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FM Gender Paper

Words: 1657, Paragraphs: 23, Pages: 6

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Gender

?Simphiwe Mbatha

MBA007

Contact: 0812551211 – [email protected]

Course: Fashion Media 01 DIP

Submission: 18 March 2019

Lectures: Caileigh Davis/ Anya Potgieter

Gender Representation in Media: Comprehension and Application

Campus: Johannesburg

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Figure 1: Women’s Health Magazine. 2016. January/February issue. Jillian Michaels.

Figure 2: Men’s Health Magazine. 2015. September issue. Angelo Picoto.

Femininity

The advert goes against the normal expectations society has given women. It provides a refreshing image that doesn’t suggest your average bikini model body is the beauty standard. We tap deeper into what women really want to read about and gain valuable knowledge and tips.

By suggesting that we don’t all need to have toned gym bodies it puts the reader’s insecurities at ease, it’s about feeling healthy, happy and beautiful. Allowing us to accept that we’re enough and perfect as we are, yes they offer a “burn fat fast” (Plosser, 2016) solution but there’s no unrealistic five-day count with it. They’re not making you feel as if you need to dedicate all your living time to the gym and the guide could probably be done in the comfort of your own home. The magazine also makes sure to tap into your sensitivity mentioning relationships and how their reader could achieve a happy and long-lasting love affair. It plays on the fact women are in general more emotional than men making us the ones in relationships who put all our heart and effort.

Ultimately they’ve managed to direct women in fit and healthier lifestyles, doing it the right way. Allowing them to embrace their natural curves and ditch the typical thin body type. It’s meant to make one feel good because you’re given a read about realistic measures everyday women tackle and aspire to achieve. They’re offering a life coach with tips to help you conquer the year, who also happens to be a fitness instructor. Demolishing the usual image of the model who only serves to look good on the cover but has nothing really to offer. Jillian is a strong woman and entrepreneur who changed the lives of many and readers have the opportunity to gain valuable skillsets from a woman who lives a life almost as regular as theirs. “Strong and hot” (Plosser, 2016) empowers the female body mostly those with athletic figures who have long been subjected to stereotypes associated with looking manly and tough. A body type that was deemed unattractive by men. For decades men have always been the breadwinners whilst the women stayed at home as wife’s and mothers but here is an article that wants women to go out there and dominate the working industry.

You’re being guided to make your own money and a lot of it at that, something that only “completely frigid” CITATION Fou08 l 7177 (Fourie, 2008) women in high positions do. Positivity and sanity is another focal point because so often women are so busy taking care of others they neglect themselves but they want you to feel good and calmer. Coco Chanel once said, “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” this might be the biggest form of gender empowerment as it evokes strong feelings of revolution, a new woman on the rise born from just three haircuts.

Masculinity

Men’s Health magazine’s main focus is on physical strength and appearance. This contributes to the stereotypical man that is narcissistic, has no depth and only cares about themselves, nothing in the advert includes feelings. If you don’t have a ripped physique you have lost control but be well assured your typical twelve-week body makeover is sure to fix that, they want men to think that their only purpose is to look good and nothing else. The man who looks the best wins in every scenario. “The hot new sex app” CITATION Ric15 l 7177 (Dorment, 2015) is an example of how cultures educate men to play the dominant role in the relationship and if he doesn’t it might make him seem than less of a man. This might make some men feel as if their only purpose is to please women and they have nothing else to offer.

Mention of “sex, drugs and rock’n roll” CITATION Ric15 l 7177 (Dorment, 2015) further implies the reckless lives men live, always drinking and partying. Nothing about the text suggests a serious man who is in control and has his priorities in check. In order to have a position of power, the stereotypical man makes a ridiculous amount of money and they’re offering a guide to miraculously increase your current salary. Nothing about this issue aims to tackle the mental health problems many men go through, going back to earlier text it insinuates men don’t experience problems or rather don’t talk about them. As said by a famous musician CITATION Oce16 l 7177 (Ocean, 2016) “Boys don’t cry” because “It may be easier to expect a man to be rugged and unemotional and heterosexual” CITATION Fou08 l 7177 (Fourie, 2008)Rappers have for years been associated with gangs but in this issue, they offer you a different perspective, business tips from the people who hustle more. This empowers men specifically from black communities because their being given a voice. The magazine tackles health issues such as heart attacks, why they happen and how to prevent them plus detox methods which assist in achieving your dream physique. The magazine offers regular men a chance to be on the cover, Angelo Picoto the star of this issue isn’t a big-time model but just a good looking guy who advocates for men’s health. By doing this they encourage the everyday man, giving him a chance to be part of something he loves and a sense of importance. Men are faced with unrealistic expectations such as overworking and wearing oneself out, the “guide to a 12-hour affair” CITATION Ric15 l 7177 (Dorment, 2015) is set to help them cope with long days and hours, improving their mental state altogether.

