SHOCKINGLY STUPID ADVICE: How Cosmopolitan Magazine is misleading a generation of young women

on August 8, 2011 | in Relationships, Uncategorized | by

rsz_cosmo

America is inundated with stupid advice for young women– advice that is not only silly, but pretty horrible as well. In fact, I can hardly stand in the checkout line anymore without seeing a headline that makes me want to vomit, cry, and die of stupidity and embarrassment all at once. I mean, check out these headlines that I pulled from Cosmo’s website:

What Guys Secretly Think of Your Hair & Makeup: The truth revealed!

20 Dresses He Will Love

What He Thinks When He Walks Through Your Door

7 Facebook Habits that Guys Hate

78 Ways to Turn Him On

The Secret to Getting Any Guy

How to be a Total Man Magnet

Sexy Summer Hair Ideas

Meet a New Guy by Summer!

How to Decode His Body Language

Which is awesome and all, except when did the sole purpose of life become attracting a guy? Is this really what we’re supposed to be spending all of our waking hours on?

I mean, is the first thought we have about anything supposed to be “What would a guy think?” (WWAGT… you know). “WWAGT of this dress?? WWAGT if I posted this picture on Facebook? OMG, WWAGT if he walked through my door??!!!!!!”

We don’t just need “pretty summer hair ideas,” we need “sexy summer hair ideas,” because guys like sexy, right?!

And, you know, the purpose of life has pretty much been defeated if we aren’t a man-magnet or can’t please him in 342 different ways.

Possibly my favorite one is this “What Guys Secretly Think of Your Hair & Makeup: The truth revealed!” Because… uh, that is exactly the thing that keeps me up at night: what guys are thinking about my hair and makeup! (Hint: they aren’t.)

What exactly are we teaching our children? Yes; I said children— seriously, I think more 15 year-olds read this magazine than 25 year-olds. Not that it’s really great advice for any age group. Take this shimmering pearl of wisdom, for example (from Cosmo’s “The 9 Best Things to Say to a Guy You Just Met”— this line is supposed to apply if you’re on the beach):

“I bet you’re wondering how I avoid tan lines.”

And Cosmo’s follow-up commentary:

“Nope. He wasn’t. But after that comment, that’s all that will be on his mind as long as you’re laying next to him. And if it’s up to him, you’ll stay right there, talking to him….”

Wow. Try that one out and let me know how it goes, ok?

Anyhow.

Back to my earlier point: is THE purpose of life really to attract a guy? Are our lives really incomplete unless every single one of our decisions, from our choices in clothes & makeup to the way we carry ourselves to the things we do on Facebook, are based on the “What Would A Guy Think” school of thought?

And besides that, are shimmery cleavage and sultry bedroom eyes really the key to attracting lasting love?

Just a thought, but maybe we should be focusing our efforts elsewhere.

But then why doesn’t anyone in the mainstream media send out that message? I mean, I kind of want to throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I take a look at the popular advice that’s out there for young people (both women and men included).

So today I’ve decided to do something a little bit different. Here it is, guys and gals: proof that GOOD advice doesn’t have to be uncool (or boring, for that matter). Today I present to you: advice that isn’t completely horrible … written Cosmo-style. Watch as Cosmo’s “Meet a New Guy By Summer!” article morphs into The Unlost’s spinoff, “Become Awesome By Summer!,” right before your very eyes.

* * *

Meet A New Guy By Summer!

Become Awesome By Summer!

In a dating rut? Our ballsy tips will help you land your next boyfriend in just one month.

In a rut? Our tips will help you become more awesome in just one month— and coincidentally, you might also find a boyfriend (but if you don’t, you’ll hardly notice because you’ll be so busy being blissfully awesome).

1. Get the ball rolling by asking all your friends if they know any single guys. Being so forward may seem awkward, but at least you can be sure the guys they recommend won’t be douchebags or serial killers. Just saying.

1. Get the ball rolling by asking yourself what makes you feel centered and excited. Sign yourself up for a cooking class or a writing class or start working on those paintings you’ve been wanting to do. It might seem awkward at first, but notice how alive it makes you feel. Just saying.

2. Adopt a mantra like “nothing to lose.” Yeah, it’s a little corny, but being fearless always gets the guy.

2. Adopt a mantra like “focus on what makes you feel whole.” Yeah, it’s corny as f***, but prioritizing things that make you feel whole and alive always makes you awesomeand more attractive, too.

