This isn’t going to be my best analysis after two weeks off. There are a lot of covers for me to sink, my teeth into!. Un-surprisingly, following Easter, there is a rash of weight loss articles and such. The Hunger Games are getting a little Press, and many covers seem to be ‘look younger’ orientated, and it’s really the age of celebrity bump watch. I think a lot of them got busy in the American Winter…
A – Magazine cover has no mention of Beauty, weight, or appearance.
Harpers Bazaar, Woman’s Day, and TV Week all got top marks this week. YAY! Woman’s Day had celebrity gossip featuring babies and relationships, TV Week reviews the latest crop of Reality shows to further numb Australia’s viewing audience, and Harpers Bazaar features Gwyneth Paltrow… and, to be honest I googled a few times to see if this was the real cover as it is quite different for HB.
B – Magazine cover makes mention of Beauty Routines, and Fashion articles for maximising ones appearance – No shaming or promises of results.
Australian Woman’s Weekly features Morning TV newsreader and presenter Georgie Gardner, and many other human interest stories in time for Easter holidays! ACTUALLY, if it wasn’t for the tagline Demi Moore’s Drug and Diet demons the magazine would have received a solid A. It’s a shame to see this story is still being circulated, and I do wish that the media would stop with the Demi Moore stories.
Dolly – Did they get my Memo???? One month ago, I criticised Dolly in a magazine wrap up for featuring posters of the Hunger Games’ male actors, and completely ignoring the female star – who plays the main role – Jennifer Lawrence. Well, this month Dolly features a stunning Jennifer Lawrence cover. No, I don’t reeeeeeally think that Dolly saw my little blog and assumed battle stations! (But, I like to think that!). The Posters of the boys are back as well, but I won’t lie – It is nice to see Ms. Lawrence commanding the attention of the movie she stars in, rather than the usual media focus on Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. The cover also runs the taglines You see him, you like him… HERE‘S HOW TO GET HIM! Yes, because there is nothing more important in life than having a boyfriend. Found! 3 tricks for clear skin reminds us that hormonal acne is something to be ashamed of (probably why I am slightly ashamed of my adult acne… though a better word may be frustrated, as I never had it as a teen!). Miranda Kerr makes an appearance as Guest Beauty Editor, and Zac Efron has written some Get Confident Tips. Great to see Dolly reminding us it’s all about the boys and beauty.
Girlfriend also features Jennifer Lawrence on their cover (I guess the movie came out? *wink*), with the clever tagline Girl On Fire. My one criticism is the tagline The #1 Body Mistake we‘re all making. I’m not really sure what this article is, perhaps it is saying we aren’t loving our bodies enough. MAYBE it’s saying we are way too critical of our bodies… but we cannot know from the cover. My issue is that it is on a cover featuring Jennifer Lawrence who has been subject to a ridiculous amount of criticism regarding her body shape, including some commentators stating they thought she was too fat to play Katniss Everdeen. This will be dealt with in depth at a later date. It was quite a poor move on Girlfriends behalf. Perhaps a better tagline would have been How To Love the Body You Are In. This would definitely have been in line with the new site feature, Think, Do, Be Positive which includes a page to submit compliments and foster positive attitudes!.
Vogue features the gorgeous cover girl Joan Smalls, who happens to have dark skin – a RARITY on the cover of an Australian magazine, unfortunately. So, why the Global Beauty tagline Vogue? Sounds a little bit like exoticism… doesn’t it? Sure, it goes on to state that it is Celebrating the new faces of fashion. But could this not have been done with Charlotte Free and her luscious pink locks? A Google search also tells me that most of her shoots tend to play up the exotic. This isn’t an indictment on Smalls, but on the fashion industry – and by extension media as a whole, which tends to treat women of colour as cultural others and often exoticises them. I won’t lie; I am no expert when it comes to Race in Media. But I know a couple of things… Australian media – print and film is overwhelmingly white. We rarely see non-white faces on the covers of our magazines. When we do – it is often in the form of a cultural other. It’s a shame to see Vogue play into this.
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.
