We have a confession to make.
We read the May issue of Cosmopolitan. Okay, and the April issue also. We went on a trip at the end of March that involved long boring train rides! We’ll try not to let it happen again, especially since we’ve learned that for all of their willingness to talk openly about sex and encourage their readers to have a lot of it, the editors of Cosmo can also be pretty judgmental when it comes to expressions of sexuality that break their arbitrary rules.
There's a section in the front of the magazine called "Cosmo News", which I can only assume means "here in Cosmoland we think this information qualifies as news", because it's all stuff about Zac Efron and random studies about kissing and the new trendy style of sandals among celebrities. On the "Hot Sheet" page, there's a little sidebar on "What's Not So Hot", and the victim this month is Pam Anderson:
What's Not So Hot: Acting Age-Inappropriate
You can still be hot in your 40s. You cannot, however, do it by acting like you did when you were in your 20s.
This little love note is accompanied by a couple of images of Pam wearing a revealing bathing suit/bodysuit/sparkly thing, and one of them is captioned, "Her sons must be psyched."
[Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images via Zimbio]
Now first of all, this is Pam Anderson we’re talking about. If ever there was a woman who is just never going to be stereotypically “age appropriate”, it’s her. One of the listed occupations on her Wikipedia profile is “sex symbol”, for fuck’s sake. So to even write something like this about someone like her just strikes me as the laziest form of bitchiness. It’s like writing an open letter to Charo asking her to tone down the sparkly perkiness already.
Then there’s the fact that the photos Cosmo chose to use are from Pam’s surprise appearance on the runway during the finale of the Richie Rich show at Fashion Week earlier this year. It’s not like she was randomly walking down the street in this outfit, although for Pam I suppose that wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility. Here’s the context that this lovely Dear Pam letter left out – Richie Rich, formerly of Heatherette, is known for fun, wild, crazy, glittery, over-the-top clothes and shows. The tagline for this one, Rich’s first solo show, was “Blondes Have More Fun!” He's also collaborating with Pam on a new casual line called Muse and said about her, "Pam is an outdoorsy and summer kind of girl who I have been friends with forever. We share the same wild and crazy aesthetic. And she has long been my inspiration." So these photos that Cosmo found so inappropriate are of Pam doing a job that she’s uniquely qualified to do for a client that, from the looks of the video, is pretty damn happy to be sharing the stage with his fun, wild, sexy, over-the-top, crazy blonde inspiration and friend.
So what’s the problem? If the finale of the show had featured a 22 year old model in the same outfit acting the same way, would anyone care? Would the photos have even been on Cosmo’s radar? I doubt it. Apparently, according to the editors of Cosmopolitan, once you reach a certain age you’re not allowed to be too sexy or show off your body too much. Hmm. I wonder how they felt about those Helen Mirren bikini photos that made the rounds a few months ago. Or maybe those are okay, because they were from a private vacation, while Pam’s crime is being too public with her body and her age inappropriate sexuality.
Which brings us to the “her sons must be psyched” photo caption, which is probably the most annoying part of this. There’s the fact that the editors of a dumbass magazine like Cosmo feel that it’s their place to sit in judgment. And then there’s that not-at-all-dated idea that mothers aren’t allowed to be too sexy, because what about the children? Of course, her sons are little boys, so I doubt that they’re attending their mother’s fashion shows or Las Vegas performances or anything where she would be dressed this way, since that wouldn’t be age appropriate for them. I also doubt that, at their ages, they have particularly strong opinions about their mom’s sexuality. They probably care more about the fact that she, you know, loves them and takes care of them and stuff. Hell, maybe she’s even taught them that a woman’s value as a person shouldn’t be determined solely by her sexuality or what she does with her body. And hopefully she’ll also teach them that when they’re old enough to date, they should be suspicious of women who believe everything they read in Cosmo.