With apologies to Gina, the first thing that jumps out at me about this cover is not her presence, but rather the lack of something: Namely, the word SEX is not screaming at us in supersize capital letters. Yes, it’s down there on the right, but tiny; no one is yelling at us about sex secrets or positions or tips, and there are no more asinine emojis. It’s almost an exercise in restraint. Time will tell whether this is an anomaly, or a new Cosmopolitan direction, but it’s certainly very interesting. (However, for what it’s worth, I don’t think Cosmo needs to be trying to get us to side-eye whether our friends have sketchy sex habits, and are lying about it. Buzz off, Cosmo.)

All the fonts are different, too, and they’ve caught a touch of Glamour’s old scribble disease. It looks cleaner and slightly more adult, but also a little as if — much as with a few Vogues recently — an intern did it. Case in point: What is going on with the color scheme? Pinky-red in the masthead, orange on a headline, a green and black or navy dress, a minty/icy pale cardigan… None of the shades they picked like each other, the sweater and frock are actively fighting, and I have zero idea why Gina is nibbling on her lip. She’s bringing as much charisma as she can but the choices here are weird as hell. Like a rough draft.

Cosmo put the whole story up, which is a rarity. It’s fine. Given my critique of the cover, I paused on this bit:

“As I’m walking into my Cosmo cover shoot, thinking, Wow, I’m finally gonna be a Cosmo girl!, the doctor says, ‘[Her dog] Casper has no motor function in his legs.’” In the moment, all Gina could think about was how he was doing. But you’d never know it, looking at these photos. Because part of her job is to put a big-ass smile on her face, even when it’s the last thing she wants to do.

I do think you can kind of tell?



That is much better, although further from what Cosmo would use on a cover. It makes me wonder what other delights might be languishing on a memory card somewhere.

[Photos: Cosmo]