Write an essay, which will draw on theories covered on the module to analyse two different media texts for their construction and representation of ideas, beliefs, values and feelings. I have chosen to base my analysis on gender advertising, by means of looking at two magazine covers both aimed at different genders, but roughly the same age groups, in order to understand what beliefs and values are shared and varied from one gender to another.
I will also look at different representations and the connotations of both the magazines, as this will also help me to understand the ideology of the images used and how each gender identifies with the magazine on a whole. Throughout the decades, women have been portrayed as if they were household objects, and were made to feel degraded by men, and not equal enough to take on the same lifestyles. Their sexual constraints allowed them to become objects of male satisfaction, whereby a typical image of a woman was either dressed to play a housewife or made to wear flesh-baring garments, portrayed as helpless victims.
Up until the late seventies nothing changed, but suddenly society changed its mind and single women some of which were career minded and others mothers, were not looked upon as the outside figures any longer, but as equals to men. The magazines The first magazine is primarily aimed at a female audience whose age groups vary from sixteen to twenty-five year olds, however some more mature women have also found this magazine particularly interesting due to its very wide range of contents.
The name ‘MORE! ‘ suggests and perhaps insinuates the female need for more gossip, and even in more sexual promiscuous terms their need for more satisfaction, within the sheets (or pages to be exact). The tag line also connotes this idea with the phrase ‘Smart girls get more! ‘ What identifies this magazine from cover alone to a female audience is the layout of the objects and the positioning of the girl, as well the inside articles.
The title itself is bold and is set apart from the rest of the cover as it is done using white Arial font, but done in lower case lettering. The fact that the mast-head is also put in front of the model instead of behind like most magazine covers, shows the magazine has more to offer than just a pretty faced girl. The connotations behind this idea could be due the amount of power female magazines have on young women today, as they not alone give tips but also sell ideas which are meant to be put into practice, such as fashion ideas and make-up guides.
They know that if they allow girls to feel and portray an image which follow in the foot-steps of their idols they are able to manipulate a large market into thinking a like, hence the power of the media. The image of the young girl is meant to identify with today’s typical young female, however being that she is a model she hasn’t a blemish on her skin and a figure society likes to think of as being perfect. However the way she is positioned and the pose which she has taken, leads us to think of her as a shy, innocent girl, but as she is baring some flesh that she also has a lot of sexual promiscuity surrounding her.
The ideology behind the concept of female identity is that we are assumed to all think the same and act in the same way, however this isn’t the case. What may work for one individual may not be the same for another. Magazines such as more use variations to embark on their audiences, as they know no two girls are the same. This is what makes ‘More’ work as a winning formula for a young women’s magazine, as it doesn’t stereotype its audience and allows them to choose what feels right for them, as some readers may be oppositional.
From cover alone you get a rough idea to what the typical issues brought up in the magazine are like, for instance the sub-heading for one article, which is sure to attract readers is: “Million Dollar Sex Do it like the filthy rich” No matter what gender you are sex always becomes a selling point for any market, as it has always been a subject which most people deem as dangerous ground but with pleasurable rewards.
The feature article for this sub-heading however is located near to the end of the magazine as an attempt to make the reading look through the whole magazine, before finally reaching their desired page. Going back to the idea that the magazine makes sexually references, the idea of waiting till the end can also be said for sexually acts, whereby the best part leads up to the main explosion. Other images which identify it, as a female magazine is the amount of semi-nude men, which unlike male magazines replace the semi-nude women, quite often seen.
Unlike any other magazine, more is one of the first magazines for a woman that has a nude centrefold of a male model, done very sensitively and as not to cause too much embarrassment to others. To men this is seen as degrading, but as a double-standard females are told to tolerate it from them as well as from tabloid newspapers, who all seem to share the same beliefs and representations of a women. Which brings us promptly onto male audiences and the ideas and values shared within a magazine aimed directly at men.
I have chosen a copy of the recent ‘MAXIM’ magazine, which bases most of its content on the world cup, which is due to start next month, foot-ball being another topic all men like to think they love and share as a pastime. If we take into consideration the representation of what men gain and interpret from the media, we can see an almost similar pattern to that of woman’s perception of society, with a few masculine charms to boot. Take the title ‘Maxim’; in order to gain the attention of a man, advertisers and the media have come to understand that objects, which state they are ‘BIG’, attract men.