How Cosmopolitan and the feminist movement became unlikely allies

Saynsumthn's Blog

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan Magazine, recently in the news again for being dropped from checkout stands by Walmart, helped to push the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It did so by creating a “persona” of the perfect woman it labeled the “Cosmo Girl.” In her book, “Subverted: How I helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement,” author Sue Ellen Browder claims that the Cosmo Girl was a “mask the single girl, lonely and alone in the world, could put on to turn herself into the object of a man’s sexual fantasies.” Browder knows this well; she worked for Cosmopolitan Magazine under the direction of its editor, Helen Gurley Brown.

Image: Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan editor

The Cosmo Girl was “an illusion”

Helen Gurley Brown took over Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1965, when the magazine’s circulation was falling. A report by the New York Times detailed…

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