Cosmopolitan features Scarlett Johansson, Tough, Smart & Hot As Hell ,on the cover, with some awesomely enhanced boobs (oh, those photoshoppers!). Actually, I need to see a cover in person, because the digital person looks so pixelated I can’t tell if it’s that or REALLY bad Photoshop! (maybe both?). As always Cosmo manages to link self worth to men and sexiness, starting from the top, we have Penetrating Research- How sexy is your sex life? Cosmo goes inside Aussie bedrooms. Now you can compare if you swing from the chandeliers as much as everyone else does. Well, if we are going to compare every other facet of ourselves and our lives against others, why not sex!?!. Right NEXT to that (and Ms. Johansson’s boob), is How to Do-Over your Man Mistakes. And under that to the left is…..J.Lo‘s Butt, Gwyneth’s Abs, Gisele’s Legs – Celeb Trainers Hot Body Tips. Lets see…. Sex? Check. Men? Check. Hot Body tips? Check. ALL IN ONE SECTION OF THE COVER? Check. I see what you did there Cosmo… Oh, wait.. you aren’t finished? Over $100 worth of Modelco gifts for every reader including Mascara, Eyeliner, AND GLOSS??? All the necessary weapons to be a femme fatale!! Not gonna lie, kinda wondering it they are coupon redeemable or come with the magazine physically… Modelco DO have awesome mascara…. oh! Right, the link (sorry, free makeup distracted me). SO, we have comparative sex lives, with man mistakes, and the assertion that your hot body should include a ghetto booty with abs of steel and legs up to your armpits, ALONG with sexy make-up tools??? I see what you did there….
OK! -Beyonces Hot New bod – sizzling new pics! And yes, it is on the same cover as… Baby Boom! Ahhh, I love it. New Hollywood. Baby Boom!With news of a sibling for Suri, Katie Holmes leads the pack of A-Listers sharing their joy. These A Listers include Reece Witherspoon and Nicole Ritchie.ahh, bump watch and the governance of women’s bodies through a she did it! feature. Nice work there OK!
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.
New Idea. Turn Back The Clock! 101 Ways To Look Younger. Just in case you didn’t have anything more important to worry about. As you and I both know faithful reader, the only thing that matters in life is that you retain your youthful looks, and buy every product in your power to ensure this happens. Go forth and consume. Because if you look old, you will be ugly and no-one will love you and you will die alone. With cats. I love that this is on the same cover as an alleged One Direction Love Scandal between a 32 year old lass, and an 18 year old boy. Whatever turns you on. Who are One Direction you ask? I envy your ignorance.
Grazia – This may be Grazia’s best cover in a while (though, I did miss two weeks). They run with a small little tagline, tucked away in a corner – Diet math. Magic Formula for a better body now. What are the chances that math is Healthy eating + exercise + moderation = better body in 12 weeks because now is impossible… unless you put on some spanks… Slim to none? Grazia also run with Victoria Beckhams New Hair (who inspired it , )and WOW! – How Kate gets better with age (Ashley Judd would call this a backhanded compliment, designed to remind women that they are still inferior, though at one time were more inferior), and lastly, Uncensored – stars without makeup just to remind us they need to be taken down a couple of pegs. A commentator on facebook told me that this whole stars without makeup, bashing celebs bodies, and cutting women down to size was all part of entertainment and I should just get over it. I’m just going to leave you with that thought, because it’s a sad indictment of the society we live in when ridiculing women, and analysing their every flaw until they are nothing more than a mass of dehumanised body parts open for your critique passes as entertainment.
