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Cosmopolitan

April 2009 Issue in United States featured Ashley Tisdale.
Editor-in-Chief Kate White
Helen Gurley Brown (International)
Categories fashion
Frequency monthly
First issue 1886
Company Hearst Corporation
Country United States
(other countries also available)
Language English
Website www.cosmopolitan.com/

Cosmopolitan is an international magazine for women. It was first published in 1886 in the United States as a family magazine, was later transformed into a literary magazine and eventually became a women's magazine in the late 1960s. Also known as Cosmo, its current content includes articles on relationships and sex, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, as well as fashion and beauty [1]. Published by Hearst Magazines, Cosmopolitan has 58 international editions, is printed in 34 languages and is distributed in more than 100 countries [2].

Contents

History

Cosmopolitan began as a family magazine, launched in 1886 by Schlicht & Field as The Cosmopolitan.[3]

Paul Schlicht told his first-issue readers that his publication was a "first-class family magazine", adding, "There will be a department devoted exclusively to the interests of women, with articles on fashions, on household decoration, on cooking, and the care and management of children, etc., also a department for the younger members of the family."

Cosmopolitan's circulation reached 25,000 that year, but by March, 1888, Schlicht & Field were no longer in business. John Brisben Walker acquired the magazine in 1889, and E. D. Walker, formerly with Harper's Monthly, took over as the new editor, introducing color illustrations, serials and book reviews. It became a leading market for fiction, featuring such authors as Annie Besant, Ambrose Bierce, Theodore Dreiser, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Willa Cather and Edith Wharton. The magazine's circulation climbed to 75,000 by 1892.

In 1897 Cosmopolitan announced plans for a free correspondence school: "No charge of any kind will be made to the student. All expenses for the present will be borne by the Cosmopolitan. No conditions, except a pledge of a given number of hours of study." When 20,000 immediately signed up, Walker could not fund the school and students were then asked to contribute 20 dollars a year. Also in 1897, H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds was serialized, as was his The First Men in the Moon (1900). Olive Schreiner contributed a lengthy article about the Boer War.

In 1905 William Randolph Hearst purchased the magazine for $400,000 (approximately $11,000,000 in 2007 prices) and brought in journalist Charles Edward Russell, who contributed a series of investigative articles, including "The Growth of Caste in America" (March, 1907), "At the Throat of the Republic" (December, 1907 - March, 1908) and "What Are You Going to Do About It?" (July, 1910 - January, 1911) and "Colorado - New Tricks in an Old Game" (December 1910).

Other contributors during this period included Alfred Henry Lewis, Sinclair Lewis, A. J. Cronin, David Graham Phillips, George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair and Ida Tarbell. Illustrators included Francis Attwood, Dean Cornwell, James Montgomery Flagg and Harrison Fisher.

March 1894 issue

With a circulation of 1,700,000 in the 1930s, Cosmopolitan had an advertising income of $5,000,000. Emphasizing fiction in the 1940s, it was subtitled The Four-Book Magazine since the first section had one novelette, six or eight short stories, two serials, six to eight articles and eight or nine special features, while the other three sections featured two novels and a digest of current non-fiction books. During World War II, sales peaked at 2,000,000.

The magazine began to run less fiction during the 1950s. Circulation dropped to slightly over a million by 1955, a time when magazines were overshadowed during the rise of paperbacks and television. The Golden Age of magazines came to an end as mass market, general interest publications gave way to special interest magazines targeting specialized audiences.

Helen Gurley Brown arrives

Cosmopolitan's circulation continued to decline for another decade until Helen Gurley Brown became chief editor in 1965 and remodeled the magazine as New Cosmopolitan.After countless denials by other publications, Brown finally landed an opportunity to put a unique perspective on a tiresome magazine meant for both men and women.[4] The magazine was renamed back to Cosmopolitan in 1967. In the early 1970s, Cosmopolitan became a women's magazine. The magazine eventually adopted a cover format consisting of a usually young female model typically in a low cut dress or bikini. The magazine focused on young women and published articles that openly talked about sexual issues.

Her uproar of a magazine was not her first publication dealing with sexually liberating woman. In fact, she first wrote a book in 1962, Sex and the Single Girl, which instantly became a best seller. Identical to her magazine Cosmopolitan, this novel focused on a sexually fearless single lady who dates many men. Fan mail begging for Brown’s advice on many subjects concerning women’s behaviorisms, sexual encounters, health, and beauty flooded her front door after this book released. Brown sent the message to the books fans stating how a woman should have men complement her life; not take it over. Enjoying sex without shame was also an empowering message she incorporated in both publications.[5]

In Brown's early years as editor, the magazine received heavy criticism. The magazine ran a near-nude centerfold of actor Burt Reynolds in April 1972. The issue created great controversy, propelling Cosmopolitan to the forefront of American popular culture at the time.

In April 1978, a single edition of Cosmopolitan Man was published as a trial, targeted to appeal to men. Its cover featured Jack Nicholson and Aurore Clément. It was published twice in 1989 as a supplement to Cosmopolitan.[6]

Cosmopolitan today

In recent years the magazine and in particular its cover stories have become more sexually explicit in tone as well as covers with models wearing revealing clothes. Kroger, America's largest grocery chain, currently covers up Cosmopolitan at checkout stands because of complaints about sexually explicit headlines.[7] Walmart, Wegmans, and other retailers do this as well.

