I haven’t finished the criteria – it needs to be re-worded, but you have an idea!. Not the best analysis’s this week! I am still slightly on the ill side, hopefully back to prime health next week! Xx
This week’s magazines aren’t the worst. We all kind of get a break from being told we need to be fit and healthy and thin this week – a nice change!
A – Magazine cover has no mention of Beauty, weight, or appearance.
Congratulations to Harpers Bazaar, Woman’s Day and TV week for their flawless covers this week which feature no mention at all of beauty, appearance or weight. Woman’s Day focuses primarily on the Royals and celebrity gossip, TV week on 2012s TV line up in Australia (with everyone’s favourite smurfette Penny on the cover!), and Harpers Bazaar on trends, fashion and a Gorgeous cover featuring Jessica Stam in Louis Vuitton which may be my vote for Cover of the Year. Congrats!
B – Magazine cover makes mention of Beauty Routines, and Fashion articles for maximising ones appearance– No shaming or promises of results.
Madison, Grazia, Shop til you Drop and Girlfriend all get Bs. Madison advertises that You Can have Flawless Skin, whilst Grazia investigates Beauty by Postcode finding that Melbourne girls wear more Lipstick – this is definitely the most earth shattering news of 2012! Shop Til You Drop offers us Super Sexy Hair, and a Lingerie Guide to ensure you look good in and out of your intimate apparel. Why do they call it intimate apparel? I mean really? And Girlfriend, featuring the delightful Emma Stone has the smallest mention of a Beauty Check which is completely unreadable… but ensures the magazine comes out on top with a solid B+. Despite the hetero-normativity of the magazine, AND the assumption that we need the validation of the male gaze, I feel good knowing that GF so often comes out on top. I would like to mention that on looking on the GF website for the cover shot today, I noticed they were looking for LGBT teens for a feature, which makes me hopeful that the magazine will begin to represent a more diverse audience in the future, and help work towards sexual equality and inclusivity.
C- Magazine cover prominently mentions Diet/ Health with no hard promises or time frames, Features weight loss stories, Features stories about Beauty Routines which promise results, Features stories on Slimming/ Sexy clothing, Focus on obtaining a particular type of desirable body. Magazine cover focuses on dressing for the male gaze.
Cleo – In all its hetero-normative glory – dedicates a good portion of its front cover featuring it’s not so hetero covergirl Ruby Rose to a prominent Tagline advertising a 30 page Spread of Hot Body Secrets for a Stronger Sexier you!., and also a feature on DIY Hollywood Hair (I assume they would go with the new hot body!). What I find most interesting about this cover – apart from what it is advertising – is that it features an openly Gay DJ and Television personality, yet still assumes that sex is between opposite sex participants with taglines like Sex So Good Your Neighbours will Complain (but he sure wont!). This was a prime opportunity for the magazine to embrace the fact that some of their reading audience is likely to be Gay, and therefore choose more inclusive language! Instead, the use of Ms. Rose on the cover looks a little like tokenism. Golden Opportunity by Cleo, ignored.
New Idea features a tagline that while earning a C is troublesome on SO MANY levels. The magazine features a story on Australia’s favourite (sarcasm) Ex-politician-turned-personality Pauline Hanson looking Fab at 57!!!. With the tagline further exclaiming “Gillard let herself go, but I never will”. *exhales* In Natasha Walter’s Living Dolls, The Return of Sexism, Walter notes the alarming media trend of undermining female politicians by focusing on their appearance, and turning them into objects of either sexual desire (Sarah Palin), or claiming that they have been stripped of their femininity to help dehumanise them (Hillary Clinton). Walter notes that politics – despite former female leaders such as Margaret Thatcher – is still largely seen as a masculine profession. Walter states, “women who attempt to break through this wall of masculinity do not need to be substantively attacked, they can simply be mocked as unfeminine, and the operation of the stereotype will do the rest. A loss of femininity is often framed in terms of criticism of the unfeminine appearance of a powerful woman”. For most media outlets, simply criticising a female politicians appearance will do more to ensure they are not voted into power than actually looking at their policies – as seen in the video media sexism. Minh-ha T. Pham notes in her online article for Ms. Magazine that Hillary Clinton was a victim of this mentality – often criticised for wearing pantsuits which Tim Gunn called unflattering and unfeminine, wondering if she was confused about her gender– as if this in some way affected her ability to do her job -, and was then conversely attacked for at one time showing cleavage. This is not new in Australia with comparisons often made between Governor General Quentin Bryce, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard. To be fair, I think Ms. Prime Minister probably wished she was wearing a Pants Suit and flats on Australia Day when she was ushered out of a building by Riot Police due to protests. Without reading the article, it’s hard to know whether Pauline made the comments herself, or if It was just New Ideas way of grabbing attention. Furthermore, New Idea demonstrates how little respect they HAVE for PM Gillard, by not addressing her by her proper title – she is a leader, who has earned the two letters PM in front of her name. When we focus on appearances, we draw attention away from policies, ensuring that our female politicians look incompetent. If Prime Minister Gillard can find 20 mins a day to get on a treadmill, then good for her – but personally? I would much rather she spent her time doing the job she was elected to do, then trying to live up to Pauline Hansons expectations. Furthermore, I think PM Gillard looks pretty freaking amazing!
