are nothing! Such as someone kissing you without permission, or touching your waist! So really… there isn’t much of a difference, it is just that as time goes by, we tend to accept these things more.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Nisa on January 5, 2012 at 20:04

      Hunny, you’re mistaken. Let’s just say that she was considered half dressed back then…..this magazine still gave advice on how to maintain a healthy marriage and eat like a lady. THEREFORE it was once a classy magazine…..

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Amari on January 12, 2012 at 10:50

        @Kara- that picture was taken in the 30’s. The Help took place in the sixties dirung the sexual revolution. Two completely different time periods.

      • grace_smith15

        Posted by grace_smith15 on January 10, 2012 at 18:51

        It kinda stinks that all we are doing is arguing about whether or not this magazine was “bad” back then. The point Nicole is trying to make is that Cosmo should put tips like the ones back then (healthy relationships, etc.) in it nowadays, instead of the junk it’s full of now.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Amari on January 6, 2012 at 12:20

        How am I making up excuses? I don’t like the magazine anymore than you do, but I’m not going to sit back and pretend it was once the greatest magazine in the world. Back in the 1800’s, if you were a woman and could read, that was it for you. You werent allowed to think freely or do anything without your husbands permission. Basically you were a glorified child. Do you honestly think men thought it was a good idea for their wife to read a magazine on how to control their own marriage when mail order brides were the norm? It may seem god now compared to all the sex tips, but back then it was most likely frowned upon.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by theferret on January 6, 2012 at 09:01

        For some reason, there is no “reply” below, so I’m replying here, to Amari’s post below:
        There is a difference between following the commonly accepted course, vs choosing a particular aspect of society and promoting that. “Fashion” magazines always, always do the latter. They tend to pick the most “out there” type of things, to get attention. And people who are not already doing that type of thing, see something new, and read it. If they then change themselves, then yes, the magazine has “changed the world”, by however many people were influenced to change themselves by reading the magazine.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Nisa on January 6, 2012 at 08:51

        but they’re not giving advice on how to kiss or pick up a man. It’s about being classy. You are very mistaken. You can believe what you wanna believe and make up excuses though….I’m just trying to tell you that they were giving advice about good things and not something as minor as kissing back then because giving advice on kissing back then would be like giving sex tips now.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Amari on January 5, 2012 at 21:24

        They gave those tips because that’s what society was like back then. Penmanship, etiquette, keeping a marriage alive because women weren’t expected to take care of themselves. Cosmo did not change the world. They fell into the mold of society that shifted with time.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by 1_artist on January 5, 2012 at 19:48

      Well, I think the real point is that Cosmo needs to be out-of-sight from children and young girls–maybe even young boys!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Amari on January 3, 2012 at 21:16

      Agreed. Back then things were a lot more strict. I know for a fact respectable women did not show their shoulders. The world evolved and Cosmo followed it.

      • kara719

        Posted by kara719 on January 7, 2012 at 17:54

        yes but she looks like she’s going to a formal event. In The Help you could see their shoulders so fashion was changing during that time.

    • grace_smith15

      Posted by grace_smith15 on January 3, 2012 at 19:35

      That cover was from 1938, which I believe was a time when women did show their shoulders. Sorry, I just wanted to put that out there :]

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Amari on January 4, 2012 at 06:04

        I’m pretty sure they didn’t. Most of her chest is out. That was not common fashion during the thirties and early forties. Many women followed men’s suit design and shoulder padding was in style up until 1949. Ruffles were banned in the 1920’s and returned then. I studied early fashion in middle school. Respectable women did not bear thier shoulders or chest like the woman in that picture.