The UK edition of Cosmopolitan, which began in 1972, was well known for sexual explicitness, with strong sexual language, male nudity and coverage of such subjects as rape. In 1999, CosmoGIRL!, a spinoff magazine targeting a teenage female audience, was created for international readership. However, it ended print production in December 2008.

Real-world stories are recounted ("Real Life Reads") first-hand by survivors, safety tips for risky or dangerous situations (such as living alone) accompany stories of hidden risks, health myths and urban legends are debunked. Sections such as "Health Check", which has featured articles such as "Cosmo Gyno" and "Your Body: What An Abnormal Pap Smear Can Mean", are there not only for entertainment value but to help women understand their bodies and even recognize possible health problems. Less serious regular features include "Guy Confessions" (pages where men share embarrassing stories or shameful things they've done); celebrity gossip; "You, You, You", which contains a wide variety of fun facts and advice.

The magazine currently features topics such as sex, makeup and hair tips.

Cosmopolitan has readers in more than 100 countries and offers editions, both published by Hearst and/or a licensing partner in 34 languages, including Finnish, Spanish, Korean, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Swedish, Polish, Hebrew, Estonian, Romanian, Georgian, Russian, German, Italian, French, Greek, Malaysian and Indonesian. It was banned in Singapore until recently.[8]

Geri Halliwell on the April 2005 UK edition

Cosmopolitan has since the sixties been a women’s magazine discussing such topics as sex, health, fitness and fashion. Recently attempts to attract male readers have been made: “Cosmo for your guy” is featured in every issue with exclusive advice for the men. Cosmopolitan also recruits men as a part of their staff to answer their female readers' burning questions they just can’t ask the men in their lives. The “Guy Confessions” add men’s embarrassing mishaps to those submitted by women.

Other media

Cosmopolitan Television consists of three television networks, two Spanish language channels, one in Spain and one in Latin America, and an English language channel in Canada, in partnership with Corus Entertainment, which launched on February 14, 2008. They broadcast programs targeted at an audience of women age 18 to 34.

Cosmo Radio airs on Sirius XM Radio on Sirius 111 and XM 162.

For a few months in 1951, the magazine sponsored Cosmopolitan Theatre, a TV series which aired on the DuMont Television Network.

Awards and Features

Fun, Fearless Male and Female of the Year: For more than a decade, the February issue has feature this award. In 2009, Bradley Cooper received the magazine's Fun Fearless Male of the Year Award, joining past honorees John Mayer (2008),Nick Lachey (2007), Patrick Dempsey (2006), Josh Duhamel (2005), Matthew Perry (2004), and Jon Bon Jovi (2003). Ali Larter received the 2009 Fun, Fearless Female of the Year honor, a title that has been previously awarded to Katherine Heigl (2008), Eva Mendes (2007), Beyonce (2006), Ashlee Simpson (2005), Alicia Silverstone (2004), Sandra Bullock (2003), and Britney Spears (2002).

Bachelor of the Year: Cosmopolitan's November issue features the hottest bachelors from all 50 states. Pictures and profiles of all the Bachelors are posted on www.cosmopolitan.com, where readers view and vote for their favorite, narrowing it down to six finalists. A team of Cosmopolitan editors then selects the Bachelor of the Year, who is announced at an annual party and media event in New York. The 50 bachelors generally appear on programs such as The Today Show.[9]

Past Winners Include

Brad Ludden 2008

Brian Watkins 2007

Matt Wood 2006

David Entinghe 2005

Practice Safe Sun: In the May 2006 issue of Cosmopolitan, the magazine launched the Practice Safe Sun campaign, an initiative aimed at fighting skin cancer by asking readers to stop all forms of tanning other than tanning from a bottle [10]. In conjunction with the campaign, Cosmo's editor-in-chief, Kate White, approached Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), known for her support of women's health issues, with concerns that women weren't fully aware of the dangers of indoor tanning and the effectiveness of the current warning labels.[11] After careful review, the Congresswoman agreed that it was necessary to recommend that the FDA take a closer look. She and Representative Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) introduced the Tanning Accountability and Notification Act (TAN Act - H.R. 4767) on February 16, 2006.[10] President Bush signed the act in September 2007, and the new federal law requires the FDA to scrutinize the warning labels on tanning beds and issue a report by September 2008 [12].

Criticism

In its January 1988 issue, Cosmopolitan ran a feature claiming that women had almost no reason to worry about contracting HIV long after the best available medical science indicated otherwise. The piece claimed that unprotected sex with an HIV-positive man did not put women at risk of infection, and went on to state that "most heterosexuals are not at risk" and that it was impossible to transmit HIV in the missionary position.[13] This article angered many knowledgeable people including AIDS and gay rights activists.

