This cover idea is weird: “Okay, picture it: Nina Dobrev… FIXING HER SHOE. She squats, she acts like her foot came out… listen, all the kids today are, like, totally putting their shoes back on when they walk out of them. Trust me. It’s real. You’re going to love it.”

The weirder thing is, I do.

Look at her FACE. She is giving massive fierce smizey realness, which I know sounds ridiculous because most Top Model lingo is the opposite of real. (Also, Tyra Banks should co-opt that phrase and use it to title her autobiography. I would buy Massive Fierce Smizey Realness.) But the fact that Nina can hold this awkward pose, make it look almost graceful and as if maybe she actually is slipping her foot back into her shoe, and do so with that fantastic alluring expression… that’s pretty advanced stuff. That’s what Miss Tyra dreams of at night when she closes her eyes and sees visions of fledgling models dancing in her head. Nina looks like every bit the strong, single, badass heartbreaker that the cover line defines her as.

Even better: The hot pink and yellow motif makes her black-and-white houndstooth pop, and the way the text fits around her body emphasizes how surprisingly sexy the shoe-fix squat is. (I like that Joanna Coles’s Cosmo is stepping away from having every subject attempt the same pose every week. We still get the windblown hair and the confident attitude; we just don’t have to get it via a cookie cutter.) And finally, only one of the cover lines is about what people should do in the bedroom, and NONE of them beg me to converse with my genitals and/or offer up any cute synonyms for them. THAT would be a victory even if Nina Dobrev looked disastrous. Happily, she looks the opposite.

[Photo: Cosmo]