Let’s face it; everyone has something they wish they could say to a younger version of themself. As a 20-something, I already have an extensive list. For instance, when you are eight years old, don’t cut your hair up to your chin. With your curls, it will look awful! Also, don’t wear that hideous outfit for your sixth grade class picture, and don’t go see that scary movie just because that boy is cute; you won’t be able to sleep for a month!
Then there are the more specific events, the ones where you wish you could just jump into a time machine and change or, at the very least, be able to impart bits of wisdom to your younger, more foolish self. Those are, more likely than not, moments when you were “following the crowd.” Little did you know that by sitting with your friends while they read a Cosmopolitan (Cosmo) magazine out loud, regardless of the Disney star on the cover, you were really stripping away your innocence, a precious piece of yourself that you could never get back.
Teens are curious. Most teenage regrets stem from a lethal combination of curiosity and a desire not to seem naïve. It happened to me when I was younger, and it happens today. I’m older, wiser, and I hope to help the younger generation avoid the same trap that got me. Girls gather around to read the latest edition of Cosmo, a magazine that peddles sex tips to minors, who quickly get caught up in explicit descriptions of what can only be categorized as porn. This magazine places teen pop culture stars like Dakota Fanning, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lavato on the cover of its pages. Cosmo uses these stars to entice 8-14 year-olds, who are just beginning to blossom into womanhood, to open the lust-filled pages of this magazine. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self to get up out of that group and walk away, I would. But, alas, they’ve still not built a time machine. Disappointing, I know. So, instead, I’ll do the next best thing; I’ll tell others what I wish someone had told me.
Ready? Here we go: Ladies, whether you’re my age, older, or younger, stop reading that filth! Don’t fill your heads and thought lives with the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine. The hyped-up “articles” amount to little more than cheap marketing — shock value, nothing more. So take your hard-earned money — and what’s left of your innocence — and walk away. In the long run, you’ll be happy you didn’t trash your mind with explicit porn tips from a magazine who promotes the empowerment of women through “one-night stands.”
What Cosmo doesn’t tell you is that if you follow the advice they give, you’ll end up with the results of some questionable life decisions and more baggage than Louis Vuitton. Cosmo pushes the whole “FWB” (friends with benefits) angle, where a guy and girl get together without being in a relationship and use one another for sexual “favors,” and it promotes fooling around with guys to gain confidence and experience. The Bible, a book I trust a ton more than Cosmo, says “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Don’t be the girl that fools around with fornication. In other words, don’t do what married people do until you’re married. Preserve yourself. Do not waste your money and time — and don’t throw away your innocence. Trust me, I’ve heard stories of women who have learned the hard way — horror stories from people who call Cosmo their “Bible” — and it’s not as glamorous as they make it out to be. As you’re following the “tips” Cosmo gives, you’re playing into a lifestyle that encourages guys to use and abuse you. The only results this type of lifestyle will yield is men leaving you once they find a “good girl” they want to settle down with. Yep, I said it. Act like a Cosmo girl, and they’ll take you to their beds, but they’ll never take you home to their mothers.
Cosmo needs to clean up its act. Until Cosmo gets cleaned up, we should demand that they give it the Playboy treatment, bagged and placed on the top shelf for an older audience. Frankly, Cosmo’s content is even more pernicious than Playboy’s. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that teens, who buy Cosmopolitan magazine, can easily access the little “sealed section” in the back filled with erotic material. A so-called “warning label” is not sufficient to keep minors from reading the section that is “off limits.” All adults know that if you tell a child not to do something it makes it that much more appealing. So control yourselves, ladies. Next time you are in the hair salon, tanning salon, or waiting in line at the register, remember that it was your brain that helped you make that money, got you that job, and helped you nail the interview. It wasn’t your sex appeal. It is God’s great blessing of femininity that enables you to take on the world and grants you worth, not the cheap, smutty facsimile of it that Cosmo peddles.
Thankfully, we’re not a lone voice. Others have already spearheaded the initiative to bag Cosmo. Victoria Hearst, a member of the famous Hearst family, who owns the publishing company that distributes Cosmo, met with Concerned Women for America staff to alert us to the need to rally young women to stop supporting this filth. Former model Nicole Weider has a petition and campaign to spread the word. Click here to sign the petition, and watch her videos on why Cosmo needs to be bagged.
Together, maybe we can make the need for time machines a thing of the past.
UPDATE: Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmo — and the woman credited with dragging an originally wholesome magazine into the era of “sexual freedom” — passed away at age 90. One of the original 60s feminist power brokers, she authored, “Sex and the Single Girl.” Her contributions to the modern feminist movement cannot be understated.