Books

  • Cosmo's Guide to Red Hot Sex (2008) (ISBN 158816649X)
  • Cosmo's Aqua Kama Sutra: 25 Sex Positions for the Tub, Shower, Pool, and More (2006) (ISBN 158816571X)
  • Cosmo Confessions: Hundreds of Absolutely Shameful, Scandalous, and Sexy Real-Life Tales! (2006) (ISBN 1588164675)
  • Cosmo's Naughty Notes: 100 Sexy Stickies to Tease, Tantalize, and Turn On Your Man (2006) (ISBN 158816599X)
  • Cosmo's Steamy Sex Games: All Sorts of Naughty Ways to Have Fun with Your Lover (2006) (ISBN 1588166406)
  • The Cosmo Kama Sutra: 77 Mind-Blowing Sex Positions (2004) (ISBN 1588164233)

Cosmo in popular culture

  • In an episode of Rules of Engagement aired in 2007, David Spade's character says he likes to read Cosmo because it's like having "the other team's playbook."
  • In Legally Blonde 2 (2003), when Elle Woods tells Paulette she's going to work where a voice is given to the people, Paulette asks if she's going to the headquarters of Cosmopolitan magazine.
  • In the movie Now and Then (1995), the four girls (Tina, Roberta, Samantha, and Chrissy) are taking a Cosmo quiz on foreplay in a diner.
  • In the movie Legally Blonde (2001), Elle Woods says in her closing arguments, "The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known." [14]
  • In a 2005 episode of The O.C., Seth draws a female superhero that he calls "Cosmo Girl" who he says has a "passion for fashion." [15]
  • In an episode of Third Watch (1999), Jimmy tells Kim that Cosmo says she should make a man feel important to her, to which she replies, "You read Cosmo?" [16]
  • Will Truman on Will and Grace says in a 1998 episode, "Oh, you girls are going to have a ball, braiding each other's hair and talking about boys and doing the Cosmo quiz." [17]
  • In a 1997 episode of Just Shoot Me, the emcee of the "Femmy" magazine award ceremony says, "Do we really have to sit here for three hours, or can we just give all the awards to Cosmo?" [18]
  • In an episode of Friends that aired in 1994, Chandler admits to taking a Cosmo quiz.[19]
  • In an episode of That '70s Show. Jackie and Kelso read Cosmopolitan to resolve their relationship troubles.
  • In the 1986 war film Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood's character, Sgt. "Gunny" Highway, reads Cosmopolitan to gain insights of the other sex's mind in order to win his ex-wife back.
  • In an episode of Corner Gas, it is revealed that Davis reads Cosmopolitan.
  • In the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer, in the song "Pop", Julia sings the lyric: "Every five seconds a girl gets engaged, according to Cosmo's latest quiz..."
  • In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a copy of Cosmo is hidden in the stack of upright magazines on Andy's desk.

References

  1. ^ Cosmopolitan.com
  2. ^ Cosmopolitan
  3. ^ Tassin, Algernon (December 1915). "The Magazine In America, Part X: The End Of The Century". The Bookman: An Illustrated Magazine of Literature and Life XLII (4): 396–412. http://books.google.com/books?id=d04DAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA396. Retrieved 2008-08-03.  
  4. ^ Benjamin, Jennifer. "How Cosmo Changed the World." Cosmopolitan 2009: n. pag. Web. 28 Sep 2009. <http://www.cosmopolitan.com/about/about-us_how-cosmo-changed-the-world>.
  5. ^ Gianoulis, Tina. "Cosmopolitan." Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4: 1960s-1970s. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 867-868. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. University of Northern Colorado. 28 Sept. 2009 <http://0-go.galegroup.com.source.unco.edu/ps/start.do?p=GVRL&u=uncol
  6. ^ "Men's magazines: an A to Z", Magforum.com, accessed November 6, 2006
  7. ^ New York Daily News - The Ticker, New York Daily News.
  8. ^ Government lifts ban on Cosmopolitan magazine
  9. ^ Brian Watkins - Cosmo Bachelor of the Year 2007 - Cosmopolitan.com
  10. ^ a b Cosmo to Promote 'Safe Skin' | Business solutions from AllBusiness.com
  11. ^ http://www.allbusiness.com/services/business-services-miscellaneous-business/4775142-1.html
  12. ^ American Academy Of Dermatology Association Commends President Bush For Signing Tanning Accountability And Notification (TAN) Act
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Legally Blonde (2001) - Memorable quotes
  15. ^ "The O.C." The Second Chance (2005) - Memorable quotes
  16. ^ "Third Watch" (1999) - Memorable quotes
  17. ^ "Will & Grace" (1998) - Memorable quotes
  18. ^ "Just Shoot Me!" And the Femmy Goes To... (1999) - Memorable quotes
  19. ^ "Friends" (1994) - Memorable quotes

Benjamin, Jennifer. "How Cosmo Changed the World." Cosmopolitan 2009: n. pag. Web. 28 Sep 2009. <http://www.cosmopolitan.com/about/about-us_how-cosmo-changed-the-world>.

Gianoulis, Tina. "Cosmopolitan." Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4: 1960s-1970s. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 867-868. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. University of Northern Colorado. 28 Sept. 2009 <http://0-go.galegroup.com.source.unco.edu/ps/start.do?p=GVRL&u=uncol>.

External links








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