Cosmopolitan Magazine Analysis
Gauntlett continues to explain that “if women manage to be sufficiently lovely and fragrant, then they will be fortunate enough to have a man come along and sweep them off their feet – ideally into wedded bliss” (Gauntlett, 192). The idea that women must always look attractive is highly stressed in every issue of Cosmo. Makeovers and makeup tips teach women how to be beautiful. Many of the articles and images focus on the flaws of women and provide “feel bad messages” to readers. This gives women constant the feeling of imperfection and furthers their already existing insecurities. When women feel they have flaws they must do one of two things, buy products to fix the flaws, or continue purchasing Cosmopolitan to learn how to correct them. Both options produce revenue for companies, which is significantly more profitable than making women feel good about themselves.
The messages of Cosmopolitan are hegemonic in nature in regards to gender, race, class, and sexuality. Women are depicted as not good enough the way they naturally are. They are the inferior gender who must change to be more pleasurable to men. White women, however, are viewed as superior in this magazine. Caucasian women and couples are the main focus in the articles and photos,