3. Perfect your come-hither look. Tilt your head slightly down and to the side, then look up from under your lashes and smile. This pose shows guys it’s okay to approach — trust us, it works.

3. Stop making everyone wonder, “Who’s that awkward girl that keeps tilting her head all weird at me?” If you want to go talk to someone, stop sitting there and go do it. Works every time!

4. Men tend to be intimidated by a pack of girls, so hit up a bar with just two friends. If you see a guy you like, pull away from your friends and scan the room. When your eyes fall on him, shoot him “the look.” It’ll give him a free-and-clear pickup opportunity (and yes, they need all the help they can get).

4. Consider that bars are usually crappy places for meeting men, anyways. If you do go, go because you actually want to have a drink with your friend, not because you want to sit there like a pathetic loser who’s waiting for guys to talk to you all night long. Under no circumstances should you shoot “the look” to someone across the room unless you want to attract the biggest sleazeball in the establishment.

5. You’ve mastered seductive body lingo; now cast a wider net and flash a knowing smile to every hot guy you come across.

5. You’ve thrown out the seductive body lingo; now keep it up and flash a genuine smile to every human being you come across—  whether he is hot or not. Because everyone you meet has infinite worth, even if they don’t have a scopeworthy ass.

6. Take a kickboxing or weight-lifting class at the gym. Arrive a little early so you can score a spot next to a buff guy and ask for some personal training.

6. Take a kickboxing or weight-lifting class at the gym. Arrive a little early just because you’re PUMPED UP ABOUT LIFE & FITNESS!! (Ohhh yeahhhh!)

7. You know those emails your college sends out about alumni networking events? Actually RSVP to one.

7. You know those emails your college sends out about alumni networking events? Actually RSVP to one.

8. After scoping out a men’s store for attractive men, pick up a shirt and approach one of them. Say, “Excuse me. My brother’s birthday is coming up. What do you think of this?”

8. Refrain from telling needless lies to unsuspecting strangers. Go to the men’s store because it is ACTUALLY your brother’s birthday. Just sayin’.

9. Dare yourself to hand your business card to a sexy stranger and ask him to call you.

9. Dare yourself to stop depending on a sexy stranger to swoop in and complete your life (although he might come one of these days— once you’re already complete).

See, the weird thing is that once you stop placing an overarching focus on being “sexy” and on attracting a guy, you actually become— well, a heck of a lot sexier.  Author Meghan Daum summed it up well in the July 2008 issue of Allure. Sexiness, Daum wrote, has less to do with the act of sex itself than it has to do with owning yourself and your own worthiness:

“[Sexiness] is inextricably linked to sex as a concept but wholly separate from fornication… As much about posture and voice intonation as it is about cleavage or skirt length or the dimensions of our posteriors, feeling sexy is, at its root, about owning ourselves. It’s being at home in our own skin. No wonder it’s so damn elusive.

After all, pretty much anyone can have sex.”

(Props to Allure, by the way, for publishing one of the only worthwhile articles that I’ve come across in a popular beauty magazine.)

So instead of asking yourself WWAGT at every turn, try asking yourself this: WWMMFW?

That is, What Would Make Me Feel Whole?

This might mean taking walks or taking a yoga class instead of taking shots at the bar.

It might mean spending some quality time with your girl friend instead of desperately scanning the room for guys all night.

Or maybe you could write a blog instead of browsing Facebook for hot prospects (wink, wink ;-).

Trust me: any respectable guy will choose the self-assured girl who’s acting from a place of wholeness over the overtly “sexy” girl who leaves him wondering if she would have taken any guy that gave her a second glance (not that his reaction is the point of it… but true nonetheless).

In the end, it’s not that you can’t look hot or that you shouldn’t feel sexy.

It’s just that… well, getting a guy to think you’re hot (or sexy or cool) is NOT the point of life.

After all, positioning your every decision to impress a guy is a surefire way to lose yourself.

And if you lose yourself, then, well… what’s left of you for someone else to love?

* * *

So… how’s THAT for advice worth reading?

I don’t see how it couldn’t be perfectly fit for the mainstream. The Unlost-opolitan Magazine: look for it on newsstands anyday now ;-).

