5 Things I’ve Learned From Reading ‘Cosmo’

I mean, besides the right kind of makeup to keep in your bag to quickly erase a visible hangover or look like you didn’t just accidentally sleep over at some guy’s house.

1. There’s nothing wrong with being fun

You shouldn’t have to change your personality to be taken seriously. Feminism isn’t about shaming girls who love hot pink and care about their nail color—if that’s part of your personality it can fit right alongside the part that cares about being good at your job. There is no either/or in trying to be an empowered woman and expressing your natural personality.

2. Personal stories are the most powerful means of educating people about social justice issues

As a consumer, I sometimes shy away from learning about certain topics because those conversations aren’t open to beginners. Reading other people’s stories can fill this educational void—I don’t have to be an expert on a topic to empathize with someone’s life. I can read about them in regular magazine language, and understand why what they are saying is important.

3. Fearlessness is important

Cosmo’s big on “fun, fearless females.” Valuing fearlessness is huge for women like me, who are trained growing up to not make as much noise as boys, be more docile, and guard your “purity” rather than risk losing your virtue. Security isn’t fun, and I’m happy to see Cosmo encouraging women to dump it if it stands in the way of what they really want.

4. A lot of things can happen in your sex life, and it’s all okay

Or it’s not okay, but you can laugh about it or have a conversation with your partner. People laugh at the 100+ “new” sex tips in each issue, but it’s comforting to know there’s like, a million different preferences in the world and not one solitary Right Way To Have Sex.

5. I’m not inept at being an adult

How do I be a 28-year-old woman and figure out my life when all the role models from my parent’s generation were married with kids, a house, and a career by my age? Cosmo’s entire readership is struggling with the same issues I am. The fact that my life is drastically different from my mom’s at my age has to do with changing values and economic realities, not my own personal late-blooming. TC mark

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