How Cosmopolitan Represents Control of Advertisers

by Isabel Braverman

I had this idea (that I considered brilliant) although once told to my roommates I got mixed reviews. My idea is to make a documentary following a woman around for a month who has to do everything that the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan tells you to do– from makeup and dating tips, to “how to please your man”.

The thing is that many people read Cosmopolitan, and many things like it, and read it with an almost glazed over view, not actually listening to what they are saying. We’re so numb to the ridiculous things the media tells us to do. Sometimes, however, there are things that really jump out at you as crazy, ridiculous or just plain wrong.

I also noticed when reading my copy of Cosmopolitan (yes I admit it I bought one and am therefore contributing to the problem) that the products that they endorse in their articles have an advertisement for the brand of said product on the page right next to it.

I counted the instances that this happened. 3 times. Here is a list of the brands:

L’oreal

Garnier Fructis

Marc Jacobs

This is just the times that they appeared on pages next to each other. There are countless more brands that are advertised as well as featured in the articles, like product placement for magazines. Some of the ads take up more space on the page than the actual article does.

Of course, a strong presence of ads is nothing new in media. The point being that we are so desensitized to them that sometimes it helps to open your eyes and really make note of what you’re reading.

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