# # #

[Image credit: Melissa Adret]

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  • Amanda

    Great Therese! They keep getting better as the weeks go by!

    • therese

      Thanks Amanda!

  • http://www.innaaizenshtein.com/inna inna

    i think i really WAS 15 last time i read a cosmo…. this is some embarrassing stuff.
    can you imagine what a guy would think if he read one of these “articles”? i feel bad for the writers at cosmo. i wonder how they can put that stuff out without cringing

    • therese

      I really can’t imagine what a guy would think, Inna… haha! And yes, be thankful that you aren’t a writer for a publication like that… ;)

  • http://cathyscholl.com/ cathy scholl

    You are wonderful and SO funny. Love what you are saying and HOW you say it.

    • therese

      Thanks, Cathy. LOVE your photos, by the way– they are so colorful and beautiful.

  • Aly

    SO TRUE Therese! All of them, but I love #9!

    • therese

      Yes, #9 is a good one, Aly ;)

      • faithboo1

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  • http://www.lifeinthepitts.com Helena

    Wow, this advice is fantastic. And very well written. I’ll be looking for The Unlost-opolitan Magazine at my grocery checkout :)

    • therese

      Well thanks, Helena. Glad you stopped by!

  • Margaret

    Hahaha, so hilarious. I like to grab one every now and again as a joke and laugh with my boyfriend about all the ridiculous suggestions. “Honey, does it work better if I tilt my head down and look up at you?” (I remember that one) Then again, I always remember that there are actually girls taking all of this to heart. I wish the ‘Unlost-opolitan’ was really out there! There are far too many girls with awkwardly tilted heads…

    • therese

      Haha… yes, there are far too many girls with awkwardly tilted heads

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  • liana

    hey! I’m from south africa and sat giggling with my gran for nearly half an hour over this brilliant piece of writing! love it!!!

    • therese

      Hahaha, thanks Liana! Glad you guys enjoyed it :)

  • http://citizenofthew0rld.wordpress.com Ashley

    I’m possibly the only guy that read this article but I give you maaad props for this! By the way, nonfiction is underrated in the modern age.

    • therese

      You’re not the only guy, Ashley! But thank you… and yes, I agree– nonfiction is highly underrated!

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  • Melissa

    “flash a genuine smile to every human being you come across— whether he is hot or not. Because everyone you meet has infinite worth, even if they don’t have a scopeworthy ass.”

    Is that not just the best advice for life? If more people simply smiled strangers and everyone you meet, even if you’re having a crappy day, the world would be a much better place. And no, I am not exaggerating. Beautiful.

    • therese

      That is great advice for life! Everyone deserves to be greeted with a smile…

  • http://lilithgotlucky.wordpress.com Juliet

    i feel the same way- why is the media trying to cheer on and raise a generation of desperate, “do this & he’ll like you” greedy-driven females?
    If advice was given on how to nurture yourself and make yourself stronger so YOU will like YOU- it’d be a less skeezy society.

    • therese

      Hi Juliet, no blame here! I think (know) that these women are struggling– liking yourself is no easy task, but we all deserve to be loved by ourselves as well as by others :)

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  • http://twitter.com/dividingday Dividing Day

    I started reading Cosmo when I was 13. After about two years, I noticed that they kept running the same articles. And I noticed the man-centered thing, too. From make-up to clothes, from hobbies to career decisions, it was always “How to Get a _____ a Man will find Irresistible!” I decided I had better things to do with my time than obsess over whether a dude found me sufficiently sexy.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Yes! You go :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003511805723 Peter Stiglitz-Doody

        Actually…cosmo girls are more interested in learning to be a dick-tease and attention whore rather than actually snagging a man for sure.

  • not a cosmo fan

    there should be a magazine out that’s the opposite of cosmo asking “what would a woman think?”

  • http://WhosChrisHughes.com Chris Hughes

    haha I love this. I’ve picked up women’s magazines in girlfriends houses and browsed through them laughing hysterically. I find the most attractive thing about a girl is that she’s content with who she is and does stuff she enjoys doing for her. The girls who I’ve dated that seem to like the same things I do, only because I like them, get old really quick.

    You’ve definitely got a new fan here Therese. Keep being you.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Thanks, Chris :)

  • http://www.homelifecarinsurance.co.uk/ Colleen

    Cosmo caters to monstrous egomania all around — Women who only care what men think about how they look and men who only care what women look like? I guess there’s nothing else then.

