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A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Cosmopolitan: The “Bad Girl Issue”

Posted by Rosepixie on November 7, 2009

This was sent to me by a friend of mine.  It’s the November 2009 cover of Cosmopolitan.

Cosmopolitan November 2009

My friend noticed this in the grocery store check out line and was a little shocked by the “For Sexy Bitches Only” sticker (or rather, shocked that it was on a magazine carried by the grocery store).  I’m not sure what to think about that, although I have noticed a remarkable lack of consistency about what is and is not considered fit to be carried and displayed by stores when it comes to magazine covers.

I was more interested in the “Bad Girl Issue” element of this issue.  Honestly, I can’t figure out what makes this issue any more “bad” than any other issue of Cosmo.  The cover features these headlines:

What He Thinks During Sex: The crazy, dirty, worried and yes, even sweet stuff that goes through his head when you two get naked

8 Things Guys Notice Instantly

Mind Tricks That Melt Pounds

Hot New Party Dresses

Killer Cocktail: How a popular drink could kill you in your sleep

Kim Kardashian: The mistake that still haunts her (no, not the sex tape)

Foreplay Men Crave: Touch his secret erotic spot (surprise: it doesn’t rhyme with shmenis)

26 Gutsy Ways to Make a Fresh Start

The Silent Clue Men Give Off When They’re in Love

None of those sound especially “bad girl”-ish to me.  For comparison, I found a couple of other issues and checked out the headlines.  Some highlights:

His #1 Sex Fantasy: No woman has had the nerve to try this on him… and he’ll go totally nuts when you do

Cosmo News: A New Kind of Date Rape You Must Know About

Feel Sex More Intensely: A guide to your body during the deed

The Truth!: Sex advice men wish you knew

Get the Pay Rise You Deserve [note: I didn’t misspell that, that’s what the headline says]

Dirty Sexy Sex: Top pleasure experts share moves so new and naughty, you could only read them here

Ok… so now I’m even more confused about how this is the “bad girl” issue since some of those headlines seem more appropriate for it than the ones it came with!

Mostly Cosmo just confuses me.  It’s like it really wants to be porn or the Kama Sutra with a little bit of The Rules thrown in for good measure, but the result is that it fails at all three.  Porn is easily available for free, there are much better and more comprehensive sex guides elsewhere (and they can use pictures to describe things), and Cosmo is trying to be a little more liberal than The Rules really allows, so that falls apart every time.  And yet they keep trying and they’re still in print (although I’m told such magazines are seriously struggling right now).

It just seems like it’s a bad thing when your cover headlines do more to get me thinking about other resources and entertainment venues than actually intrigue me about what’s in your magazine.

I also love that my friend found the magazine in the “regional title” bin:

Cosmopolitan November 2009

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