In the hierarchy of fashion and beauty magazines, where do you rank Cosmopolitan? Not above VOGUE or ELLE, right? Probably below Marie Claire and Flare and Harper’s Bazaar? How about Glamour? I was all about Cosmo when I was 17. And I probably haven’t picked up a Cosmo since I turned 20.
Scarlett Johansson, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, definitely on the highest level, covers the newest issue of Cosmo. And this surprised me, seeing her today in the magazine. Because, well, when Scarjo’s on promotion, in this case for The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War (the junket is this weekend, the Avengers are coming), I can’t imagine that she’d have a hard time landing a top tier magazine cover. But. But. We already know that Beyoncé's taken over ELLE for the May issue. Who could possibly have taken over VOGUE for May 2016 that would be a bigger get than Scarlett Johansson?
So anyway, it’s Scarjo and Cosmo and the magazine has released a preview of the piece with Scarjo taking on big subjects ranging from Planned Parenthood to the gender pay gap to when she hit “rock bottom”. Let’s start with the conversation that seems to be making her angry – as it should:
On cutting the budget for Planned Parenthood: "There are countries at war, there's terrorism, global warming, and we're like, 'We should definitely cut the budget for Planned Parenthood. Let's take away the availability of women's health initiatives!'… It's nuts. We're talking about preventing cervical and breast cancers. Growing up, I used [PP's] services. All my girlfriends did—not just for birth control but for Pap smears and breast exams. You read about the rise of back-alley abortions, women having to mutilate themselves and teenagers having to seek help in unsafe conditions, and for what?! We're moving backward when we're supposed to be moving forward."
Yes. A thousand times yes. And I’ll take it a step further in my outrage because, to me, diminishing Planned Parenthood is an attack on women. These are services supporting women. And any time someone decides to take away resources that provide women with knowledge and safety about and around their health, it’s an assault on a basic right for women to care for themselves. So I appreciate that Scarlett isn’t restrained in her response here. Because it’s infuriating. It’s beyond infuriating.
As for her position on equal pay, the issue that has been dominating not only her industry but every industry:
"There's something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole… I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I'm proud to be an actress who's making as much as many of my male peers at this stage… I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I'm addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It's part of a larger conversation about feminism in general."
Smart. Acknowledging that she’s not exactly in a position to complain. But don’t let the second point slide either – that Scarlett Johansson, in the prime of her career, makes as much as her male peers in the prime of their careers. You’ll recall, not even Jennifer Lawrence could say the same, at least not until recently. That should give you some idea, again, of Scarjo’s status in Hollywood.
And yet she too can be stupidly self-destructive in love:
"Long, long ago, I had someone in my life who was forever unavailable...but, like, so attractively unavailable. You have to get to your breaking point… rock bottom is the moment when you're like, 'I've lost myself. Why am I standing outside this bar at 1:30 in the morning texting while my friends are inside? Or taking a taxi to see him at some ungodly hour? This isn't me.' That is the moment you've gotta cut it off. Otherwise, it will keep coming back, suck your blood."
Oh MY GOD, you’ve been there, right? And she described it so perfectly. Don’t we all have that f-cker in our past who turned us into someone else? You know, you KNOW when you’re parked outside his place at 3am, knowing he’s not home, but needing to be there anyway because it’s as close as you’re going to get, and your shame in that still isn’t enough to point you somewhere else, you know in that moment you’re no good. Hopefully, though, you’ll figure out eventually that neither is he.
So. Who? Jared Leto or Josh Hartnett?
Click here for more of Scarjo in Cosmo.