  • Joe

    what’s the big deal… It’s just advice if you WANT your guy to react a certain way or if you WANT to appeal to a guy a certain way.

    • Carly

      You’re not really understanding the big picture here, are you? The shallow advice from Cosmopolitan is sending a very bad message to girls. Smart people will ignore it. But, what about the people who are gullible? They eat this stuff up and that’s the big problem. You can’t just say, “Just don’t pay attention to it” and expect people to follow suit.

  • http://www.emptyfist.com/ Andrew Olson

    Amen to that! Actually. I have never read cosmo or visited their website, I had no idea what nonsense they were talking about. I totally agree with everything you wrote, but the way I see it, this isn’t Cosmo’s problem at all. They’re the smart ones in all of this: they’re finding out what people want, giving it to them, and making a buck in the middle. The issue here is getting the readers to say “this isn’t what we want, we don’t believe you” and they would stop publishing it. In other words, if Cosmo stopped publishing this out of moral responsibility, someone else would step in for them. So it’s all about getting people to read articles like this :)

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Smart man, Andrew, and agreed! When consumers’ preferences and beliefs change, then there’s no longer such a market for this kind of stuff.

      I kind of think, though, that a lot of consumers already DO want something other than what Cosmo has to offer– something like THIS article– I think that it’s just never been put out there for people in a way that appeals to them. In other words, since they’ve never really known its existence, they might not really *know* that they want it.

      But then when they do see it, they’re like, “Aha, THAT’s what I’ve been looking for all along!”

      From this standpoint, I think Cosmo would have a HUGE financial gain if they could figure out how to do this right.

      However, would they ever try to? Probably not; it’s way too much of a “risk” for someone so big & established.

      This is what eventually brings the “big & established” down, however– when they’re resistant to change. Once their audience figures out they want “something more,” someone else will have swooped into that spot already ;-)

      • Casey

        When I was a teenager, there was a magazine called Sassy – it was, hands down, the real-life Unlost-opolitan. There were no articles about WWAGT; there were articles about obscure music and cooking and art and DIY. Fashion spreads were modeled on real, non-model people. It was, in a word, brilliant, and myself and every self-respecting girl I knew were completely hooked on its awesomeness.

        And then it tanked, in the early-mid ’90s.

        Anyway, I wondered then, and I wonder now, if consumers actually DO want something other than what Cosmo has to offer; it seems like the brainless swill is the stuff that survives for the long haul.

      • Jon

        Hi Therese, I loved your rewrite, but you have to understand that Cosmo is forced to play to the lowest common denominator because a hell of a lot of people read it, and they need to keep it that way so that they stay in business. The same is true of the equally offensive “lad mags” like Maxim or the online version, AskMen. Think of Cosmo as network television while your advice is more like HBO. There’s more meaning to what you say…but at the same time, it’s way more risky (and takes a lot more intelligence to get it) and that’s why they don’t do it. That’s the way of mass media, unfortunately.

  • Jordan

    I’d subscribe to your mag! Awesome post!

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Yayyy! My first subscriber to my non-existent mag! (One day…)

  • A. RedBox

    What annoys me about these articles is that it’s teaching women that relationships are all just a game to be played “properly.” Relationships aren’t a game. I can’t speak for other guys, but I think I can narrow my serious criteria down to the following 5:

    1) Do you have a pleasant personality?
    2) Can you hold an intelligent conversation?
    3) Do we have anything in common?
    4) Are you reasonably healthy?
    5) Did you take a bath?

    I somehow doubt Cosmo will ever have an article that focuses on these, because these aren’t what sell crap for their advertisers.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      “Did you take a bath?”

      Haha.

      :)

    • nadyia

      well said !

  • http://twitter.com/downfromtheledg down from the ledge

    I certainly read those mags a lot more in my late teens/early twenties…I wonder how much sh*t I should have been doing all these years without any articles to tell me?! I can’t stomach the stuff they shove down young girls’ throats, either. It’s a disgrace.

    Thing is, women *do* reach a point where they’ve had it with being told to make their lives revolve around what some man might want, it’s just a matter of how long it takes and how much self-worth is lost along the way. For what does it profit a woman to gain (some douchebag) and lose herself?

    • erica

      Well said.

