Daily News Roundup

October 16, 2018

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16

Cosmopolitan magazine to stop publishing its Australian edition after 45 years

The local edition of Cosmopolitan, which alongside Cleo became a pioneering magazine for women, will close this year after 45 years of publishing.

December’s issue will be the last, said Paul Dykzeul, CEO of the magazine’s publisher, Bauer Media ANZ.

“It has not been an easy decision to make, however the commercial viability of the magazine in Australia is no longer sustainable,” he said in a statement.

Cosmo, as it came to be known, started life in the US in 1886, initially publishing a significant amount of fiction by writers including HG Wells, whose The War of the Worlds was serialised in 1897.

It was not until the 1960s, under the guidance of celebrated feminist Helen Gurley Brown, that it took on its current identity as an outlet, aimed at modern single women, that was unafraid to tackle then-taboo topics like sex.

The magazine also explored relationships, beauty, style and women’s health through a mix of reporting, columns and photoshoots.

“When I was 20 years old, Cosmo was a rite of passage,” said Bronwyn McCahon, who started her career at the magazine before spending a decade as editor-in-chief.

“If you wanted to know something as a teenage girl or a young woman, you couldn’t get on [the internet] and Google it or go onto blogs — they didn’t exist.

“Cosmo was that magazine that you waited for to help solve your emotional angst about things, whether it was something that was happening with your body or a relationship.”

The Australian edition, which launched the careers of many journalists, was one of more than 60 international versions published in 35 languages.

The magazine appointed a new editor, Lorna Gray, in July, at which point Bauer said Cosmopolitan was seeing “steady audience growth”.

The local version of Cosmo has now gone the way of other Bauer Media titles Men’s Style and Cleo, which closed in 2016 after 40 years in print.

Rolling Stone Australia, the local edition of another magazine born of the American counter-culture era, closed earlier this year.

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South Korean women are destroying cosmetics and cutting their hair short to fight back against unrealistic beauty ideals in what is being dubbed the “escape corset” movement, reports the ABC.

In posts across Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms, women have been denouncing the use of cosmetics and a culture that pressures as many as one in three women to undergo some form of plastic surgery.

One post on Instagram by user 6_feminist_9confessed that she had low self-esteem and felt she had to use makeup as a mask just to leave the house.

“I liked pretty things. I wanted to be pretty. I hated my ugly face,” she posted.

“Self-esteem came and went. I was always putting on makeup. I did not go to school on days when I did not have good makeup.

“But now you do not have to. It does not have to be pretty. In the meantime, I took off the mask that plagued me and ruined my life.”

Another user said: “Today is one month since I decided to cut my hair and take a bath!”

“Cosmetics, lenses, and clothes that are not easy to wear are now used as memorials.”

It is the latest development in the Asian country’s exploding feminist movement in the age of #MeToo, in a country that was ranked a poor 116 out of 144 countries on gender equality by the World Economic Forum.

The women abandoning demanding cosmetic regimens call themselves “beauty resisters” and are part of a broader push back against South Korea’s highly patriarchal society which places a huge emphasis on a woman’s appearance as being key to success in life.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he is considering following Donald Trump’s lead by moving Australia’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, days out from the Wentworth by-election, Australian Associated Press reports.

Mr Morrison has also announced a review into support for the Iran nuclear deal and declared Australia will this week vote against the Palestinian Authority chairing a United Nations group.

The major shifts in Middle East foreign policy come five days out from a crucial by-election in the Sydney seat of Wentworth, where 12.5 per cent of voters are Jewish.

The prime minister dismissed questions about the timing of his announcement.

But he has credited the Liberal Party’s Wentworth candidate Dave Sharma, a former Australian ambassador to Israel, with raising the embassy issue.

“Australia’s position on this issue has, to date, assumed that it is not possible to consider the question of the recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem and that be consistent with pursuing a two-state solution,” he said.

“You can achieve both and indeed by pursuing both you are actually aiding the cause for a two-state solution.”

Mr Morrison insisted the coalition government remained committed to pursuing a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

“But frankly, it hasn’t been going that well. Not a lot of progress has been made, and you don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the prime minister was playing “dangerous and deceitful” word games ahead of the Wentworth poll.

“This is a bloke who is prepared to do and say anything to hold on to his parliamentary majority,” Senator Wong told reporters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly praised Mr Morrison on the Jerusalem issue.

If Australia does proceed, it will be following the US which earlier this year moved its embassy, effectively recognising the holy city of Jerusalem as the ‘true’ capital of Israel.

It would also be a major departure from the position taken by former prime minister Mr Turnbull and former foreign minister Julie Bishop.

Speaking to ABC radio, Mr Sharma pointed out he first made comments around moving the embassy in May and said the way the US moved its embassy was not consultative.

Mr Sharma said he would have preferred the US stick with the Iran deal but it made sense for Australia to review its position in light of the withdrawal.

Labor and the coalition – along with the United Kingdom, France, Germany – have until now backed the Iran nuclear weapons deal.

In March, Ms Bishop criticised the US for pulling out and recommitted Australia to support the deal, under which Iran agreed to slow its nuclear research and development program and allow weapons inspections in exchange for the removal of international sanctions.

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