Cosmo is kind of amazing. I’m referring mostly to their covers, as I’ve actually opened a Cosmo probably less than five times. If you’ve never noticed their covers, go ahead and do an image search of them. I’ll wait. Seriously, check any of them out — it’s like whoever used to design their layouts stopped showing up to work in 1993 and the editors just haven’t noticed yet.
Each one meticulously follows the same predetermined routine: a female celebrity poses against a single color background, displaying moderate-to-copious cleavage, with one or both hands resting awkwardly on her hips. Her name is printed in bold, with smaller text underneath promoting an interview with her that promises to be shocking and/or inspiring and/or sexual in nature, and generally worth-reading despite her status as an infamous reality star/flash-in-the-pan actress/awful musician/maybe it’s just freaking Kim Kardashian again.
A headline on the top left corner of the page advertises some kind of graphic sex quiz or a long list of sex tips. Regardless, it has the word sex in it. If it is a list of sex tips, it’s always a ridiculously large and vaguely overwhelming number (i.e., “139 Hot New Sex Tips You Must Learn”), as if sex was something you needed to prepare a study guide for beforehand, like the LSATs. The rest of the cover features four or five smaller headlines from the following categories:
– Sex/ Dubious statistics from sex studies
– Relationship advice
– Gynecologists/gynecology/vaginas in general
– Workout tips/ How to lose weight while eating
– What men are really thinking
– “Tricks” for having confidence/being happy/getting people to like you/etc.
– International stock trends
Okay, I made the last one up. However, even though the magazine is ridiculously formulaic and aggressively vapid, some of their headlines stick out as genuinely hilarious. Here are my personal favorite 20 Cosmo headlines, with my reactions underneath.
20. The Orgasm Whisperer: Every Girl Needs One
If this was a show on National Geographic, I’d definitely watch it.
19. Untamed Va-jay-jays: Guess What Sexy Style Is Back
I must have missed the memo on this returning trend.
18. “LeAnn Rimes Stole My Husband”
17. Vaginas Under Attack: Don’t Let a Greedy Gyno Talk You into This Horrible Mistake
Cosmo covers throw around the term “gyno” the way most magazines use phrases like “celebrity,” “exclusive,” or “the.” As a guy, it makes me equal parts uncomfortable and curious.
16. Killer Cocktail: How a Popular Drink Could Kill You in Your Sleep
Related: Everyday Things That Can Wreck Your Fertility
Sorry, I just really love Cosmo’s overly dramatic, fear-mongering, “Your Life is in Danger, But We’re Going to Make You Buy Our Magazine to Learn Why” headlines. They remind me of nightly news commercials that feature warnings like, “Which toy in your child’s bedroom is actually a treacherous deathtrap? We’ll tell you tonight at 11.”
15. Be a Lucky Bitch!: These Proven Mind Tricks Will Get You What You Want
No. No, they won’t.
14. Sex Sessions That Ended In the ER: You’ll Thank God It Wasn’t You
Related: Sex Bloopers: You’ll LOL at Bedroom Romps That Went Horribly Wrong
If you’re the kind of person that laughs heartily at other’s horrible misfortunes — I know I am — you’ll appreciate the healthy dose of sexual schadenfreude consistently shown by Cosmo’s editors.
13. “My Gyno Talked To My Vagina”: And Other Doc Shockers
I’d be more shocked if it talked back.
12. Tease Him And Please Him!
– The Magic Fingertip Trick
– The Start-Stop-Start Technique
– A Wild New Use For Your Loofah
The Start-Stop-Start technique is also how I get my lawnmower started.
11. “Please, No!”: The Shocking Murder of a Perfect Girl
Related: Pretty, Popular, And Murdered: Why Did It Happen?
Cosmo: Where murders are only tragic when they happen to beautiful people.
10. Why You Should Be A Jealous Bitch: And 6 Other Relationship Secrets
Are the other six also incredibly idiotic? Or just this one?
9. His Butt: What the Size, Shape, and Pinchability of Those Sweet Cheeks Reveal About His True Self
The shocking answer: not much.
8. Displaying This Emotion Can Endanger Your Life
Emoticons: the silent killer.
7. When Your Hoo-ha’s Burning: Don’t Use This Common Cure!
Related: How to Decode the Sneaky Signs of an STD
Um, don’t use any “common cures” — just consult a doctor. That’s my advice.
6. Foreplay Men Crave: Touch His Secret Erotic Spot (Surprise: It Doesn’t Rhyme With Shmenis)
Does it rhyme with shmipples?
5. Meow!: Why Acting Just Like a Cat Will Get People to Come To You
This is one is just amazing. It should probably be number 1, actually. I don’t even know what to say.
4. When Your Vagina Acts Weird After Sex
Okay, I’m curious: does it hole up in its bedroom, dropping acid and listening to Zappa and watching David Lynch movies? Does it stop answering everybody’s calls, quit its job, and become deeply immersed in the world of online role-playing games? Just how weird are we talking here?
3. An Orgasm Almost Killed Her: We Are Not Kidding
Cosmo, I would never accuse you of kidding. Even when you are kidding, you’re not kidding. I truly admire the pre-ironic utopia in which you and Lifetime TV movies still exist.
2. The Article That Can Make You Feel Happier Almost Instantly
Related: You, You, You: Feel Instantly Happier — With One Tiny Change
Well, that’s a bold promise. I would’ve settled for an article mildly entertaining enough to divert my attention while I wait around in the lobby of the dentist’s office.
1. “Um, Vagina, Are You Okay Down There?”: Easy Fixes For Freaky Issues
Related: What Your Va-jay-jay is Dying To Tell You
Cosmo loves to personify vaginas. I, for one, fully endorse it.