  • http://hayleyswinson.wordpress.com/ Hayley Swinson

    Nice article! Loved the Cosmo rewrite. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to explain to my perpetually-attached friends who don’t understand why I love being single.

  • G.rainbowhunter

    Great article. Couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than telling a woman she’s beautiful and having her not believe you because her monthly dose of self-hate (Cosmo) says otherwise, but you know you just have to fight the good fight. Thanks again. Have a lovely day

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  • Kendra

    I freakin’ love this article. I just discovered you today Therese and I think I love you!!

    I’ve been saying that exact same thing for YEARS about Cosmo – “why is that Cosmo encourages women (or girls really) that the be-all and end-all to life is to get a man, please a man and keep a man?”

    It’s frightening that this magazine is still in print. Society needs a lobotomy to forget about these so-called “beauty” magazines.

    Let’s go Unlost-opolitan Magazine! I would definitely subscribe to that. ;-)

    • therese

      Hahaha, thank you Kendra!

      Maybe we don’t need a lobotomy; maybe we just need to stop consuming that shit and put more TRUTH out into the world! Maybe it’s as simple as that… (deep thoughts)…

      Yesssss Unlost-opolitan! ;-)

  • r_strick

    freaking HILARIOUS girl. loved this!

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  • JP

    Thank you for writing this. I stopped subscribing for a few years but then started to get Cosmo for a year. I like the bloopers in the front the confessions. But I completely agree they are teaching us how to be completely opposite of what so many women have fought against. Our world does not revolve around a man. I am happy in a relationship and none of the “slut mag” (as me and my friends in high school used to call it) advice of putting out on the first three dates ever helped me find a real man who is everything I aleays wanted. The simple advice of don’t give it up too easy or soon steered me in the direction of a true man. The advice they give empowers women to be premicuous and basically put their body’s and emotional stability in harm’s way. I once too thought I could “date like a man” and let me tell you not one of the guys I saw, talked to, briefly dated, or hooked up with in college was husband potential. Even the men I dated in my twenties when I was partying less and more grown up and more particular about the type of man I wanted to be associated with that was not my sole purpose in life to ‘please a man’ I like Marie Claire for more substance issues on world matters and news but also has fashion. Cosmo is good but don’t take the stuff in it to heart if you are a long time subscitber youre goin to realize it’s all recycled and the same stuff every few months anyway.

  • http://alifeonyourterms.com/ Liz Seda

    Holy shit what an awesome article.

    The whole point is that the girls who are reading this haven’t even decided what they should or shouldn’t want out of life. They’re impressionable and really prone to going in the direction of the first influencer they come across. Parents definitely count, but if you haven’t developed your child’s self esteem from day one, it’s going to be hard to get through to them at 14 yrs old since 14 yr olds think they know everything and don’t listen to their parents. (I’m generalizing I know).

    So yea. They read the magazine and all of a sudden they’re worrying about Brazilians and tying their entire self worth into whether or not they can get a boy to like them.

    Your next article should be something like…’I’m Sexy and I Know It’ or ‘i’m Sexy and I Don’t Give a Shit What a Random Penis Thinks’. The titles need some work but you get the drift ;)

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Thanks Liz, and agreed. I like your site BTW.

      “I’m Sexy and I Know It…” hahahahaha luvitt! May have to take you up on that! :-P

  • erica

    Thank you for writing this! I used to read those magazines when I was a teenager and I don’t anymore. After some distance, I realized they were giving the same advice repeatedly, and yes, the theme is always the same… be a consumer and have the kind of self-esteem that hinges on how attractive you are to men. I enjoyed your column, it was a good critique, and you are so right!
    Ladies, focus on yourself (your dreams, your hobbies, your learning, your friends, exploring the world) before any guy!!!

  • a.evans

    This is an awesome blog post.. I’m doing a philosophy paper on aestheitcs, i quoted your like about WWAGT if he walked in the room right now. hope that’s ok! :)

    • therese

      That’s awesome!

  • Bebe

    Just found this through a Pinterest link and I really, really LOVE your counter point to the stupid articles like this! I wish more magazines would have articles with content like THIS instead of the inane crap they usually push! Keep on being awesome!

