Is Cosmo Wreaking or Strengthening Marriage?

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The most significant change between 1965 and 2011 issues of Cosmopolitan mag is the old switcharoo in their relationship content. Back in those days, articles reeked of marriage advice. Pure and simple. In fact, about 87 percent of their past relationship articles focused on marriage.

Today, well, not so much. Only about 5 percent focus on those of us who are hitched.

What’s more, in the 60s, that advice consisted of where to find a marriageable man and how to convince that man to marry us. Five decades later advice is geared more toward short and medium-term relationships. That includes everything from a booty call to a college boyfriend.

Today’s topics range from “Six Fantasies That Could Ruin Your Relationship,” to “How to Mesmerize a Man at: Six Minutes, Six Weeks, Six Months.”

With nary a mention of six years, the message now seems to be about attracting a man for whatever short term period makes you happy—sans marriage entirely.

Plus, relationship pieces now put the kibosh on trust and loyalty and focus on caution with stories like “7 Signs He’s Playing You,” “The Body Language of Liars,” and “The Hidden Danger of Breakups.”

How about a dose of “Congratulations, and Welcome to Hell — Is This Any Way to Get Married,” “and ‘”I Got My Married Man-and Then I Didn’t Want Him.”‘

On the one hand, these topics are simply a sign of the times, but on the other, might they finally represent a feminine prerogative that says, ‘I’m just fine without ever landing a marriageable man, thank you very much?  After decades of women being conditioned to marry, I find it hard to knock Cosmo on this shift.

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About stilettonation

Jennifer Nelson is a writer working on Stiletto Nation: Inside the Perfumed Pages of the Women's Magazine Industry to be published Fall of 2012 by Seal Press. Stop in and read about the great, the awful and the insane in the fragrant pages of the women's glossies.

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