Friday night, as I waited for my Sydney-bound plane to take off, I flicked through May’s issue of Cosmo magazine, admiring the fashion and beauty, until coming across an article about the affects of birth control pills, The Pill: A Health Warning We Haven’t Been Getting.
The article brought light to the health complications that have arisen in users of the contraceptive pills, Yaz and Yasmin. Approximately 200,000 Australian take this form of contraception every day; around 700 of which have claimed they have suffered blood clots, heart attacks and strokes from taking the Yaz or Yasmin pills (Mayoh 2014). Articles such as this would create a serious discussion among the women that take that pill or similar brands, the Bayer Australia company (creators of the Yaz and Yasmin products) and among medical professionals.
After reading the article, I have been flicking through some of my older issues, to search for serious articles nestled in amongst the fashion ads and sex tips.
In the January, 2013 issue an article recounting the abduction and abuse of a young woman, gives readers (also young women) tips on how to stay safe and avoid getting into a similar situations.
The international Cosmopolitan magazine exists in the mediated public sphere, as a compilation of fashion, gossip, beauty and sex articles. However, between the pages filled with beautiful clothes and stunning models lies serious articles, with the purpose to inform and educate the reader. These articles engage an audience that is not typically targeted by the Current Affair-style programs. The feature writers, editors and editorial coordinators of Cosmo are young women, so they know how to relate to and engage their readers, as they are their peers. These articles are also presented in a form and forum that allows for debate in the public sphere. Readers are encouraged to write in with their experiences and opinions, but in a less formal way, it creates discussion between readers; women such as myself and my friends who draw on articles as stimulus for conversation.
Mayoh, L 2014, ‘The Pill: A Health Warning’, Cosmopolitan, May 2014, pp.64-65.
McGuire, A, ‘”I Was Abducted On My Way Home”‘, Cosmopolitan, January 2013, pp.68-71.