Cosmopolitan magazine is still making a different version of its normally raunchy covers specifically for advertisers, to assuage their fears that all they’re supporting is a magazine that publishes another 300,000 ways to please a man every month.
The Observer reports that this month’s advertiser cover features Dakota Fanning, just like the cover you can buy on newsstands. But unlike the cover the rest of us have to deal with when we’re checking out at the grocery store, the advertiser cover has been cleaned up to reflect the magazine’s more wholesome contents. Gone is the teaser for the store promoting “His Hottest Sex Ever,” replaced by the shallow promise of how to “Feel Close After A Fight.” The story that asked, “Um, Vagina, Are You OK Down There?” also got replaced — by the thrilling tale of a woman who married a Cosmo Bachelor.
As we asked the last time this happened, what is the point of making Cosmo look like it’s a softer, more well-rounded magazine when advertisers come calling? Sex sells! Anyone who’s been to a gas station or picked up a bag of Cheetos from a Bi-Lo at 11 on a Sunday knows that Cosmo’s cover lines (and table of contents and actual contents) are filled with the kind of smut that would make your grandmother would be ashamed to know you paid $4.99 for. And it’s not as though magazine advertisers don’t go to newsstands to see what their money is getting them, so if they don’t already know that what they’re putting their money into might as well go by Grown Lady Sex Tips Monthly, they’re gonna find out soon.
Unless there are a few ad execs who have made so much money that they never have to set foot in a Barnes & Noble or a corner store, this practice doesn’t make any sense. And we’d respect Cosmopolitan a lot more if it was strong enough to stand by its own sexuality.