And now, Scary-Crayon reviews...
COSMOPOLITAN: the February 2002 issue
by: Wes

I get very few hate mails and messages here at Scary-Crayon, but when I do it almost always references the "That's So Raven" article and goes something like "OMG wtf r u crticizyng dis show it is a kids show it is not for u next thing u be dissing Barney an shit" (already done, by the way, and there's more where that came from). I take this to mean that, according to these detractors, I have no "right" to judge a product because I am not a member of its target audience. Of course, this rationale disallows almost all negative critiques including these persons' own comments -- very few forms of artistic expression are intended for an audience that will patently dislike them; similarly, SC articles are certainly not intended for hollow-headed morons and dipshits of the general and uninteresting variety -- but that is beside the point. Rat poison disguised as croutons isn't meant for me because I am not a rat, but insofar as I care about the welfare of rats it is not only my right but my duty to call Ha'ntaan's attention to these seemingly innocent little cubes and say, "HEY, this shit is killing your loyal subjects! Stop feeding it to them." I mention this only to introduce yet another review of something that is decidedly not aimed at me but that I will critique anyway because I review random stupid stuff and my sister just happened to leave it on the floor during her last visit: the February 2002 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

Cosmopolitan magazine, February 2002 issueAdmittedly, I have a difficult time understanding the appeal of these so-called women's magazines. Some will say that it's because I'm not a woman, but I think it's just because I'm not a complete and total idiot. I get the entertainment factor, and I guess $3.50 a month or however much the mags cost these days isn't outrageous if people really want to read absolutely vapid fluff about nervous girls taking diarrhetic dumps in their panties on dates with cute boys or in-depth editorials about the superficial and empty lives of celebrities. It's not a terribly worthwhile thing to do, mind you, but it takes all of a subway ride to Macy's and then women are free to buy pink purses and trendy sunglasses and eat croissants at Starbucks and share cell phone gossip and whatnot. That much I can grasp.

It's the women who allow Cosmopolitan and fucking Oprah Winfrey to direct their lives (and good god there are more of them than you think) that baffle me -- the ones who think that Cosmo is actually giving useful life advice outside of makeup tips and moisturizer recommendations. In fact, the magazine touts itself as providing just this service, with numerous articles written by Janet Jewish-sounding-last-name Ph.D. that contain either trite common sense information (I guess these ladies need "authoritah" to put two and two together for them) or ridiculous generalizations about the entire male sex and tips for definitive ways of attracting them. It's ludicrous, and even as women complain about unrealistic ideals of beauty and that their men don't respect them, they'll buy this fucking magazine and do exactly what it tells them and then wonder why nothing changes. You're totally promoting unrealistic body image by purchasing a rag that consistently features celeb hotties wearing six hours' worth of makeup on its covers. Your man doesn't respect you because you read about what he liked in a magazine article written by someone who's never met him and automatically assumed that your new trick would work in bed. How do you know that's not the same technique Uncle Bud used when he sexually molested your honey at age four, hm? Cosmo makes women out to be superficial plastic jokes and shame on every last one of them who supports this awful (though sometimes amusing) magazine.

Britney Spears used to be hot.I mean, the cover of this issue had freaking Britney Spears on it -- and not the nasty knocked up heiffer that she is now, but back when she was actually attractive and wasn't consistently beached on the seashore with a mouthful of Cheetos and a bikini she totally does not need to be wearing and her trashy bastard of a husband playing tiddlywinks with discarded Pepsi can tabs in the dirt. I remember when she used to wear that nice Catholic schoolgirl outfit and dance in outer space and talk about remaining a virgin until married (yeah, like that was going to happen), but then she started singing songs about masturbation and married scum. What the hell happened, you ask? The Cosmo mentality happened: the kind of thing that prizes superficiality and sex and celebrity status and eschews ethical considerations like not causing everyone around you to lose brain cells every time you open your mouth or not getting involved with married men whose wives happen to be pregnant at the time. Seriously, if the magazine really wants to speak to American women, it should feature a picture of the 2002 Fun Fearless Female of the Year today -- not after their Hogwarts makeup artists work their magic to make her look halfway presentable, but one of those horrible paparazzi shots of her after she just got through taking her seventh constipated dump of the day and "forgot" to wash her hands afterwards. Stick with us, ladies, and you too can be a useless and bloated breeder with a shining example of masculinity like K-Fed on your arm! Or, if not, then you can at least get the Cosmo and Britney Spears stamp of approval on your desires to understand the touch of your hand, because the readers of the magazine must be the only people I can think of besides devout Catholics who require permission to masturbate in private.

