Women’s magazines always look the same to me, no matter whether it’s the issue from this year or last year, or the one before. Darren from DarrenBarefoot.com put together a video of 36 Cosmo magazine covers and you will notice that they all look pretty much the same.
It’s not surprising, considering that they all feature the same ideals of beauty and femininity. They are creating the “ideal” Cosmo reader in every issue as they talk about what to wear, see, buy, use, desire, or do in bed. This reader is eerily similar to the “ideal” woman in society, and there’s a debate to be had about why Cosmo is so popular. Is it because women want to become like the image they see in Cosmo and buy the magazine, or do they want to be like those figures because of what they’re reading? Or a little of both? None of the above?
We need to talk about how the media effects everyone and how they see their world and their bodies. What does having a popular magazine with, essentially, the same cover every issue tell us about our options as far as body type? What does the lack of women of colour (often referred to as “minority” women) on these front covers tell us about race and beauty?
From where I stand, it doesn’t tell us very good things. It’s showing the distinct lack of options that the beauty ideal of mainstream society gives us, which ignores how many, many ways there are to be beautiful. Why are we looking around and seeing the same faces, same bodies everywhere in the media when you look at reality and see SO many different variations? We’re missing out on a lot of beauty.