Woman’s Health also earned a C – though it seems a little unfair when the magazine is meant to focus on health and exercise! No troubling taglines this month, though the promise of fast results from a new trainer approved plan is worrying. Remember, it takes 4 weeks of constant work for you to notice results, another 4 weeks for friends to notice, and another 4 weeks for acquaintances!. That’s 3 months! I do feel the cover model looks a little over photo-shopped as well =/
Australian Womans Weekly features a radiant Meryl Streep – fresh off her Golden Globes win- and also features an article on Michelle Obama. I must admit I am intrigued by this article considering the criticism Ms. Obama often receives due to her weight and her healthy eating initiatives… Um, Im still confused about what her weight has to do with it, as she looks like a pretty fit healthy woman to me! But, then… the undermining of female leaders isn’t just left to those in parliament/ congress, but also the first ladies. Personally, I am all for Ms. Obama’s active kids and healthy eating initiatives! Meryl is obviously photo shopped – some lines softened and all that, but still looks lovely. AWW also features the tagline Lose Weight in 2 weeks! Simple diets that work!. Repeat after me…. there is no such thing as a 2 week diet that works! Where are the articles that reiterate that the word diet refers to what we put into our body, not what we deny ourselves!
D – Magazine cover actively promotes diets which promise fast results. Actively promotes Exercise for specific results. Actively assumes worth is determined by Male Gaze. Actively promotes youth for an audience over the age of 21. Actively promotes drastic beauty routines. Slight shaming tendencies.
N o Ds!! Yay!
E – Magazine cover actively shames celebrity/ media personalities appearance. Actively promotes unhealthy diets/ unhealthy weightloss/celebrity diet tips. Actively engages in fat/ thin/ age shaming. Shaming dominates the page.
Who magazine rounds out our failures this week, with its 60+ photos on Celebrity plastic surgery, (Ruined by Surgery!) and focus on Posh Spices post baby body. It’s bad enough that celebrities feel the pressure to have plastic surgery, and whether they do it for themselves, or for a studio it really isn’t anyone’s place to judge. Daphne Zuniga speaks in MissRepresentation about the pressure she felt from studios to be botoxed and collagened up to the hilt, and how frustrating it was to have tabloid criticism on the other side. In a society that prizes youth, we have no problem with tearing those down who become victim to the standards they are expected to uphold. For most people, plastic surgery is a choice, but for many high profile women and celebrities, it is an expectation. Who’s focus on Posh Spices body after the birth of her daughter is also troubling. After her last few pregnancies, most of us have accepted that Ms. Beckham is blessed with a body like Heidi Klums – bounces right back after childbirth, however most women are not genetically blessed with this body type. This focus adds to the pressure many new mums feel to recover their pre-baby body in a matter of weeks after giving birth. Enough is enough. We already have Scary Spice adding to this on the new Jenny Craig campaign… do we really need Posh weighing in? (no pun intended).
NW fails a little bit harder with its All New Extreme Bodies!, featuring four women of different shapes. I’m not really sure what’s extreme about any of these bodies., and I certainly don’t want to pass judgments on people’s health. This is more likely to be a feature about bad camera angles being used to fat shame/ thin shame/ throw about eating disorder accusations. I guess we should be thankful that Katy Perry and Russel Brand dominate the cover?
Famous devotes most of its cover to 100 stars without makeup!... Sarah Michelle Gellar looks pretty decent if you ask me! Just more of this “look they are human too!” Judge them! Feel better about yourself. Ugh.
OK! wins the title for the worst cover of the week with its cover featuring a Gorgeously Pregnant Jessica Simpson, alongside a pre-pregnancy body shot proclaiming “I want my body back! Pressure to slim down fast crushes Jess’s baby joy”. I can’t even!!!! Ms. Simpson hasn’t even had her baby and already she is facing tabloid criticism??? Is OK! Magazine for real???? The only things Jess should be thinking about at this point include are her hospital bags packed, is the nursery finished, will she consent to painkillers, and who is going to be doing the cooking during the first few weeks baby is home??? It’s bad enough women feel pressure to look good weeks after birth, but now they should look slim DURING PREGNANCY AS WELL??? And what, be in the gym the minute they give birth? I don’t know how many people reading this have had a baby, but… I have… and let’s just say the last thing I was thinking about in the first six weeks was how I needed to hit the gym – mind you my livelihood doesn’t rest on my body – as Ms. Simpsons shouldn’t either – it should rest on her voice. OK also features Biggest Loser All-stars, which I am sure is meant to coincide with the premier of the 2012 season here in Australia, but when paired with the Ms. Simpson story? It is Just BAD TASTE. For shame OK!.
Best– Harpers Bazaar
Worst – OK!
Trying! – Cleo.
Whats your opinion? Did I get it right?