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      I wish so too… one day ;-)

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  • mimi107

    I loved this article :) evrything said is so true, i would defnitley want to read more articles like this, i just wish more articles like this were published, it would make such a difference to girls :)

  • koyoandi

    Awesome metamorphosis! Cosmo was fun for dirty reading when I was in my twenties but fortunately, I thought a lot of the articles telling women how they should act, look or do to get a man, were really lame and worth a good laugh. Their advice is always the same, just worded differently.

    My favorite is the advice about giving a coy look to let a guy know we can be approached. It sounds like it would scare guys off more than anything, wondering why the weird chick with the crick in her neck is being so creepy. You will either send them screaming in the other direction or attract a sleazebag thrilled he is honing in on his latest one night stand because you obviously look like you are so smashed you won’t remember him the next day.

    Being self assured is the best way to go. You will love life on your own and when you attract someone, it will be the kind of guy who wants to hang out with you…a lot! Cosmo promises you will attract that kind of guy if you pose with a crooked neck and throw out lame one liners about your tan lines. But that is the exact formula to actually attract the guys who can’t wait for you to leave the next morning after getting laid.

    And if you are wondering what guys are thinking about your hair and makeup…ask your guy friends! They might just tell you the same thing my boyfriend used to tell me (and he is now my husband)…they don’t care if you wear it and in fact prefer you without it.

  • brightlights

    “And if you lose yourself, then, well… what’s left of you for someone else to love?”

    Thanks for those words, this was a fantastic article full of genuine, valuable advice!

  • Cassie

    Well written, funny and so very true. I stopped looking for guys, got my act together and now the man I am crazy about is in my life and loves me for me, not just my boobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arlined.solomon Arline D Solomon

    So what’s new? Cosmospolitan has been preaching this junk since Helen Gurley Brown discovered sex in the ’60s! It’s out there, so all that can be done is to educate this latest generation of young women to the shallow, damaging effect it has on real relationships.

  • ThatEighthGrader

    My class in middle school is researching things like stereotyping and media and what messages are being sent through magazine covers and stuff, and on one of them magazines we saw (I think it was InStyler), one of the headlines was literally ‘5 Sandwiches Guaranteed to Tickle His Pickle’,
    Disgusting..

  • June

    great article! Thought i would test the tan lines bit on my bf – hahaha he thought I said “I bet you’re wondering how I avoid tampons!” Wow! seems like a sure way to get a guy from yay to nay because if they were thinking of you now they are in a way they don’t want to… back in high school I was sick of being being with guys who weren’t right for me. so I stopped looking, lived my life, prayed to God to send me the guy I was supposed to be with. it was such a relief to not worry about finding someone. I know so many friends of mine on the hunt for a man to marry but it’s not the wild. after about a year I was at my brothers birthday party and started talking to a guy. he texted his brother about me and he found me later that week on fb. we have been together for almost four years. the moral is that I didn’t find him and he only heard about me through someone else.the right person is out there for everyone and if you are meant to be together you will be. if I had met my. bf earlier it may have fizzled out because we weren’t at the right stages in our life to stay together. he was into a lot of things I wasn’t… so remember that if you haven’t met the right one yet, maybe your soulmate isn’t at the right time in hos life to meet you. just stay calm carry on and learn from all your experiences, good and bad.when the time is right you will be together but in the meantime stop worrying and just live your life :) God is watching over you, even those who don’t believe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003511805723 Peter Stiglitz-Doody

    I sure am glad you think Coswmo is stupid, but you’re advice is just as bad. It sounds like reactionary man-hating defense mechanism stuff to me. You are just as bad because you are still teaching young women to act arrogant and snotty but just in a more girl-centric sort of way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003511805723 Peter Stiglitz-Doody

      also, this cosmo stuff is more about attention whoring than actually getting a relationship with said douchebag. Cosmo is a girly-centric culture mag for sure that teaches women to get what they want in life by looking like hot dick teasers.

  • http://www.RocksNoSaltMommy.com/ Elizabeth

    This is a fantastic post! I’ll be sharing this on my mom-community facebook page. I am a huge advocate for raising strong girls who don’t need to rely on a man to be happy. My facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/margaritamommies. I’ll share this link tomorrow!

