TARGETED MESSAGING 5
The“Cosmopolitan Magazine” appeals to youthful upper middle-classfemales and endorses attractiveness. The advertisements comprise ofcostly, name trademark trend and beauty products. The images in theadverts are majorly slender, white as well as appealing females.Articles in the “Cosmopolitan” are themed on fashion, sexualcategory, affairs and splendor, with several individual intereststories. Titles range from “Ways to fall in Love” and “What towear”. The “Maxim Magazine” targets youthful teenage males aswell as men in college. Advertisements concentrate on style, games,alcohol, cars and sporting events. They employ sexually appealingimages in indulging the reader. Articles entail issues like“Jump-Start your Sex Life” and “Worst Ideas Ever”.
Themagazines share similarities and disparities in their depiction ofmales and females. The magazine covers are similar as they bothcomprise of a slender female, most preferable a celebrity. The coveris aimed at inviting a male stare hence, the readers are positionedin a masculine subject-position. Matthews (2007) notes, theadvertiser create significance for the image via discourse amid thesubject and reader. To identify with an image, it is necessary todetermine the position, which is most understandable. For example,the female is in a position of appealing to masculine desire. Femalesare merely able to comprehend the image via positioning themselves inthe appealing male role. A female model on the cover of the “Maxim”depicts the cultural illustration in the media of what a desirablefemale is to males. Contrary, “Cosmopolitan” uses a female modelto form a standard of attractiveness, which females must acquire togratify male desires. In unison, the magazines bring about a standardof attractiveness and femininity determined by males (Johnson &Prijatel, 2013). The restricted depiction enhances gender stereotypesand strengthens the naturalization idea of the function of females inour community.
Despitethe fundamental message on the function of females being consistentin the two magazines, the message is put together differently.“Maxim” communicates the message to males through their articles,adverts and pictures that females are just objects, which enjoy malegazes and desire to be controlled. Women are portrayed as bothenthusiastic in satisfying males’ desires. “Cosmopolitan”writing and images concentrate on pleasing males throughcomprehending the male mind. The intended message in the magazineinvolves convincing females on accepting the supremacy of males viadefining themselves concerning men’s expectations. “Cosmopolitan”is a directive for females to live within the male fantasized globeformed through the media. “Maxim” enhances men’s stereotypes offemales through depicting them as characters that enjoy their bodies’exploitation and submissiveness to males (Thorsen, 2008).
Themagazines enhance the stereotypical view of a normal and acceptablemale and female in the American society. Women are expected to beattractive, slender and sexually appealing. Men should be striking,muscular and physically sturdy. Such depictions have a negativeeffect on readers that do not fit in the normal ideal (Waterton &Watson, 2010). The media has a major effect on the manner thatindividuals, in specific females envision themselves. The messageshave an impact on personal identity, either detrimental or positive.Detrimental in the sense that women that do not fit in themale-idealized shape are compelled to alter their bodies to fit inwith what society considers as ideal. Such alterations includecosmetic surgery procedures like facelifts, or natural procedureslike exercising. However, personal identity may not be affected,especially when women choose to embrace their uniqueness. Inaddition, contrary to what the magazines portray, men are not merelyattracted to slender women. There are men attracted to females thatare not slender.
Johnson,S., & Prijatel, P. (2013). Themagazine from cover to cover.New York: Oxford University Press.
Matthews,J. L. (2007). Hidden sexism: Facial prominence and its connections togender and occupational status in popular print media. SexRoles: A Journal of Research,57, 515- 525.
Thorsen,D. M. (2008). Viewingthe Opposite Sex through Lifestyle Magazines: An Exloratory Study.Nevada: University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Waterton,E., & Watson, S. (2010). Culture,heritage and representation: Perspectives on visuality and the past.Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate.