Yawn. Aren’t the tabloids bored of Tom vs. Katie? Jen Aniston got engaged. Ange and Brad may already be married. The Kardashians are quiet. It’s all rather boring, and there isn’t much to talk about really. NW are predictable in their shaming, and Grazia seem to be doing their best these days NOT to shame. With Spring just around the corner, the fashion magazines are promoting pretty new looks, beauty, skin, and clothes that will maximise your appearance – mostly for men…
This Week in Tabloids – Jezebel
A – Magazine cover has no mention of Beauty, weight, or appearance.
Five magazines earn As this week, including In style, which features a barely recognisable Nicole Ritchie; Australian Woman’s Weekly featuring Katie Holmes and the Sponge Cake Queen finalists; Famous, which spreads a twitter rumour regarding the state of the Beckham’s relationship and other gossip; New Idea has an Olympics special which appears to focus on our female athletes including Sally Pearson and Natalie Cook; and Girlfriend with Emma Stone gracing the cover, and should be commended for their tagline The Sexy Myth, and why you shouldn’t accept it. Amen, Girlfriend!
B – Magazine cover makes mention of Beauty Routines, and Fashion articles for maximising ones appearance – No shaming or promises of results.
Blake Lively graces the cover of Marie Claire this month, which features the tagline Beauty’s Hit List: 9 hair and makeup looks you’ll love.
OK! placed Khloe Kardashian has been put on baby bump watch.
Grazia gives Jennifer Aniston an awesome backhanded compliment with Jens Red Carpet Fake-over: How everyone can look this good
Madison features Megan Gale and gives us advice on Bright Eyes: How to Banish Dark Circles (sleep, water, and lots of leafy greens!… well, my guess is that will be the answer!)
Harpers Bazaar presents French model Constance Jablonski alongside the tagline Beauty Top 50: Super Skincare; Magic Makeup; Heavenly Hair. I am sure this will make the advertisers very happy as they spruik all the best products.
Olivia Palermo is on the cover of Shop til you drop, which features the entertaining tagline Get Celebrity Skin (minus the retouching) – which is amusing because the first thing I thought when I saw this tagline was ‘invest in photoshop…’
Vogue’s cover features Bella Heathcote of Neighbours fame. However, I am not too impressed with the new cover design which has ditched minimalism in favour of a style similar to UK or US Vogue, which is cluttered with taglines focused on promoting insecurities such as Sitting Pretty: All the looks to revamp your style, and Beauty Insiders share their secrets. One has to wonder if this is due to the Firing of Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements after 10 years at the helm, and the hiring of ex-Harpers Bazaar editor Edwina McCann. Before Clements had left, the July issue had been sorted, and August was close to being finalised – so it stands to reason we are only just seeing the impact of a new editor and new direction for the magazine.
Here is an interview with Kirstie back in May. It’s an interesting read.
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 a stunning (albeit photoshopped) Khloe Kardashian on their cover, alongside the tagline Never Feel Hungry Again – exactly what to eat and when. I almost choked when I read that. Luckily, to help us out after we get our elusive new shape is a Bonus 24-page beauty mag. But gosh knows we can’t be truly pretty without the right clothes, so Cosmo is here to save the day again with Style heaven! 285 scorching new looks and the fashion buy that worships every body shape (nylons?). Most of us read this tagline and know that this scorching fashion is designed with men in mind – it must be if it is worshipping every body shape and making it schmexy -, and one could argue this is confirmed with the predictable tagline which asserts you are in charge of making any relationship happen because it’s what you really want and you must trap the man with Turn an almost-relationship into the real deal – without lifting a finger. And right above this on the cover – because Cosmo cares about your sex life and you are also in charge of everyone’s orgasms is Get more bang in your bed! Your sexiest sealed section…ever – Because, you know… sex is naughty and should be hidden…. Thanks Cosmo! Whatever would we do without you!
Demi Lovato graces the cover of Teen Angst Lifestyle Bible Dolly with the quote “There’s not one type of beauty”, which is very indicative of her post eating disordered life, and a beautiful philosophy. Sadly, Dolly follows this up with 10 guy rules you need to break now, making me wonder HOW on earth they got a positive body image award. I hope the article says ‘1-10; don’t care what the boys say or think. Just be awesome’. They finish with Meet the trend that makes every girl look amazing – am I the only person who thinks this doesn’t make sense?
Who magazine thinks we should have feelings regarding Miley’s haircut. Microsoft word tells me that Miley isn’t a real name.
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.
Sonia Kruger of Big Brother dons a Bikini for her Woman’s Day cover with the tagline Sonia Kruger at 47 – My Body Secrets. Her tips &tricks that will work for you too! Awesome. Woman’s Day follows this with Simply Delicious Guilt Free Sweets – because it wouldn’t do to have a fit woman on your cover, with sweets that would ensure you could never fit that particular mould, and lastly an Anti- Aging Special. Fashion, Health, Beauty – It’s almost like they geared the cover for Sonia! This fits their Key demographic though, as 70% of their readership is over the age of 35,and the majority of those- 44.5% – are over the age of 50. Sadly, this sort of cover tends to pray on women’s insecurities, and coupled with taglines promoting Anti-aging specials, and sweets that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating (though have to find the time to make) only re-enforces these insecurities – even though the cover is intended to be empowering and aspirational (you too can look like this!). Consumerism tells us that aspiration sells, because a large segment of the target audience wishes to have what they are being sold – in this instance, Sonia Kruger’s youth and body. These are positive characteristics, but are limited to a select few. Readers who buy this buy into the fantasy that they too can access Kruger’s body though following advice and buying products, however chances are they will not be able to achieve this look. Following a marketing model this cover works in a few ways – the exposure audience is vast because it is seen by males and females of all ages and checkouts, servos, and newsagents everywhere – not to mention advertising. Readers who buy this are likely to be regular readers, or readers who have bought into the aspirational fantasy that Kruger markets to them – or the target audience.
Of those, a select few will actually go on to consume the products that she recommends (likely to be Swisse vitamins!)- or the consumption audience. The aspirational audience was sold a fantasy and now possibly feel a little worse about themselves. The Consumption Audience likely feels better for finding a solution for a problem they were told they had. And that’s how women’s magazines work. Hats off to Kruger though!, she looks great.
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 – Ribs vs Rack! Extreme Bodies Special.
As a friend eloquently put it – congratulations NW you have successfully contributed to objectification of women by “likening them to cuts of meat! Good job. You should be proud.” I am not sure I can top how amazingly Jess put it (yes, I am Jess too. So is she =D) so I am not going too. Body shaming and policing at its best.
Best – Girlfriend! awesome tagline with the sexy myth!
Worst – NW…. racks and ribs are cuts of meat, not ways to describe women.
Honourable Mention – New Idea! awesome focus on the female Olympians, and I loved seeing Nat Cook on the cover with her lovely Wife =)
What do you think? Did I get it right? Did I get it Wrong?