Women’s magazines are schizophrenic.

According to some of the mainstream print magazines, I have two phases.

Phase one takes place in high school, in which I am supposed to have several boyfriends, take the “Are You Ready For Sex?” quiz, do a lot of volunteer work, get an internship (all while wearing “Fun and Flirty” clothes and makeup), and then apply to colleges, and learn about how to navigate my first frat party.

Phase two takes place after college, in which I have the type of job that warrants a pantsuit (and warrants tips on how to “sex up” that pantsuit), the type of sex life that warrants acrobatic positions, and the type of disposable income that allows me to buy department store cosmetics, and pricey, but “Sexy!” clothes.

There seems to be a bit of a gap between these two periods. After all, a quick survey of my friends shows that we ar either pursuing an education, or living on our own, and working full time in order to pursue an education. But there doesn’t seem to be any sort of publication that caters to an audience that isn’t in high school, but isn’t Cosmo’s ideal young professional woman.

Perhaps this Seventeen/Cosmo divide is a reflection of the virgin/whore dichotomy. We’re either anxious at having our first kiss, or we’re doing reverse cowgirl handcuffed while on a private jet. Why can’t there be something in between?

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3 Responses to Women’s magazines are schizophrenic.

  1. Katie E says:

    I agree completely, and think that the virgin/whore dichotomy you pointed out between the magazines is brilliant.

    However, the use of “schizophrenic” in this context is extremely ableist, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t use it. The blog FWD has a lot of information on stuff like this:
    http://disabledfeminists.com/

  2. Elena says:

    Holy crap! A comment!

    I am going to address a lot of the abelism/heteronormativity/cissexism/other examples of intersectionality in Cosmo in a later post.

  3. Katie E says:

    Well, that’s great, but it doesn’t contradict the ableism in the title of this post. I admire you as a writer and a person, and I have no doubts that I will enjoy you writings on intersectionality in Cosmo, but ableism is ableism. We can’t fight oppression unless we attack it in all the forms it manifests.

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