Cosmo’s health and beauty magazine must stick to its subject, Liz Whiston writes

Cosmo’s health and beauty magazine must stick to its subject, Liz

Whiston writes

It’s the first sunny Sunday we’ve had this spring and I should be

rollerblading in Regent’s Park or swimming to improve my upper arms.

Instead, I’m reviewing Zest, Cosmopolitan’s health and beauty

supplement, now a magazine in its own right.

This is very frustrating.

The last time I read Cosmo, I sadly realised I had grown up. It bored me

stupid. Zest seems to be targeted at a slightly older audience. Sex is

mentioned only twice on the cover and inside it’s discussed in an

intellectual sort of way. Yes, there’s an article on orgasms, but it’s

all about how many seconds they last, not how to get one.

The rest of the articles jump from one part of the body to another. But

it’s not just leotards and weights. There’s also a good smattering of

alternative-type articles mixed in, because this is the 90s. There’s a

feature on past life therapy and another on the Saturn effect on our

lives. Which I suppose is health and beauty for your mind.

Then there’s a section on summer dresses. Isn’t this starting to go off

the subject a bit?

Which brings me to my conclusion. There must have been a very good

reason for Cosmo to launch a health and beauty magazine. And spring is

the right time. But almost every other woman’s magazine also includes

articles of this type - they just have other things in there as well.

And if Zest starts to go off the subject, then it’s no longer a ‘health

and beauty magazine’ but competing with the likes of Cosmo, Marie

Claire, Company etc.

The fact is, there is nothing very different about it - its layout, its

tone of voice, its cover. What is different is its focus. It’ll be

interesting to hear how well it sells. Now I’m off to the gym.

Liz Whiston is the lithe creative partner at the HHCL Brasserie