Cosmo tells you stupid shit you already know.Anyway, onto the particular contents of the February 2002 issue, starting with advice for how to stay blissfully bonded. Now, this is a cover review, so I'm not going to touch on the actual content of the article in much detail, but at this point your eyebrow should already be raised as if you just smeeeelllllled what the Rock... is cookin'. Cosmopolitan, which features celebrity women on its covers -- and we just know how stable and lasting star couples are -- has the fucking audacity to tell you how to stay blissfully bonded and happy as Hell. (Never mind that, at least according to traditional Judeo-Christian thought, Hell is decidedly not a happy place. It is eternal, and I guess people there would tend to stay there, so condemned lovers would stay bonded and that would at least satisfy one of the requirements.) Given the ridiculousness of the claim, I had to go and read the article itself... and it pretty much says that it's natural for relationships to simmer down from the fever pitch on which they usually start (um, fucking duh) and to weather the boredom and make an effort to remain interested in each other if you want to keep the relationship going. I could have told you that bullshit, and I'm not Helen Fisher, Ph.D. I mean, that's essentially saying, "Don't break up and you'll stay together." It's fucking tautological! I hate this magazine.

As far as the shit about "feeling sexier in your own skin" goes, I read this and wonder just who the fuck cares. Having glanced at the article, I'm pretty sure the authors have confused "sexiness" with "being comfortable naked when other people may or may not be around." The piece features quotes from women who noted feeling self-conscious about being naked even when they were by themselves -- which I guess kinda makes sense, seeing as how we tend to wear clothes everywhere; even the Biblical Adam and Eve covered themselves up with leaves and shit when they were the only two people on the planet and had seen each other naked dozens of times -- and how they felt better about being naked when they started sleeping naked and walking to the shower naked and whatnot. But so what? I would really like to meet one of these women who is preoccupied with how sexy she feels when she's in the bed by herself so I can punch her hard in the forehead with brass knuckles with "DUMBASS SLUT" written backwards on them (I guess that might require a two-hit left-right combination) so everyone can know just what kind of woman she is. The best part of the article is the "How Body Confident Are You?" quiz, which asks how often you let your friends into the dressing rooms with you in stores and how often you shower with your beau and have sex with the lights on and then rates your "flesh-flashing confidence," which is a really interesting way of putting it. Is being so comfortable that you'll show your skin whenever wherever really a good thing? It is in the opinion of Cosmo, since the magazine tells women who rate low on the quiz -- and this is a fucking quote -- "Practice our body-confidence-boosting tips until they're ingrained in your brain." IT TELLS YOU TO BRAINWASH YOURSELF, LADIES! Un-bloody-real.

I fucking hate that summer is coming up because goddamnit I am sick of seeing bluish cellulite-ridden legs -- I wish that more women had less of this kind of "confidence" and more in the way of "decency" and "concern for the eyesight of others." Seriously, if I had it my way I'd outlaw shorts and maybe even legs altogether -- I'd cut them off and we could all hover around in Professor X chairs or shiny cylinders decorated with brass balls like the Daleks use. Get yours equipped with a special face-sucking plunger attachment for an additional $299!

Rapists beware.''The One Thing You Must Give Up to Have Utterly Satisfying Sex''

Aaand the bullshit continues with "The One Thing You Must Give Up to Have Utterly Satisfying Sex", an article that tells women to surrender... to their "right to be randy," "sexual selfishness," and eventual orgasm: that is, the article claims that women often fail to have satisfying sex because they lack "the ability to surrender completely to the erotic experience." This is another common tactic of Cosmo cover blurbs -- whereas sometimes the mere title of the article would be enough to convince an intelligent audience that the content will be bullshit, here the magazine pretends to contain information that might actually be conducive to facilitating a more sharing sexual relationship and instead tells women to basically be insensitive bitches who concentrate only on getting off "without thinking for a second about reciprocating." Yep, that's a quote. It's probably true that women who practice this bedroom philosophy have far more "fun" in bed, but it seems utterly hypocritical in a magazine that also purports to tell women how to cultivate lasting relationships. Bleah.

Oh ho ho, more stories of grody chicks on one night stands!"She Caught a Rapist With a Straw" is probably the most intriguing article in the piece as well as the most interesting thing on the cover, as you read it and wonder how this sex-crimes detective managed to pull that one off. The actual answer, of course, is less interesting than you might imagine -- I rightly guessed that it had something to do with DNA analysis, but the headline also lends itself to frenzied restaurant chase scenes and the use of a plastic silly straw to handcuff a rapist with really tiny wrists -- but it's easily the most substantial piece in the entire magazine. Naturally, it's also the one that doesn't purport to offer women any advice about what they should do short of being on the lookout for sketchy guys in their neighborhoods. And that's why this article scares me.