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Thanks Elizabeth! :)

  • bill

    “[Sexiness] is inextricably linked to sex as a concept but wholly separate from fornication… As much about posture and voice intonation as it is about cleavage or skirt length or the dimensions of our posteriors, feeling sexy is, at its root, about owning ourselves. It’s being at home in our own skin. No wonder it’s so damn elusive.
    ^^^THIS!^^^

    • bill

      In fact I keep trying to convince my wife of this. Sure she’s got some cellulite and she doesn’t have perfect abs but I find her very attractive and if she could just “own” her body instead of feeling bad about it she’d be sexy as hell!

  • chriskutchar

    Ok after Aston Kuchar’s speech everyones going do dish out life advice now? The truth is he was just trying to promote his movie by sounding smart. Although it is true. But still this meme is meh.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hey man! I published this article back in 2011, so unfortunately you have it backwards: it was Ashton who copied ME! ;)

  • A Real Writer

    Shocker. Another wannabe-writer takes to the easiest target on the planet, Cosmo magazine. But “Therese” didn’t even bother to pick up a recent issue. Instead, she went on the website, which is over-programmed with links catered to the audience coming to the site…and with articles based on popular Google topics, like “how to find a boyfriend.”

    But this writer, Therese, is too lazy to educate herself on something like that. She’s too lazy to pay $3.99 for the latest issue and write a blog post based off those recent articles. Therese is not a brilliant writer with new thoughts that haven’t already been said a million times. THERESE is a LAZY WRITER. She was either looking for advice and is no better than Cosmo, or she was looking for an easy sell…again, no better than Cosmo.

    For everyone else sharing this article or posting their rants, have you been living under a rock? Women’s magazines have been this way for decades. Get over it already.

  • Sarah Katherine Merrill

    I agree 100% with this article but I do have to point out that the “vomit in my mouth” comment and staring out the F bomb is almost as distasteful as “sex sells.” Something more eloquently written would have been more appropriate considering the nature of the article. Otherwise, very well said.

    • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

      Hi Sarah, thanks for the comment!

      As for the writing style, “eloquent” was not as much of what I was going for in this article as was “humorous,” “unexpected” and “uniquely me” ;). Hope you enjoyed regardless!

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  • guest

    this was great :)

  • Sonesta

    This is amazing!!! Love it. Thank you :)

  • Emily

    FINALLY! AMEN! I wish every girl would read this!

  • Winifred Reilly

    This is great.
    I love your indictment of these idiotic articles. A few months back I wrote a piece about marriage myths on my blog after reading some nonsense (on HuffPo) about how couples can melt into oneness.
    Bleech.

    And congratulations on your HuffPo guest blog!

    I just found your blog by looking at the link you sent Glen about your guest post.

    In fact, I had already read it and liked it since I’m often there checking out all things marriage and relationship related. Congratulations again. Great piece.

    I’ll look forward to reading more of your stuff.

  • Rae

    I wish these magazines would give advice about how to look good for reasons other than attracting guys. You know, lesbians also need help about which colour lipstick to use with which sort of dress.

  • Serenity Karma Sunshine

    I just discovered this website. I browsed for only a moment before coming across this article. I started reading Cosmo religiously at about 12 years old…and for the past 14 years I have struggled with basing my entire worth on what Men and society think of me (This has more a lot to do with more than just the magazine of course, but it relates!!. BUT, I am improving tremendously and THIS article was enormously inspiring! Thank You <3

  • Charganium

    Speaking as a guy, if all girls followed the advice in Cosmo, I’d probably become gay pretty fast.

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  • http://benaustinblog.com Ben Austin

    well since we are bashing the magazine industry, I fell like I should point out that men’s mags are equally as poisonous to our mental health.

    The mags teach us to feel “incomplete” all the time.

    It is just part of the cycle that gets us to buy them in the first place.

    • Algo

      I disagree. Popular mechanics isn’t really all *that* poisonous to our mental health.

      Of course, sometimes I see advice from the cosmo that if anyone ever took it seriously, they would probably send their unfortunate partner to the emergency room.

  • Pink Mohawk Fan

    “what guys are thinking about my hair and makeup! (Hint: they aren’t.)”

    Guy here. Sure we are!

    But you’re probably not going to get The Answer to this from reading Cosmo. That’s not just because Cosmo is a lousy magazine, but because there is no One Answer. Guys are all different from each other. Some like curly hair, and some like straight hair. Some like blondes, and some like brunettes. Some like a simple ponytail, and some like a spiked half-mohawk with a hot-pink stripe dyed down the middle.

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