Friday, January 31, 2020

How Women Are Portrayed in Lynx and Cosmo Essay Example for Free

How Women Are Portrayed in Lynx and Cosmo Essay ‘Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at’ – John Berger, ‘Ways of seeing’. For my research investigation I intend to explore to what extent specific media products use similar representations of women to appeal to their target audiences. The examples I have chosen to focus on are the iconic, international women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine ‘Cosmopolitan’ and Lynx’s controversial ‘beach campaign’. I will therefore be exploring what similarities and differences they embed due to their oppositional target audiences and content. Throughout my research the main theory I will be linking to my texts is that of Laura Mulvey, her theory explores ideas of sexism and male gaze within the media industry. Hearst the publisher of Cosmopolitan describes the magazine’s target audience as ‘Fun, Fearless Females’, the alliteration of the ‘F’ sound connotes a sense of attitude and fierce behaviour. Alongside the brand proposition ‘celebrates†¦a passion for life and inspires young women to be the best they can be’ consciously supporting women by portraying a sense of empowerment and ambition. In contrast, Unilever, owners of the Lynx brand state their brand prospect is that all their products are ‘designed to give our customers the edge in the mating game’ establishing itself as ‘UK’s leading male grooming brand!’. Cosmopolitan are iconic for telling their audience about two main topics; lifestyle and sex. Just by looking at the magazine covers, it is clear that these two topics dominate. I researched the April 2012 cover of Cosmopolitan, it follows the generic conventions of a typical magazine format for a women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine. In terms of the colour scheme the pink fonts and neutral clothing convey a sense of femininity and perhaps the everyday domestic lifestyle of women, although the lifestyle aspect of the magazine seems overpowered by the topic of sex. The cover features an attractive women – in this case the iconic Megan Fox, posing some mildly alluring body language, showing a lot of skin, all whilst looking directly at the camera (audience) with a sexy, serious facial expression with the eyebrow promiscuously raised, and suggestive parted lips. Although the model is simply posing the latest fashion, the low cut, tightly fitting dress connotes an over sexualised view of the celebrity who is universally known as a sex symbol in the media world, taking her place in FHM’s sexiest women each year and continuously playing the role of the sexy female in various popular films. It is clear that Cosmopolitan use bold sexual connotations surrounding women, although argue that their intentions are in fact to empower women through their sexuality. Notice the models strong body language , the hand on hip look used alongside taglines such as ‘Naughty or nice? You decide†¦Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, and sexual puns are even added in regarding none sexual subjects such as career advice ‘You on top’, these are bold sexual connotations implying that woman should dominate to get what they want, mostly regarding the topic of sex. Perhaps fighting the controversial debate of sexism towards women in media by surprisingly embracing La ura Mulvey’s theory of ‘male gaze’. Cosmo put across the idea that if men find women attractive then it should accredit them by making them feel good about themselves, knowing that they look sexy and attractive. The magazine are conscious to do this in a sophisticated manor, opposed to other trashy and over sexualised magazines. state that ‘Women’s magazines have moved on and offer visions of independence and confidence as well as beauty and domestic concerns, yet women are still encouraged to look good’. Body image and size have become a growing issue in society in result of magazine content. The overuse of petite, photo shopped models throughout magazines has resulted in these images becoming the dominant ideology. Over the years images printed in women’s magazines have contributed to this universal feeling to look good and be a certain size. Lynx are known for their voyeuristic product advertisement, this element of the company is what attracts their buyers, yet is also their downfall. Lynx have been publicly criticized for their overuse of objectifying women, using sexualized and provocative imagery and overall blunt sexism. The BBC news state that ‘in 2011 six of Lynx’s advertising campaigns were banned after mass numbers of complains were made’ they added that ‘the 113 complaints said it was sexually suggestive and demeaning to women’. I researched Lynx’s recent TV advertisement and accompanying print advert titled ‘The cleaner you are, the dirtier you get’. Although I believe this is one of Lynx’s milder sexualised adverts even the title itself contains a sexual pun, suggesting the promise of sex if you shower with the product. The girl on the print advertisement is no doubt an attractive young female, fitting the iconic ‘blonde bombshell’ look. The girl’s enticing facial expression creates the impression she is inviting the audience (male) into the shower with her. Although the girl’s expressions look confident, there is a contrast between this and her body language. For example the way she has to cup her bikini top to stop it from falling. This vulnerability of the woman standing half nude for a male audience completely visually depicting her as a female, making her a passive object of male visual pleasure. A comment by Jean Killbourne (a popular media activist) backs up my point by stating that ‘women’s bodies are often dismembered into legs, breasts or thighs, reinforcing the message that women are objects rather than whole human beings’. Killbourne suggests that women have become dehumanised into erotic objects for male pleasure. One element of Lynx’s campaigns which continues throughout is the idea of fake portrayal. In each advert the male role is played by your everyday, not overly-attractive man, contrasted with the female role being a desirable, young beauty. In an everyday world the changes of the male role attracting that type of woman are very slim. Despite this the main message that Lynx put across to their audience throughout their advertisements is that if men wear the product – women will find them irresistible – False portrayal. Of course this element adds humour to the advertisements, although all at the expense of objectifying women in the process and promoting the gender role of the dominant male. Bibliography Websites: Hearst, http.// Cosmopolitan, Exploring the media: representations and responses

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