Okay, the guy was a rapist and the DNA evidence from his straw matched the saliva they found on the breasts of some poor girl he raped, but they didn't know it was him and they didn't bring him into the station for questioning or anything official like that. No sir! Instead, the detective in the story just followed her hunch and stole this guy's spit from a straw at the local Taco Bell. I've got some familiarity with being perceived as creepy -- hell, I've actually been accused of stalking and raping women on several occasions when really following people around is waaay too much work IMHO -- and it pisses me off to know that there are lawless legal officers and forensic analysts out there who may be studying my spit in a crime lab at this very moment. And who knows what they'll do with it then? It's no secret that detectives will sometimes plant evidence in order to secure convictions and get open cases off the books, and it's pretty easy to claim that you found the saliva sample that you actually got off some poor schmuck's drinking straw at the scene of a multiple rape homicide. Where the hell else would you have gotten the spit, right? The DA doesn't know you've been casing the local fast food joints for just such an opportunity. I'm never eating out again. :(

I didn't read the diet tips the so-called experts don't dare tell you, but I'm going to have to guess that if the experts won't tell you there's probably a good reason for it -- maybe, for example, that puking your guts out into a urine-stained public toilet and developing an all-consuming heroin habit aren't exactly the healthiest ways to lose weight. In keeping with the "rules" of the cover review thing, I didn't exactly feel compelled to bother with the "wickedly funny walk-of-shame" stories either. Admittedly, those things can be kind of funny -- at first -- but once you've read one or two of them you've essentially read them all. Running to the car wearing the guy's curtains pales in comparison to stories about women who accidentally shit on their mens' crotches during lap dancing foreplay. Besides, the part that I really want to know -- namely, how he reacted to having his curtains stolen by a crazy naked bitch -- isn't generally included in these brief accounts. Wait, lemme check. Nope, doesn't say anything about that, but apparently the reason the chick was forced to wear the drapes was because when she woke up she discovered that there was vomit all over her clothes. Real winner there, mmhmm.

''Not knowing where you'll be touching him next will keep him in a heightened state of arousal.''

Finally, we come to what is arguably the main draw of the issue with the possible exception of the Britney Spears interview: "Your Guy's Body: 4 Secret Pleasure Trails Every Man Has". How stupid are women to believe that four techniques will please every guy in the world??? Whereas these kinds of articles usually open with some kind of admission that the cover line is bullshit and that this stuff won't work on all men, this one's kind of explicit about it through and through -- and while it would make sense if the article were saying fairly obvious things like "all men like to be appreciated by their lovers" (although I guess even that's not entirely true of men who like do be dominated and treated like shit), this particular piece is advocating some ridiculous Family Circus style lovin' that I, for one, would find goddamned annoying as all hell. Consider the Family Circus comics in which little Billy went all over the fucking world to pick a flower or pet a cat that was right fucking next to him when he started off on his dotted-line journey. That he just happened to feed the neighbor's dog and dodge falling bombs in Afghanistan along the way didn't make the strips funnier and more intriguing -- it was just fucking dumb because we always knew how they were going to end up. Same goes here: men know it's all going to end with the chicks sucking their joysticks like a hardcore arcade gamer with no arms or legs. Why not get that shit over with already so the guys can go play foosball and watch sports and drink beer? I mean, that is how Cosmo assumes that all men behave, right? Women had better be careful using the above strategy, because I can think of a lot of guys for whom these trails would end at his fist and leave her with busted lips. David Hasselhoff, for example.

''a declaration of independence'' my ass.''nothing crazy!'' you say? :/

And yeah, I know this is supposed to be a cover review, but I figured we'd close with a couple of interior ads that I just had to note. I think the Tommy Girl perfume ad best captures the the complete stupidity of these women's magazines in general. They purport to tell women how to fill their lives with superficial interactions and red pumps and thoughts about as substantial as the cloud of hairspray constantly orbiting their empty heads and yet you get ads that allege that -- somehow -- wearing fucking name brand perfume is tantamount to "a declaration of independence." What the fuck? There's even a United States flag flying in the background. Now, this mentality may be an accurate representation of American culture, but it is in no way a declaration of independence. In fact, if you were somehow swayed by this ad (assuming that it didn't come with a free sample that my sister used), that is arguably evidence of your dependence upon Cosmo to tell you what fragrance you should wear in the first place! Once more, I call bullshit. And then -- just several pages after the table of contents -- we find Katie Holmes pitching Garnier Lumia hair brightening cream. Now, celeb testimonials are common fare, but what set me off on a fit of giggles was Katie's supposed quote: "OK, my hair needed a change... nothing crazy!" That's right -- nothing crazy, folks! I guess that didn't apply to your love life, eh soon-to-be Mrs. Couch-jumping Scientology freak? I find it hard to believe that Katie Holmes ever uttered the words "nothing crazy" in the same sentence without following it up with nervous laughter and sidelong glances, but there it is in the February 2002 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine! I hope Katie's repented, because if there were ever a publication designed to confound women and further enslave them to Xenu's diabolical design, it's definitely Cosmo. Be very afraid.

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