Cosmo’s ‘cancer diet’ reveals opinion of female demographic


You'd be forgiven for thinking it was a satirical depiction of the media's obsession with weight loss.

You'd like to assume it was an exaggerated version of the importance society places on the scales.

And you'd hope that Cosmopolitan's astonishing decision to frame a story about cancer with a clickbait headline about weight loss was an ill-advised, but genuine attempt to highlight society's misplaced priorities, but it wasn't.  

How This Woman Lost 44 Pounds without *ANY* Exercise was a genuine article written by Elizabeth Narins about a woman who survived cancer.

As a magazine typically aimed at women, the headline suggests that Cosmopolitan believes the attention of their target demographic will only be piqued if the content effects our aesthetic.

In just 42 characters, Cosmo revealed what they really believe of their readers. In their eyes, we are – beneath it all –  people who rate weight, size and body measurements above health, vitality and quality of life.

We'll only read about Simone Harbinson's battle with cancer if it's prefaced with a few 'before and after' weight loss snaps, and we'll endure the grim reality of a life-threatening illness if we ultimately learn that Simone is now rocking a pair of size 8 jeans.

While the article itself does indeed focus on Simone's prognosis, diagnosis and unbalanced relationship with food as a result of her illness, the idea that Cosmopolitan felt it must frame a story about cancer with what appears to be a weight loss incentive is indicative of their perception of the female demographic.

And as Cosmo clearly didn't get the memo that women don't, in fact, consider weight loss the be-all and end-all, Twitter wasted no time informing them.





The publication has since changed its headline to A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever, but the damage is already done.

Note to Cosmopolitan and Elizabeth Narins: a story about a woman's battle with cancer is entitled to be just that.

Don't insult us – and more importantly, her – by assuming we need a cryptic message about a three-stone weight loss to care.