Copyright: Cosmopolitan UK/Rachell Smith/PA Wire

Cosmopolitan magazine recently revealed their latest cover for January 2020, and it’s safe to say it’s not your typical edition.

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness became the first non-female British celebrity on the cover for the first time in 35 years. Van Ness has stated that he identifies as non-binary and gender non-conforming, but his preferred pronouns are “he/him/his”.

The Van Ness cover has had a similar response to the, now famous, Tess Holliday cover. She is a plus-size model and some saw the cover as revolutionary, tackling the size 0 beauty standards defined by the industry. Others believe it promotes obesity and unhealthy living. Whatever your take the issue sold well and got the world talking about plus-size models, Tess Holliday and Cosmo.

Image result for tess holliday cosmo
Copyright: Cosmopolitan

Van Ness may well break down more barriers for cover models in years to come. Yet, the issue of wrongly identifying him as a male because of his physical appearance, and not recognising his gender as non-conforming, has led to the question of whether different genders should be put on the cover. Should Cosmo be redefining what gender is on their front covers for 2020 as it’s no longer black and white of man and woman?

The last non-female on the cover of Cosmo UK was singer Boy George in 1984, and boy band One Direction were featured on the cover in 2012.

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Legendary drag queen RuPaul recently starred on the cover of Vanity Fair for the 2019/2020 holiday special. Drag culture is growing rapidly and developing more into mainstream, with the UK version of Drag Race airing on BBC iPlayer. Cosmo are yet to put a famous drag queen or king on their cover, but following from Van Ness this could well be the next step for them.

Copyright: Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz

Drag queen Bianca Del Rio has had huge success in the UK, with her own comedy tour across the country and starring in Everybody’s Talking about Jamie in London. Surely, this combined with her success as a Drag Race winner and named as number one on the top 100 Most Powerful Drag Queens in America in June 2019 by New York Magazine should lead to her being put on the cover?

Showcasing fresh ideas and being relevant to 2019 culture could help Cosmo as they have seen 32 per cent year-on-year. The Van Ness cover could redefine what they put on their front cover as gender is no longer seen as just male and female. Drag artists, trans people and non-conforming genders could be a clean slate for Cosmo and lead them to be a revolutionary magazine in 2020.

The latest edition of Cosmo is available across the UK in most shops for £2.