Cosmopolitan Magazine Analysis

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From magazines to advertisements, women are constantly being exposed to beauty ideals - many of which are unattainable. This results in women falling victim to the manipulations and lures of the marketing industry. Since its establishment in 1886, Cosmopolitan has been a popular source for women to turn to for advice on relationships, sexual activity and popular culture. During its inception, the magazine was published as a women's fashion magazine initially depicting articles on families, home decorating, and the progress of science and technology. However, while Cosmopolitan is still viewed as a magazine targeted towards women, the methods in which the magazine attracts women have dramatically evolved. At first, Cosmopolitan focused on releasing…show more content…
Figure 1 displays a simplistic background with minimal cover lines and the central focus of a woman who is depicted as being passive and docile. This is evident in the way she shies away from the camera by creating a sophisticated ambience about her. The costuming shows a limited amount of skin, allowing the face to become the focus of the cover. The long sleeves and the high neck collar connotes a conservatism - something which women were expected to follow due to the male perception of an ideal wife. This enforces the targeted audience during the timeframe to use the magazine as the main beauty standard. The model highlights the beauty in her looks, placement and positioning of her body in a suppressive manner. This emphasizes the manner women were to portray, due to male authority over women. This shows that the value of the magazine as it encourages the reader to look at the beauty standard as the social norm. Furthermore, the background vs foreground background flowers evokes a sense of purity, innocence and grace emphasising how women were expected to display conservative and high standards of morality. For example, a guide written in 1955 called ‘The good wife's guide.’ The guide exhibits the idea of women being financially dependent on men due to their employment and constructed gender norms such as…show more content…
Figure 2 and 3 exemplify women presented in a submissive and docile image. In figure 2, there is a direct eye contact to the camera which conveys a personal address to the reader. It allows the audience to be captivated in the seductive qualities of her body. However, the use of black around her eye helps to accentuate salacious look upon her face. Furthermore, white fur and jewelry in her costuming portrays this ideal of wealth and affluence that women should be aspiring for to attract the ‘right man’. As time evolves, commercialism and its impacts on women’s magazines have become increasingly prevalent over time. This meant that goals such as the empowerment of women are often sacrificed to please advertisers as Cosmopolitan continues to portray consumption as a gateway to femininity. Moreover, in the coverlines the friendly tone adapted in the language of magazines intends to create a sense of intimacy, trust and confidence within the
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