I haven't read Cosmopolitan magazine since I was 16.
But as anyone's who has been inside a doctor's office knows, sometimes it only takes a 30-minute wait time to convince you that mindlessly flipping through a periodical, any periodical at all, couldn't be the worst way you could spend your time, right?
The first thing that caught my eye in this doctor's office copy of the May 2011 Cosmopolitan magazine (points for up-to-date issues) was an article called "Go Ahead, Check Yourself Out", which was basically a list of reasons why it's okay to look at yourself even though everyone knows that most women would typically do anything to avoid that (because if they did, they would seem vain or because women hate themselves or something, etc.).
Better still, the article's tagline was:
"You're always a babe, but there are very specific moments when you appear especially gorgeous. Our advice: Take a good, long, confidence-cranking look."
Moments like "after the big O" were highlighted as the perfect time to run to a mirror and stare at yourself for as long as possible. Which wasn't news to me.
I was raised in a very traditional household that —if nothing else— taught me the value of post-sex mirror-gazing —and most importantly, that it should occur as soon as you are done and not a second later.
The last thing you'd want is to either: a.) sit there and relax –-or— b.) miss an opportunity to turn sex into an excuse to spend fifteen luxurious minutes standing in front of a mirror without having to repeat "Wrong. Wrong. It's all wrong!" like you normally would.
Maybe Cosmo had the best of intentions. Maybe they do want to foster self-esteem. But I'm not sure how heading to the nearest reflective surface every time you "eat your veggies" (see: You look sooo beautiful when you diet!) or "right before it gets dark outside" (see: You look sooo beautiful when dimly lit!) is going to achieve that.
Even if you're not with me on the whole "TOP 5 MOMENTS IT'S OKAY TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT YOUR OWN FACE!" thing, that's fine. Cosmopolitan still had plenty of ads in this issue that will make you wonder what decade we're currently living in.
Such as an ad for the new Acuvue Oasys contact lenses, featuring a woman who looks like she is having some sort of breakdown while wearing a business suit, that reads:
"Break up with your uncomfortable contacts for good."
See? It's an ad specifically for women! Because we all know women can't stop going back to their disappointing/abusive/manipulative/no-good boyfriends and it's HARD. It really, really is.
That's why Acuvue Oasys doesn't expect women to end those relationships in favor of something more fulfilling because that's just not what women do, BUT they can break up with their contacts!
And at least that'll get rid of the physical pain associated with their uncomfortable contact lenses —if not the searing emotional pain of going to back to Barry again and again— am I right? High five!
So go ahead: keep a mirror in your kitchen so you don't miss how radiant you look while eating low calorie foods! Break up with something, anything so at least you can say you made a decision! Hell, do BOTH! You're worth it!
It's kind of comforting to know that in the ten years since I read my first issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, they're still exactly where I left them.