The media’s increasing focus on women as sexual objects puts an extraordinary pressure on young women to ignore their beauty within, and focus instead on using sex to get a man. Today there are few media outlets encouraging us to base our self-worth and our identity on values.
And the saddest thing? The number one selling magazine – Cosmopolitan – which is read by teens as well as adults, enforces this objectification with almost every single article. Look at any recent cover and you’ll see headline after headline encouraging young women to ‘put out’ in order to find love. The majority of the articles put no emphasis on what the opposite sex cares about aside from a woman’s sexuality.
I recently purchased many back issues of Cosmopolitan dating back to the early 1920s through the 1990s to see how the articles have steadily degenerated. Until recently, the editors seemed to have some semblance of values. The November 1994 issue with Cindy Crawford as the cover model reads: “The Wildest, Kinkiest Turn on is Surprisingly What? Mutual Trust.”
This article sends a message that’s so much healthier than what we see today in the magazine. It points to compassion as the basis for a healthy relationship. I’d be surprised if the current Editor-in-Chief and staff would publish articles on a man’s attractiveness based on his personality and not just his chiseled biceps or whether he waxes his back. The list of turn-ons for men that we see now are based on a woman’s body parts and how much she exposes. Women (and men!) are led to believe that they’re only worth sticking around for if she puts out on the first date.
Our current generation of young women are growing up in a society that places little importance on integrity, values or self-respect. This hurts not only women but men as well. They’re losing what can be truly beautiful about a relationship: The mutual trust and connection through shared beliefs. The gradual falling in love rather than the instant jumping in the sack and moving on to the next conquest. And I blame Cosmopolitan. It no longer is a magazine that empowers a woman to lead a better life, or to flourish as a whole person, or to be an actual woman of value.
As a former model, I know firsthand that young women must learn how to defend themselves against these messages. They need to listen to their inner voice to help steer them away from the media pressure and the bottomless pit Cosmo has gone down. Our current cultural role models who ‘go against the grain’ are few and far between.
I hope to be one of many voices exposing how our culture and specifically Cosmopolitan Magazine are harmful to young women. Here’s what I hope to share with my readers:
• An issue by issue critique of Cosmopolitan Magazine
• Photocopies of specific articles that have harmful messages
• Outreach to Cosmo advertisers who pay the magazine
• Notes and videos from my Youtube channel on my progress in this campaign
What Cosmopolitan knows, but most young women may not, is that the destiny of the magazine relies on profits from the advertising companies and far less on readers.
Kate White, the Editor-In-Chief of Cosmo, is my “friend” on Facebook. She will be receiving a copy of this article!
Wish me luck.
Once you’ve signed be sure to post it on Facebook to SPREAD THE WORD!!!