Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

The Daily Deal

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The copy for this Living Social Daily Deal here is as follows:

“When athletes are looking to step up their game, they turn to their playbook. As fun, fearless females all about winning the game of life, we have Cosmo. With today’s champion of a deal, you’ll get all of the best in fashion, beauty, relationships, health, entertainment, and more from the experts at Cosmopolitan magazine for a year for just $8 (a $15 value). Published in 34 languages and sold in more than 100 countries around the world, Cosmo is the authority on the issues that women really care about. Whether you’re looking to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts, learn about the latest in celebrity hairstyling, or figure out what your guy is really thinking in the bedroom, this mag’s got you covered. Score today’s deal now and count yourself a winner.”

In case you missed what’s most important about this text, let’s zoom in at this lovely juxtaposition:

“…Cosmo is the authority on the issues that women really care about. Whether you’re looking to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts, learn about the latest in celebrity hairstyling, or figure out what your guy is really thinking in the bedroom, this mag’s got you covered.”

I’m not sure what the set-up at Living Social is, but I assume it’s something along the lines of Groupon, where they spin lots of PR press about the company into something that’s a little more exciting. Though it doesn’t seem like they’re worried about making broad, sweeping generalizations. Though maybe I’m the rare woman who doesn’t really consider learning “about the latest in celebrity hairstyling” an issue “women really care about.”

A big shout-out to KB & Amulya via Liz, without whom I never would have seen this, as I don’t live in D.C. and wouldn’t consider this a deal even if I did.

Burt

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In April 1972, Cosmopolitan published a nude centerfold of actor Burt Reynolds, lying on a bearskin rug, grinning at the camera. The layout became a national sensation. Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown, who had spent seven years searching for an appropriate famous man to do such a spread, wrote a letter to her readers describing the thousands of copies sold and the newsstands’ that were stampeded over this issue of the magazine. She was not exaggerating. One group of women, who described themselves as “The Girls in the Office” from San Francisco, CA wrote, “We work in a very casual engineering firm. Each month a new Playboy centerfold went up – and our egos, down. But now, because of you, there is a beautiful centerfold of Burt on our section of the wall. It hasn’t done much for the fellows, but for us girls – WOW! Keep them coming; we have much more wall space.” Brown, pleased with the response, explained that though this was a huge victory for women and men, the magazine wouldn’t stop with just one pictorial. The editors were “…quietly thinking about our next victim – I mean subject! If there’s a man you’d particularly like to see nude (famous, dear…that dishy account executive in your office won’t do), I’d appreciate your dropping a postcard to COSMOPOLITAN.”

And so begins my thesis. It has been done for over two weeks, and I still can’t get it entirely out of my head. I look at this picture and yes, there’s a lot of hair and a lot of fur and it’s super-70s and ridiculous. On the other hand, what does it say that for “us girls — WOW!” was the response from women when it was published? Sure, part of the sensation was how rare male-objectification of this kind was at this time. But what would it take now for women to be so moved by an image that they’d literally stampede a newsstand?

Related: If This Is Cosmo’s Definition Of ‘Naughty’, Their Next Cover Had Better Promise ‘Deranged Perverts’ [Jezebel]
A Naked Burt Reynolds Makes DirecTV Pitch [AdFreak]
Lawson Clarke – copywriter

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