The Vagenda

Cosmo Watch

And it’s one small step for woman as I don my cosmonaut helmet and venture into deep girl-space, to bring you the latest from this month’s Cosmopolitan (something I have been putting off for oh, three weeks). The cover promises to teach me 8 NEW WAYS TO ORGASM, so I’m keen to find out whether or not those boffins at Cosmo HQ have hit upon an as-yet undiscovered part of the female anatomy. Let’s see shall we as the 2001 music plays and I open up my copy…
*BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM BAM* (that’s the music)
So, it looks like tartan is back in and we are being encouraged to wander around in those little kilts that we all threw away after the glory days of Tatu ended so acrimoniously back in the year 20?? Goody. I wonder what blokes will have to say about that (‘we don’t dress for them but we sure are curious about their fashion sense’, says Cosmo). Thankfully regular feature ‘Men vs Fashion’ brings you all the latest as to what Pete, 29, a sales manager from Manchester, thinks of Victoria Beckham’s leather pants, having mysteriously shelved the logical response of ‘who gives a flying fuck?’ in favour of ‘I’m not too sure about this.’ Me neither, Pete, me neither. 
In fairness, Pete seems like the most sensible of the three man-numpties Cosmo has recruited this month, saying of Diane Kruger’s A-line skirt that ‘I imagine she has a chilly bottom’. TOO RIGHT. Are you ‘imagining’ her chilly bottom, Pete? ARE YOU? 
Next up, this Cosmonaut lands on planet Manthropology (p.28) in order to suss out what the mag hags hilariously call ‘the science bit.’ This week, it’s that men and women can’t be friends, according to a study at the University of Wisconsin. Seriously, though, who commissions these studies and can they please fuck off? Everyone knows that men and women can be friends, and that our monkey urges to hump each other, while they may occasionally exist, can easily be suppressed for the greater good. It’s tough, I know, but all my male friends have been doing it for YEARS and while I understand that resisting my feminine wiles cannot be easy (especially in this helmet), they seem to be managing quite well by getting on with their own lives. It’s strange how powerful sexual attraction can manifest itself, huh?
Skipping over some pages full of vile clothing, I next arrive at 100% Confident, which is probably my favourite Cosmo page this month, on account that it features a topless guy called Yoni, a word EVERYONE knows means VAGINA in sanskrit (I actually didn’t know until my boyfriend played it in Scrabble). This made me laugh for a good ten minutes, or at least until I came across the featurette ‘prepare for a fashion emergency’, at which point my blood started boiling. It suggests that, in order to, I don’t know, be a proper woman, you have to carry an umbrella, sellotape, a sewing kit, double-sided sticky tape, safety pins and A PAIR OF NUDE PANTS with you at all times. Of course, uttering the words ‘I’m having a fashion emergency’ immediately makes you a total cock, and that the only time you’d ever even need nude pants would be if you were planning on wearing white linen trousers later in the day, and as you are not Sir Bob Geldof I fail to see how that would happen. Also, as many of our twitter followers pointed out, nude ALWAYS means caucasian, and thus what black women are supposed to do about their VPL ‘fashion emergencies’ remains ever a mystery.
Anyway, thanks to twitter, we were able to compile a list of things that you GENUINELY might need in your handbag in case of a genuine emergency:
Sanitary towel/tampons
cystitis sachet
rape alarm
condoms (NB if you are hetrosexual obv)
enough money to get a taxi home without having to rely on anyone
emergency food in case of blood sugar low (might seem diva-ish but if you have witnessed a hungry woman-strop you will know it is far worse than a crummy bag)
Feel free to add your own suggestions.* Of course, we know that in practice this handbag preparedness rarely happens. A few months back we did a survey where we asked our readers about the most disgusting things they’d had in their handbags. Answers ranged from ham to vomit to a stool sample. THESE are the women you’re dealing with, Cosmo. If you have a turd in your Chloe Paddington I don’t think VPL is going to be much of an ish, TBH.
After that we have a fluffy interview with Leighton Meester, which I don’t read, because I’m so, like, over Gossip Girl since all that crap with cousin Charlie started and the show well and truly jumped the (priceless Damien Hirst) shark, so instead I look at some adverts for a while – Dorothy Perkins seem to have some surprisingly nice stuff in this season, if you’re prepared to take the risk that it may have been stitched together by child slaves. After that there is a bumper feature about nutjob anti-abortion protestors in America and how the trend is coming to Britain, and includes an account of how a rape victim with PTSD was filmed by 40Daysforlife while entering the BPAS clinic on Bedford Square. It is very well written and researched and highlights a very important issue (*serious face*). MORE OF THIS PLEASE COSMO.
Incidentally, 40Daysforlife have set up camp on Bedford Square again and counter-protests will be taking place every Sunday. If you’re in London you should come down because these fuckwits shouldn’t be allowed to get away with their shitty behaviour. 
Back to Cosmo. Unfortunately all this good work was then undone by Laura Jane Macbeth’s embarrassing ‘Sex and the Single Girl’ column, at which she expresses horror at the fact that some guy she met online likes going to fetish clubs. ‘If ever there was a dating WT actual F this is it’, whines Laura, before deciding that BDSM ‘seems like a lot of hassle.’  The fact that she manages to squeeze out 500 odd words on this while sitting on the proverbial journalistic toilet is quite a shock. If you don’t like it, don’t go there, surely? Simples. And yet, Macbeth’s prudish offering becomes ‘The Story of O’ when compared with Jo Usmar’s observational humour piece about how she is a crap cook. Please, Cosmo, get some new columnists. I know literally HUNDREDS of young women with fascinating, hilarious stories to tell.
Not as hilarious, though, as pg. 77, which lists one of the three things men think about at the gym as ‘gender inequality.’ Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. 
I realise that I have now written A LOT and am only half way through the magazine, which is why I am now going to do what my A-Level history teacher told me to do if I ever ran out of time in an exam, and bullet point the hell out of the rest of it. So here are some extra Cosmo tidbits from this month’s whistle-stop tour of the galaxy (I’ll stop with the space metaphors, shall I?):
- ‘Is he in the grip of a man crush?’ looks at what happens when your boyfriend is like, friends with another guy. Obviously this is a problem and so every girl needs a how-to guide on how to deal with it. Bear in mind that this it isn’t a real ‘man-crush’ intimating homosexual feelings, because that is far too much of a real thing for Cosmo to write a piece about. 
- The ‘when a man loves his mum’ feature insidiously encourages female competition by implying that it’s unnatural for a guy to be on good terms with his mother. Apparently you should be worried if a man knows his mum’s dress size, although I’d probably just think ‘what a nice guy.’ If your mum still buys your pants, why not buy her a nice cardigan once in a while? Hmmmm?
- Zoe Williams writes on what to call your Vagina. It’s an OK piece, just three months late. However, the closing sentence ‘Find a word for your vagina to make you feel treasured’ is so nauseating that I vomit all over the page and thus am unable to write my thoughts on the rest of the article. Soz.
- ‘Kelly Osborne made me lose 7ST’ Except it wasn’t really Kelly, was it? It was the fact that you worked out 7 days a week and had a personal trainer…
- Lingerie. All of it really nice (although why you’d wear a lace blindfold while hanging out in your room alone, I have no idea) all of it only suitable for a hipless, boobless model. Such a shame. La Perla bra is eminently unaffordable at £185. 
- Sex toys. Cosmo’s vibrator fixation continues with an interesting article about their medical history, culminating in a £10,000 solid gold vibrator from Ann Summers which just screams ‘first world tosspot.’ We We-Vibe, however, looks suspiciously like an iron. Coincidence? I think not. 
And thus I reach the end of my space mission, for I can linger in the space vaccum for no more. It’s been a long and arduous journey, but we put ourselves at risk so you don’t have to. Until next time, ladybros…
P.S. The 8 New Ways to Orgasm coverline I mentioned at the beginning turned out to pertain to the history of the vibrator article. So a much more accurate description would have been ’8 very old, secondhand ways to orgasm.’ 
*One of the more sensible suggestions I saw in Cosmo once was that, though pepper spray is illegal in the UK, a travel can of hairspray can make a great alternative when warding off potential attackers. FYI, Hairspray also kills wasps. 

