The word magazine was first used to describe something miscellaneous meaning a collection of different kinds of articles. Many early magazines were barely distinguishable from newspapers. Nowadays Computer technology has made redundant the old methods of magazine publishing. Both womens and mens magazines obviously define their audience in gender terms and today there are many magazines is which are suited and targeted for them. There are many types of magazines for all age groups especially teenagers as the magazine editor knows that teenagers have more disposable income than any other age group.
Magazines also appeal to social economic groups. A new magazine tends to try and stand out and will target a rare different audience that has not been targeted usually. Magazines have to compete with each other in order to attract their target audiences. There are over 7000 magazines on the market in Britain. Gender is a key issue when discussing representation. Repeated representations can often lead to stereotypes which can then lead to ideology. Stereotypes are narrow representations that are repeated over again.
Representations can change over time. Today feminists are creating alternative representations of woman which are challenging the dominant ideology of women. Media images never present the real world. Many objects are represented by the media as being particularly masculine or feminine- especially in advertising. The type of magazine affects the representation of gender presented in the magazine. The stereotypical view of gender in magazines is that women are still under-represented in parliament, business and politics.
There is still inequality in pay and status of women. Women are still represented according to cultural stereotypes. Men are often represented in situations of authority and control over women. An example of this is of film and television voiceovers that tend to mostly be male voiceovers rather then female telling a story or being the narrator, also magazine editors tend to be male rather than female. Positive representations of Men are that they are often seen as athletic or math and science oriented such as being a scientist whereas women just consume.
The negative representation of men and teenage boys is that they are aggressive, tend to be insensitive, verbally loud and messy at times and only interested in sports and videogames. The positive representation of women and teenage girls is that they are angelic, punctual, quiet, neat, clean, and supportive. A good example of this is that Men commit more crimes than women. The negative representation of women and teenage girls is that they are submissive, emotional and clumsy and have to be attracted to fashion and gossip.
. Women are represented negatively as sexual objects and are fragmented because of their looks and physique. However due to the environmental factors of gender you will see a few girls that have an interest in videogames and sport, and a minority of boys that have an interest in fashion and gossip; this will depend on the way that the person was raised. Media Institutions use many types of ways to promote and advertise their products. Advertising is essential to magazines although most magazines aim to make a profit from both advertising and the cover price.
Every magazine will have a majority of advertisements which could consist of one-third of the magazine. Advertisements make up the majority of revenue that the magazine gets. Magazines are dependent upon advertising in order to survive. Advertising is not just about selling a product; it also promotes images and life styles. It also shows us a world (which is regarded as perfect) where the products are needed wanted and used. Because the images we see in magazines are so desirable it is easy to forget that the world presented to us is not real.
Adverts sell a brand image as well as a product. A brand image offers o form of guarantee and a set of ready made values with the product that you buy. Most modern advertising deals with enhancing the image of a brand rather than promoting the benefits of the brand. Advertising also informs and draws attention to the availability of certain services. Cosmetic adverts in fashion magazines play along on womans fears and anxieties. Women are the major consumers in society therefore you see many adverts with them.
When targeting women in advertising they use sexuality and stereotypes. Advertisements create both implicit and explicit messages of meaning. An implicit message is a message that is not directly expressed to the audience. An explicit message is a message which is directly expressed to the audience. Magazines aim to sell to as many people as possible and they will usually target a group large enough to make a profit, but specific enough to be distinctive. Magazines for young men do include stereotypical images of both men and women.
They depict a fearless, competitive masculinity, ignoring the emotional, sensitive male, and women are depicted as sex objects for mens enjoyment. People can look at the front cover of a magazine and immediately know what genre it is. Front covers of magazines need to be appealing to its intended target audience and are essential in promoting the magazine. In order to do this there needs to be image that will get noticed. That image needs to be relevant to whats inside the magazine and it has to be conventionally attractive; meaning picture perfect.
For example if the magazine was an fashion magazine there will normally be an dominant image on the front cover of an celebrity or an actor that is well respected, good-looking and an ideal role-model for the target audience of the magazine. The same will occur in a videogame magazine where there will be a dominant image of a famous footballer promoting a football game or a male-oriented figure that is conventionally attractive and is seen as a role model or that the magazines intended target audience can aspire to.
Womens magazines were run by men for the consumption of women in the early days. Today the majority of magazine editors and writers are now women. Local magazines targeted to a community tend to have more stories about womens achievements and experiences than any other magazines. Contemporary magazines targeted to women have moved on from its historical backgrounds. Nowadays womens magazines offer visions of feminism that involves independence and confidence towards women. However in a majority of magazines women are encouraged to look good in order to attract men and male audiences
I am going to analyse two magazines to help me discover what the stereotypical view of gender is in two different types of magazines. The two magazines that I have chosen are Marie Claire (a fashion magazine, which targets females aged 16 and over) and Playstation 2 UK (a videogame magazine, which is targeted to males aged 16 and over). On the title page of the Marie Claire magazine there is a 1 iconic dominant image of a conventionally attractive women actress Scarlett Johansson. This image will attract women as Scarlett Johansson is well-respected and is seen as a role-model for women.
This image can be a symbol of independence as Scarlett is not put on the front cover to be objectified. She is dressed respectively and she is not half-naked for sexual fragmentation. The image may attract men readers for her beauty and sexuality. There is a grey background with little gradient behind the dominant image of the actress. This makes the image of Scarlett Johansson stand out and get noticed by readers. The title of the magazine Marie Claire is printed in bright orange small case letters.
So that it can be seen from the grey background and it is in a light female-oriented colour. The front cover consists of 2 colour texts white and orange. Again brightly lit colours used to catch readers eye and also suggests female content. Whereas on the title page of the Playstation 2 UK magazine there are two dominant images of two famous footballers; the two footballers (Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho) are promoting the videogame FIFA 2006 and appear to be in god-like light colour suggesting the game is holy and has a special prophecy.