Cosmo: major cleavage, minor changes

February 19, 1997|By Jean Marbella

Cosmo girls who have been quaking in their do-me shoes and holding their bustier-ed breaths can relax.

The first issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in the post-Helen Gurley Brown era, on newsstands now, is as refreshingly retro and singularly obsessed as ever.

Bonnie Fuller's first issue marks a true changing of the guard -- she is 40 years old, compared to the legendary Brown's 75, and thus at least within short-term-memory distance of Cosmo's twentysomething readership.

Fuller has added a cleaner design and a somewhat updated sensibility, but respectfully keeps the wild and wacky Cosmo girl aesthetic that Brown personified in print and in person.

Here's what we spotted in a page-by-page comparison of Brown's final issue (February) and Fuller's first (March).

Cover cleavage

OLD: Claudia Schiffer, age 26

NEW: Laetitia Casta, age 18

The Look

OLD: Red lips and nails, big hair, just out of or heading to bed, lingerie and lace, Manola Blahniks

NEW: Sleeker and more designer-y, long straight hair, dark nail polish, pierced belly button, Manola Blahniks

Editor's note

OLD: Under the cozy "Step into my parlor," Helen dishes, dot-dot-dots and italicizes like mad, calls everyone pussycat and constantly asks, Okay? Breezy, if dated and somewhat cloying, but very HGB.

NEW: Now called simply "From the editor," Bonnie runs from the personal spotlight and uses her space to answer reader's letters. This month's two missives: I had a one-night stand with my boss and now I'm pregnant. I'm a college freshman and was drugged by a guy at a party. Okay!

The Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy Meter

OLD: Carolyn who?

NEW: How to dress in denim like her, followed some 50 pages later with how to get her "society blonde" hair

One track mind

OLD: "How to be very good in bed," "Just how far should you go to please a man?" "A woman's sexuality -- how it gets better as she ages," "Sexiest shoes in the universe," "Tempestuous lover or Mr. Nice?"

NEW: "His and her orgasms," "How to make the sex so good he'll be groveling," "Lover labels," "Saturday night sexy," "Watching the one you love make love to another," "Is it okay for a woman to fake an orgasm?"

Demi Moore -- or less?

OLD: Featured as one of the "Big 10" Hollywood power ladies

NEW: "Bruce doesn't mind when Demi bares it for big bucks."

Better late than never

OLD: "Isn't it time you got cybersmart?"

NEW: "Five couples battling HIV"

The Cosmo quiz

OLD: "Are you too generous or too stingy?"

NEW: "Are you high maintenance?"

A voice from the other side

OLD: George Plimpton on what Jackie O would tell Princess Di

NEW: Howard Stern on how to live with a beast like him

Pub Date: 2/19/97

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