The Vagenda

The Busy Girl’s Guide to… being patronised!

A particularly informative example of Cosmopolitan’s ‘Busy Girl’s Guide’ series

You’ve got to love fluffy, frothy fashion mags for their incredible ability to patronise their audience without either the editorial staff or the audience realising it.

None have mastered this concept quite like the Queen of the Lad Mags (I say this because it’s basically the spouse and right-hand woman of Nuts, or Loaded), Cosmopolitan, for their latest online initiative, ‘The Busy Girl’s Guide to…’

Each piece covers a popular current affairs topic which Cosmo contributors feel that their readers should slot in somewhere in their busy lifestyle of epilating, waxing, learning how to give great oral sex and cooking the perfect steak (or maybe even a filler career until they ‘get their man and keep him’). Topics of note have included the Eurozone Crisis, Larry the Cat, Steve Jobs and Remembrance Day. [For a particularly excellent example, see above.]

I appreciate the thinking behind Cosmo‘s latest initiative – it ranks slightly less highbrow (read: misguided) than Grazia‘s weekly dose of human interest story (famine, ‘forgotten children’ of a conflict, or something equally horrible going on in the third world) sandwiched between a story about a celebrity losing weight or the latest in jewelled collars. It’s trying to encourage its target audience of ‘busy bimbos’ to actually care about something other than shoes, shopping and shagging. Presumably so that, when trying to snare Mr Right in the bar after work, you can drop the phrase ‘say what you like about Blair, he was wise to keep us out of the Euro’ into the conversation, in between laughing sycophantically about football or toying with your hair.

Yes, girls, Cosmo is just trying to get you laid. With this new ‘busy girl’s guide’, we’re clearly expected to thank its wise writers for making us look just intelligent enough to be screwable. But, conversely, we should be burning it, publicly, for making us look so mind-numbingly stupid. And then, perhaps, go and read BBC News. If your political opinions, understanding of current affairs or views on the economy come from Cosmo, you probably were better off when you didn’t have any.