Cosmo’s Bad Advice: Blueberry Yogurt Hair

You probably think making fun of Cosmo is taking the easy path to a blog post, and you’d be right. Everyone knows that their 1950s-era stereotypes of men and women are ridiculous and offensive. Their idea of gender relations is women changing themselves and working to “decode” men, who mostly just want to watch football and belch. Their language usage is almost its own pidgin–no word for “lesbian”, but 5000 strange euphemisms for “penis”. I’ve complained about all this before.

But I’ve decided to give Cosmo another chance. True, we may never agree on gender equality, body image, and what constitutes a good time, but that doesn’t mean everything they advise is complete crap. Right?

While moving recently I found myself using my bountiful collection of old Cosmos to pad things like dishes and picture frames, and there was something so satisfying about ripping out those photoshopped images and vapid articles, crumpling them up, and sticking them around all my tea sets. But, in the process, I actually ended up glancing at some of their brightly colored, bullet-pointed lists, where one piece of advice in particular caught my eye. It seemed kind of weird, so I thought I would try it. Here was the advice, from a list of beauty tips:

“Feed your (blond) hair–Fair-haired chicks can temporarily tweak their look with organic blueberry yogurt. Its violet-red juice makes blond hair look more Nicole Kidman-esque blush. Comb the yogurt through damp hair from roots to tips, then rinse after five minutes, says Knight. You’ll be a strawberry sexpot for a week and–bonus!–the nourishing yogurt will soften your strands.”–March 2010, Vol. 248, issue 3, pg 114

You know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dump something weird on my head! Even if I do trust Cosmo about as much as any other robot programmed with makeup knowledge and barely-concealed misogyny. I’m not sure if my hair is blonde enough for this experiment, being already an indecisive mix of blonde/dark blonde/red, but I tried anyway. Here’s a before shot:

Steven was home when I took these, but his caffeine tremors make it impossible to operate a camera, so they’re all self-shots

So after taking a normal shower and toweling off my hair a little so it was just damp instead of sopping, it was time to get to work with my yogurt and comb:

They didn’t specify how much you would need, so I went for this larger individual sized cup.

Combing it through was messier than you would think. I did it twice around, but had so much yogurt left over, I eventually just stood in the bathtub and spooned dollops onto my head, massaging it in like you would conditioner.

It was really cold.

This particular yogurt had actual blueberries in it, so I tried to smash those a little to release the juices onto my hair. Probably this was the weirdest sensation my scalp has ever felt, and picking squished blueberries out of my bathtub was definitely a new experience. Anyway, I eventually rinsed it out and waited for it to dry. Cosmo didn’t say anything about the drying process, although in hindsight I suspect they probably just assumed I would blow dry since what “fun, fearless female” doesn’t? Me, Cosmo, sorry. I know there’s a trick to it, but I always feel like I don’t have enough hands to accomplish this seemingly simple beauty feat, so air drying it was. Here’s the after shot:

Results… inconclusive?

This may have worked. Steven and I both studied my hair for awhile, unable to make a decision. Like I said, my hair’s already kind of darker and reddish, so it’s possible that this only works for lighter blondes who can use a blow dryer without hurting themselves. They were right that it did feel a little softer though! Although Steven complained that it smelled a lot like cheese. So, if you have some yogurt lying around and want your head to feel super weird, you might as well give this a shot. But if you’re actually banking on a noticeable change, I would recommend something else.

5 responses to “Cosmo’s Bad Advice: Blueberry Yogurt Hair”

  1. Rachel says:

    Your hair still looks great! Not coarse at all!

    • pladd says:

      Hey Shaniqua! Great to hear from you again! I heard about Helen Gurley Brown’s death when it happened, five days after I posted this, and like everyone, I took a moment to give thanks for this feminist icon. I really think her work for women during the sexual revolution was important and empowering, and I only wish the Cosmo we know today could be anything like as challenging to the status quo.

      I don’t really know what “rant” you’re talking about–my lukewarm reaction to blueberry yogurt as a hair tinter? That’s really what this post’s about, but if you want to see an actual Cosmo rant, I can totally provide one! It won’t be ignorant either, because I’ve had a subscription for the past three years (a gift) and have read all of them as an interesting primary source. Unfortunately, as I think I mentioned above, I got rid of most of my old copies during my recent move, so you’ll have to wait till I build up a stockpile again. I’d hate to provide you with an ill-sourced rant!

      I also am not really sure what insecurities you’re referring to. The fact that I can’t use a blow dryer? The fact that rubbing blueberry yogurt into my hair didn’t make it noticeably redder? Don’t worry, I’m cool with both those things. It’s true that Cosmo’s narrow definition of what it means to be a woman did make me feel insecure when I was a teenager, unable to wear make up or spend hundreds of dollars on clothes. But I’ve since found better role models and established my own concept of femininity. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about it sometime! Thanks for checking, though! Sometimes we don’t realize the insecurities we have until someone kind helps us through them! Thanks for having my back, Shaniqua. :-)

      • Shaniqua says:

        hey all im saying is that when i went over to my bf and squeezed his bicep and said “wow” it worked pretty much like cosmo said it would so based on my experience the only thing this proves is that the yogurt you used isnt actually organic

        looks like your local grocery story as some explaining to do


        • pladd says:

          I don’t know, Shaniqua, just because some of Cosmo’s tips worked, doesn’t mean they all will. Although now you’ve set up an interesting thought experiment: whom do I trust more? Cosmo or Harris Teeter? It’s a tough call.

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