8 thoughts on “Cosmo Watch

  1. I can’t be the only woman that doesn’t do handbags. I own one which is what I use when I get “dressed up” and even then I only carry my phone in it.

    Is this handbag thing the reason I can’t find jeans with decent pockets? Seriously, how the fuck am I meant to fit my phone in these pathetic pockets. I can just about get my keys in there. *le sigh*

  2. I’m a shove-everything-in-my-pockets kind of girl aswell, unfortunately my most flattering pair of jeans has fake pockets. I reckon clothes designers do it on purpose, like making tops a bit too see-through so you have to buy something else to layer underneath. :/

  3. You’re not the only one! If I need more stuff than fits in my pockets, I’m taking my rucksack. Clothes without pockets are rejected.

  4. I never used to be a bag kind of girl, I owned amazing jeans with decent pockets but now I have to have a bag. Luckily my phone fits but anything else doesn’t.

  5. I think the last time I read Cosmo was when they invited me to the launch of their first ever blog awards. We all got free copies and I flicked through it assuming , rather hopefully, it might have changed since the last time I read a copy (approximately 10 years previously). It hadn’t. I tweeted about how shite it was and, unsurprisingly, have not been invited to anything by their PR people since.

    My rather compact handbag is somewhat like the TARDIS and contains tampons, panty liners, kirby grips, safety pins, hair bands, lippy, map book, umbrella, sunglasses, folding paper fan, note book, pen, purse, Oyster card, phone, iPod, comb, haispray, mini torch, chewing gum, tissues, lip balm and one of those Vick’s inhaler things. It makes me seem very organised, but it’s mostly stuff that ended up in there at some point and never left. Am really hoping that woman’s stool sample you mentioned handn’t been there for months :-/