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Women's Magazines

by: Ryan Furness

Women's Magazines BRC 350

Ryan Furness
SUNY Oswego
GPA 2.69

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This will be on the next exam
Children Women and Minorities in the media
Dr Jennifer Fogel
Class Notes
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Popular in Children Women and Minorities in the media

Popular in Broadcasting

This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ryan Furness on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BRC 350 at SUNY College at Oswego taught by Dr Jennifer Fogel in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Children Women and Minorities in the media in Broadcasting at SUNY College at Oswego.

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Date Created: 09/21/16
Women’s Magazines Dr. Jennifer Fogel SUNY-Oswego 9/20/16 Women’s Magazines Women’s Magazines After the Women’s Liberation Movement, women’s magazines were trying to construct new readerships of W, but there was little agreement about how the so- called “new woman” would want to be addressed. Demographics (1950s)  needs & motivations (60s/70s)  lifestyles (80s/90s) Today’s Women’s Magazines From the mid-1990s onwards, most of the “New Woman” magazines attempted to up-date their images of young middle-class femininity Fashion and beauty remained significant components, now with the addition of “celebrity culture” New emphasis on women’s sexual confidence and independence (Cosmo) Gill’s 5 Content Shifts 1. An increasing focus upon celebrity 2. The dramatic sexualization of the body 3. The increasing adoption of feminist discourses (stress being in control and pleasing yourself ) 4. A focus on work outside as well as inside the home 5. An increasing emphasis on heterosexual sex (please men and to fulfill oneself ) How should we study Women’s Magazines? Contrasting accounts of how women’s magazines might be “understood,” and how they should be studied Textual analysis (ideology) or Audience (consumption, pleasure) These texts are “problematic” for women Ideologically manipulative, yet seemingly challenging patriarchy Messages are ambiguous! Helen Gurley Brown Sex and the Single Girl (1962) broached and encouraged the subject of pre-marital sex Still encouraged women to strive for physical desirability finding & marrying “Mr. Right” Reformulated Cosmopolitan to target the “Fun Fearless Female” Cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan The Cosmo Girl Who is the “Cosmo Girl?” Fictionalized woman Brown invented to characterize the magazine’s imagined 18- to 34-yr-old female reader What was the underlying “discourse” of Cosmo, particularly under Brown? Brown’s advice spoke to major changes in women’s economic &sexual roles, but also constructing a certain kind of identity for her “working girl” readers Cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan proclaimed that a single “girl,” by herself, could cope successfully with personal and professional challenges To get a man, Cosmo encouraged women to create “an illusion of beauty The aspirations of the Cosmo Girl were white, heterosexual, and upper-middle class Required covert strategies and performative behaviors Cosmo headlines The Orgasm Whisperer: Every Girl Needs One Vaginas Under Attack: Don’t Let a Greedy Gyno Talk You into This Horrible Mistake Be a Lucky Bitch!: These Proven Mind Tricks Will Get You What You Want Tease Him And Please Him! Why You Should Be A Jealous Bitch: And 6 Other Relationship Secrets Cosmo Headlines His Butt: What the Size, Shape, and Pinchability of Those Sweet Cheeks Reveal About His True Self Foreplay Men Crave: Touch His Secret Erotic Spot 75 Tricks For Nights When You Want To Be Just A Little Naughtier You, You, You (22 Smart, Sexy Skills Every Cosmo Girl Need Now) Beauty Tips That Save Your Buck$ Cosmopolitan & Sex Cosmo emphasized female sexuality Linked sex to upward mobility – but through men Brown subverted the moral shame surrounding sex and reframed the sexual code as an individual ethic and a commodity exchange Contradiction vs. Coherence Women’s magazines are contradictory texts Fashion and beauty advice Sexual assertiveness and sexual confidence Pleasing your man Sexual frontierism Take charge sexually The trouble with her… Women’s Mags & Feminism Are these magazines feminist? Or have they appropriated the ideals of feminism and co-opted them with consumerism? These magazines fail to discuss numerous women’s rights topics They promise individual transformation, rather than social transformation Does feminism and the femininity that these magazines promote have to be separate? Ms. magazine Ms. debuted in 1972 as a voice of the Women’s Mvt Emphasize the goals & aspirations of liberal feminism Upsets the conventions & expectations of women’s magazines As of 1990 – has forgone all advertising Feminist Controversy? More controversy… What should a woman’s magazine offer?


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