First of all, I think Cosmo has tweaked its font since last I looked, and they’ve definitely overhauled their vibe this year; I assume they’re concerned that the Cosmo of yore just doesn’t appeal to Gen Z (after all, Gen Z can get their weird sex tips for free on the internet; when I was a youth, we did not have that option). Ironically, I think their moving away from Classic Cosmo — big hair, cleavage, wind machine, leaning against a wall sexily — has made them feel a little more generic? This cover could be Harper’s Bazaar. Which is, of course, a compliment in the general sense: This is a very GOOD cover and it looks more high fashion than Cosmo has tried in the past, simply because high fashion was not Cosmo’s niche. Very cute outfits for dates was Cosmo’s vibe, and of course there was a big market for that! (The corollary was InStyle, RIP, where the vibe was Rich Married Lady.) But I don’t know if stepping way away from your legacy brand is gonna do anything for a print mag at this point. As sad as that is to say. Regardless, it’s a good cover. Maddie Ziegler obviously knows how to move.

The cover story is very honest, and to be frank, it low-key bummed me out in a way. Ziegler has been famous FOREVER and she’s still incredibly young. I kind of want her to just take whatever money she’s made — which has hopefully been in a trust for her — and go off to college and be left alone for a few years. Dance Moms was NOT good for this child:

Have you watched the series as an adult? Never.


I did watch a little bit of an episode from the very beginning to show my boyfriend because I was like, “You cannot watch this, but I’ll show you what I looked like.” And we both were like, “This is sad. We need to turn this off.”

She talks a lot about how she’s in therapy now, and seems to have excellent perspective on celebrity — she comes across, over all, as a very good egg — but as much as she claims to want to be an actor now (and I believe her), it’s hard to read these pieces sometimes from my perspective as a middle-aged person and not think, “maybe go study anthropology for four years at a small college where people will leave you alone and then see how you feel.” Anyway! It’s a good profile.

The rest of the interior shots are pretty good, too, and worth an eyeball. This is quite a good shot:


When we played with the parachute in PE as a kid, it was NOT this glamorous.

Photos: Josefina Santos for Cosmopolitan