The media has for years fed the youth misinterpretations of what masculinity is and what it should look like; movies such as James Bond are classic examples of unrealistic representation. This heroic portrayal is shown as early as two – six years old and boys are made to adopt the knight in shining armour character. This, of course, comes with the reward of winning the heart of the woman you desire. Keith Richman states “while this may have historically been true, these characterizations aren’t reflecting the behaviour and aspirations of today’s men” CITATION Kei12 l 7177 (Richman, 2012). Not all men grow up wanting to be the big shot wearing a suit in his sports car, but the media has pressurized them into conforming to society’s standards. This has a huge impact because masculinity does away with all forms of individuality; you come across the same type of guy everywhere you go because no one ever wants to be perceived as different or “that guy”.

This advert was relevant because the product being advertised is a lifestyle; they’re serving the interests of those who control that consumer market. They’re encouraging us to see ourselves which in this case is a strong, independent and focused woman and the cover star is an example of what they’re offering. The appropriateness in terms of how women are viewed in media is positive because they’ve done away with the stereotypes such as not enjoying fitness and investing their entire lives to relationships and men. The Men’s Health advert sells a hot body “cutting your gut” CITATION Ric15 l 7177 (Dorment, 2015) and offering workout plans, this was relevant because you expect to look like the guy. Their enticing readers, showing you what you could be like if you buy the magazine. Unfortunately, the gender portrayal is the same rigid man who knows all the moves and is money obsessed this was appropriated by text such as “tap her desires” and “boosts your salary” CITATION Ric15 l 7177 (Dorment, 2015).

The women’s advert is a true reflection of how society perceives gender because no one longer thinks of them as na?ve and docile. Every woman you come across today is a determined, focused and educated woman who wants to go further in life and her career. Having kids and being a stay at home mom is no longer a top priority and this is shown in the advert because there is the encouragement to get rich, conquer the year and look good while at, the cosmopolitan feminist who wants it all. The men’s advert, on the other hand, is exactly how society has been influenced by media. Objectifying and sexualising men reported social pressure to fit in the perfect man box, this is linked to hypersexuality and the masculine gender roles their expected to play.

By use of semiotics the writing in the two adverts focuses on language and structure, the genders are presented by social levels. These views are evident in the form of words such as diet and exercise highlighted in big, bold text. Gender portrayal is complimented because in the feminine advert the writing is realistic and in the masculine advert, the writing suggests an unrealistic male character.

Gender analysis has taught me that femininity in media was used to equate what was considered with being inferior, over – emotional and passive. Masculinity was then presented as the embodiment of all these opposites. Genders are not treated equally and men are favoured more, featured alone and less sexist than women not just in media and society

Reference List

FamousFix. 2019. Jillian Michaels Women’s Health Magazine January 2016 Cover – United States. [Online] Available at:

[Accessed 13 March 2019]

Forbes. 2019. Are Men the Latest Victims of Media Misrepresentation [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 March 2019]

Fourie, P.J. 2018. Media Studies Policy, Management and Media Representation. Second Edition. Cape Town: Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd.

Men’s Health. 2019. Men’s Health – Fitness, Nutrition, Health, Sex, Style and Weight Loss Tips for Men. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 13 March 2019]

Plosser, L. 2005. Women’s Health.

Reissue, B. & Poster, B. 2019. Frank Ocean. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 March 2019]

About the author

This academic paper is composed by Samuel. He studies Biological Sciences at Ohio State University. All the content of this work reflects his personal knowledge about FM Gender and can be used only as a source for writing a similar paper.

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