Parabolic structure of the magazine. We start from an important point: Cosmopolitan is a magazine that has to be read and not simply skim. For this reason, its publisher wants the consumers to have the use of the magazine from the first page to the last, and he leads the readers through the lecture step by step. Looking at the magazine, we can observe a continuous alteration between monthly, constant and regular appointments, and other articles, which are directed to impress the reader.
These articles, concerning various topics, but they are always focused on issues that represent the ‘assets’ of the magazine. It is possible to affirm that the reader attends a sort of multi-portion of the magazine, because the information is organized in a particular way: it offers three different reading levels. As we have already said, each number of Cosmopolitan starts with an editor letter. It continues with a broad section of headings of one, or at least, two pages, which belong to the summary section ‘Cosmo Upfront’.
We can mention ‘Stars who Rocked it…and Shocked it’; ‘Fashion What’s Sexy Now’; ‘Everyone’s Talking About’; ‘Lust Haves’; and so on. This whole first part of the magazine is called ‘Front of the book’. It has the function of gradually introducing the reader to the magazine. In fact, the first pages are usually dedicated to smallest stories which guarantee, in this way, a less heavy initial approach to reading. The central section called ‘Middle of the book’, is reserved for longer articles, of three, four, or even more pages. Many of these articles belong to the summary section ‘On the cover’.
They face the same arguments which have characterize the first part of the magazine, but with more attention to every detail. Moreover, the middle of the book is characterized, unlike the previous, by the presence of larger photos, full-page photos, and it ends with vast services of ten/fifteen pages, which are dedicated to beauty and fashion. In this section we can mention: ‘Kimberley’s Heartbreak’ (an article dedicated to the cover girl); ‘Explosive Sex Secrets! ’; ‘Buy-Now Wear-Tonight Steals’; ‘Would your Man Pay for Sex? ; and so on. The final part of the magazine, is called ‘End of the book’. Here the arguments are, once again, less demanding; they are usually of one page; they belong to habitual appointments: ‘The Secret of Being Happy’; ‘Fitness News’; ‘Book it’; ‘Cosmostrology’; and so on. Cosmopolitan publisher then provides a ‘parabolic’ structure of reading, raising in the early section belonging to ‘the front of the book’, to the longer articles of the ‘middle of the book’, and discending with the final section of ‘the end of the book’. Summary.
As soon as we open the magazine, after a couple of pages which are usually occupied by advertisements, we are in presence of the summary. Cosmopolitan summary is usually composed of two pages. On the top of these pages, our gaze is attracted by the name of the current month ( in black colour) and year (in pink colour), which are written in large cursive. The top half of the page is filled with photos. They are pictures that belong to internal services. They may represent women, men, women and men together, as well as glamour objects and accessories.
Their function is to give the reader a sort of preview and, in this way, they increase the consumer’s curiosity. Considering our example, we can notice that the first photo represents a couple in an intimate situation. It obviously refers to one of the main articles which belong to the section “ On the Cover”, that is “ Explosive Sex Secrets”. Next to it, here are three images related to jewels, shoes and other accessories. If we look at the second page, there are only two photos. The fist shows a woman’s silhouette, it is clearly taken by an “ Health and Beauty” service.
The second image is related to a fashion shoot. Below all these pictures, we can find the page number which tell us where each article is placed; moreover here are few descriptive words of the subject treated. Cosmopolitan is divided into several sections: On the Cover. It is always highlighted by a yellow box. It shows the main topics of the magazine. Cosmo’s happy list. Cosmo Upfront. Love, Sex and Success. News and Real Life. Fashion. The Man Manual. It is usually highlighted by a blue box. It emphasizes several articles about men and their world. The Beauty Bible.
You, You, You. Offers. In the first page, at the end of the last line, there is the symbol which indicates the continuation of the summary in the second page. The language adopted is full of abbreviations: it is an informal language. This analysis of Cosmopolitan summary wants to underline how, starting from this initial point, the graphics is more orderly. The page numbers are written in the same colour (pink), and for the various sections is also used the same colour ( black), avoiding strange shades of colours. So it gives the reader the impression of a greater composure.