Who – Most Talked About New Bodies – 15 shape shifting stars reveal their secrets. – Miley Cyrus Shock Slimdown – this has reportedly from pilates and a gluten free diet. As someone who was forced to go Gluten Free about 6 years ago due to an intolerance it took them much too long to diagnose, I have to say… gluten free will slim you down – ESPECIALLY if your body doesn’t particularly like Gluten. Keep your opinions to yourself media. Also featured are Rob Pattinson, Reece Witherspooon New Bump pics. + Kourtney Kardashian, Lara Bingle, and Mel B (still shrinking) . Apparently there is also a bonus diet booklet (Easter is over and this is the ultimate 32-page guide to losing that pesky 5kg fast. Includes a fast detox, quick and easy diet plan, hot celeb shape-up tips and five new low fat recipes to make) which fits in much more nicely in context with this cover, otherwise… it was really just a backhanded celebration of varied body types, wasn’t it! *(it was impossible to find an article that didnt have medical experts weighing in, and for that I am sorry. Just wanted the confirmation xx)
Marie Claire – Disappointing Marie Claire, Disappointing. The magazine features Jennifer Aniston on its cover with the tagline “the older I get, the younger I feel“ – which isn’t really too bad – empowering, yet still placing an emphasis on age. What concerns me is the tagline Real Women, Real Bodies: Where do you fit in. On the surface this could be empowering – it suggests the women who will be featured are not models, and there is no photoshop (not that models are any less real than other women). But really, it’s body comparison at its finest, not to mention the problematic usage of the word real. What is a real woman really? This term is thrown around a lot with some asserting that real women have curves, real women are short, real women are over an AU size 12, real women are some rigid definition which is intended to marginalise the group of women who don’t fit in. The term real when applied to women needs to be dropped from our vernacular, as all women are real regardless of appearance, gender assignment, or personality. What are we comparing here? There are AU size 12 women who will look at the ideal of the AU size 12 touted by a magazine using a supposedly real woman who do not look like that at all. How are they going to feel with this comparison? This isn’t empowering – it is continuing to keep women feeling inferior. If you keep women feeling inferior, they keep buying. Maybe, it will be a weight loss plan with one of the many agencies out there (who, let’s face it… if they really worked, they would be out of business. Just saying).Marie Claire also has a tagline about hair (hair seems to be big this month) Love your hair. Simple solutions to control curls, boost body, look sexy in seconds. Because we all need our hair to look sexy. But what is sexy hair? I could ask 5 guys/ girls and I bet I would get 10 different answers. I know a dude who swears that a shaved head is the sexiest thing on a chick because its badass. Putting it out there guys, just putting it out there. Unless you are styling your hair for you, don’t try to fall into some trap that the beauty industry tells you men want and looks sexy. It’s heteronormative, and really… at the end of the day what works for one person, doesn’t work for another. But doing it for you works for everyone.
E – Magazine cover actively shames celebrity/ media personalities’ appearance. Actively promotes unhealthy diets/ unhealthy weight loss/celebrity diet tips. Actively engages in fat/ thin/ age shaming. Shaming dominates the page.
NW – NW is running danger diet stories AGAIN?!? Oh , that NW! INCORIGIBLE! Ok, so I quoted Easy A, but I really thought it was appropriate in this instance. In what may be one of the more dangerous and damaging taglines for a feature story that NW has run this year, NW features Crazy Diet tricks – Gum binges; 500 cals a day; surviving on soda; hormone jobs. Plus, more in side. It strikes me as unfeasible that this magazine doesn’t comprehend that by publishing this information they are making it easy for people to mimic these behaviours. Nobody could be THAT ignorant. These weight loss tips are indicative of disordered eating behaviours, and should not be published by any magazine outlet. The public does NOT need to know in this instance. Eating Disorders are rising worldwide, and teen girls are extremely impressionable, often open to mimicking celebrity diet behaviour who are epitomised as the ideal in our society which worships at the altar of the Cult of Celebrity. Thin Women are held to esteem, and we are told that thin equals beauty. When people such as Jennifer Lawrence are accused of being too big, society is showing how fundamentally flawed it actually is, and here we have a magazine telling us that some celebrity diet behaviour includes only drinking soda (oh, your teeth will cry), and eating no more than 500 calories a day – a third of your minimum recommended daily intake. Women and Young Women alike don’t need to buy NW too see these diet tips, as some are printed right there on the cover. That’s all it takes – for it to be right there and accessible to the viewing public. Disordered eating behaviours can lead to eating disorders. NW should be ashamed. I don’t know how their editor sleeps at night.
Famous – Under fire, stars hit back ‘We‘re not perfect… so what!‘ Rejecting pressure to look flawless, stars reveal their hidden lumps & Bumps: ‘We won’t hide anymore‘. Because I am sure they had a say in these paparazzi shots in the first place…And look, the cover is complete with a cellulite guess who? shot on the cover of the magazine. I guess this is more of that whole ‘lets knock these stars down a peg or two, and show how they are just people like you and me’ mentality. Except, regardless of the spin that Famous has put on it, this is still body shaming at its absolute best. The thing is, we should be proud of our bodies. Uma Thurman looks fierce in her picture. Her body looks strong – Should she be ashamed? Because REALLY, Famous is asserting that she kinda should cover up her lumps and bumps, aren’t they. Oh, and It‘s Official, Megan Fox I’m pregnant. Complete with a picture of husband Brian Austin Green touching her flat belly. More Bump Watch. More reminders that the female body is public property… just in case you were starting to wonder.
Best Cover – Harpers Bazaar.
Worst Cover – NW.
Honourable Mention – Girlfriend
What do you think. Did I get it Right? Did I get it wrong? Do you have any covers you want to share?