Boobs, Legs, and Lipgloss. That ish cray.

27 Jan

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: Three magazines I chose to examine for this assignment was People magazine; People is popular among males and females, Vogue; a fashion magazine, and W magazine; a male geared predominately toward the male population. In each of these magazines, from a dominant reading one could assume they are exactly what they appear to be, reality talk, advice columns, fashion etc…But taking a deeper look and an oppositional view, the way that gender is portrayed in these magazines may make you think about our society twice.

Analysis:  Boobs, Legs and Lipgloss.

People Magazine:

In people magazine one thing I wanted to note was one of the main stories highlighting Will and Kate’s wedding. The magazine described it as being one of the most talked about events of 2011. From an oppositional stance, this screams attention. Although the wedding was both Will and Kate’s the spread’s main photo was the one above, with just Kate, as she’s waving angelically, in an expensive all white lace gown, and no Will in sight. This solo shot of Kate just reinforces the idea that weddings are for women. A union confirming a love between two, is really a big show for the woman. Most of the photos in Will and Kate’s spread were about her, her dress, how she felt, her smiling, him accompanying her…everything was based around the idea that women live in these fantasy worlds having these fairytale ideals about their weddings. This notion in our society makes women the more romantic of the sexes, the weaker, the emotional, the dependent unrealistic being that life is filled with content when a marriage happens…and a man comes along and seals the deal. In the photos for their spread, Will was assisting Kate out of the car (reinforces the feminine ideal, that she’s needy), exposing his broad shoulders in his tux… all of the photos went along with the hegemonic ideals that the men are controlling, the head of the household; the leaders.

W Magazine:

W Magazine is a magazine full of wrestling talk, discussions and highlights of the world’s famous wrestlers. Most of the men in the magazine are shirtless, tattooed and exposing themselves in a masculine way that idolizes their strength and aggressiveness. The males in this magazine all appear to be strong, aggressive, demanding, powerful, threatening and intimidating! This photo of The Rock in this photo may be a bit extreme be it represents the ideals that are prevalent in our society…. men and women representations go completely opposite from each other. If men are rough; women are soft, if men are strong; women are weak. These ideology , these expectations that these perceptions are normal in our culture, that these perceptions are acceptable and natural … that they are functioning in our society makes me question. Why is it that this photo of “The Rock” (his name even goes with the grain) would be seen as weird if let’s say Jennifer Aniston was doing the same pose?

Another aspect of this magazine that I noticed that at second glance tied into the way that women and men are misrepresented in the media is the fact that the women in the W magazine were all barely clothed and their purpose was to appeal to the men reading it. The girl here <<< in the blue swimsuit, is posing sexy, eyes sexed… and all she’s supposed to be is a fan of one of the most respected wrestlers in the industry. Instead with the way that she’s posing one would think that she’s using her body in more of a sexual way to get most lustful attention. The caption goes again what the message in the photo is giving off… The super fan? Or the super sexy groupie maybe. This photo illustrates the idea of hyper femininity in action… her boobs are rather large, her waist really small … a true vision of a sexualized being.


“Sex sells” is a clear message that the editors of this magazine believe in. A magazine that is one of the leading discourses in the fashion world is full of fashion yes but full of sex too. These women, all sporting some of the most popular brands in today’s fashion world, are all illustrating photographic behavior that put them automatically in “the woman” category as: sexualized beings, laying down, teasingly covering themselves, posing in a lustful manner…

All three of these women reinforce the ideals that shape our society. If women are getting attention in the media, like we discussed in class, it seems as if it has to be in a way that also compliments her bodily assets… It’s as if this really a man’s world.

All these poses appear to me as if these women are posing for men! With the first photo we have the topless woman laying down, and then secondly the woman in the yellow looks frightened like a man scared her or like she was so meek and weak that she had to protecting herself and her BAG, from whatever was scaring her… *in protecting herself, note that she is doing so the most non aggressive way possible. And then lastly, the third photo, the woman bare neck, glossed lips, flawless skin; gorgeous… is posing for Dolce & Gabana… a perfume…and the perfume just so happened to be the most unnoticeable thing the ad itself!

These ideals so prevalent in these magazines go onto show us how to dress, how to behave, how to look, how to act, and how we should want ourselves to be perceived by the males in our culture.

Response:  The media is influential. I am always making connections with our class discussions and the things that I see daily in our various ports of media. I can’t believe that a lot of people aren’t more aware of the differences in the ways that men and women are presented in magazines, t.v., movies etc…and how these notions of “our media selves” influence us to a point that they becomes us… us as a version of our self that isn’t really our original self… but instead is just a reflection of the content we surround ourselves with. I think that in some ways one can argue that things are improving, but the conception that its man vs. woman… with men always being the dominant figure (Ambivalent Sexism Theory)… I just can’t see how we could ever rid ourselves of the idea, or even make it make sense to the people who so subconsciously live by the rules that the media creates/reinforces..whathaveyou..

That ish cray.


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