I commented on this when we featured the last cover, on which Emma Roberts was drinking a martini, and in which she was pretending to eat noodles and watermelon: Cosmo is in a serious “Hey Let’s Watch Female Celebrities Pretend to Eat” phase (I’m not saying these female celebs don’t actually eat; just commenting on the pose and photography). Now it’s Aubrey Plaza, holding what I suspect is a patently fake ice-cream cone that is not actually melting all down her arm, assuming she’s even holding it at all. It’s becoming a fetishist magazine. See Lana Condor flirt with heart-shaped pizza! See Charles Melton shove pasta at Yara Shahidi! Get your junk-food jollies here!
Aubrey as a human looks good — very sassy, which is as you’d expect — but this cover makes me laugh because I care about almost nothing on it, which further confirms that I’m out of the demographic. Does my bikini have a jacket? Hell no it doesn’t, and why would it? (It also doesn’t have buttons.) I have no interest in why millennials are the best in bed. I watched The Bachelor but have zero interest in hearing more about them and less than zero faith that “How Cassie Really Feels About Colton” contains any actual honest, unvarnished insights into their lives, and indeed, since when does Cosmo put a Bachelor/ette relationship story on its cover? Digital, sure, but on the book itself? And I am not going to read the Mercury Retrograde story because if it sucks for everyone but the generic “you,” then it’s supposedly going to suck for no one, har-har, except DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT? DON’T LEAD ME ON, COSMO.
And finally, the Plaza story isn’t even that satisfying. The author goes to great pains to describe an utterly random activity they did together, which ended up serving absolutely no use except for filler between quotes (“She requests a pipe cleaner from the other end of the table, which a mom passes to a kid who then passes it to her“) or for a gateway to the food porn (“We finish our bunnies, and Aubrey frowns at her creation, which, despite being technically perfect, is apparently “just standard.” Then we leave the museum for lunch at a diner a few minutes away. We settle on two stools at the counter to order burgers with sides of salad for her and fries for me and begin to plot which slice of pie we’ll split later“)(and yes, readers, it’s noted extensively just how many forkfuls they ate). In between, Plaza smirks through some photos, and we get descriptions of how funny she is, even though some of what’s laid out is not actually that amusing, like secretly whispering “penis vagina” over and over into a reporter’s tape recorder when they aren’t looking. If it sounds like I’m picking on Aubrey, I don’t mean to; the piece itself just never comes alive for me and the writer puts way too much of herself in it — like telling Aubrey how similar they are — and so it all ends up making me think, “Someday I would like to read an actual profile of Aubrey Plaza.”