To what extent do women’s magazines create and disseminate the notion of the ideal feminine body and how does this impact upon women?

Elliston, Sophie Anne (2012) To what extent do women’s magazines create and disseminate the notion of the ideal feminine body and how does this impact upon women? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this dissertation was to discover the extent to which women‟s magazines create and disseminate the notion of the feminine ideal in terms of race, age and body shape/size, and how this impacts upon the self esteem and confidence of female readers. There has been an intense focus in the media about thin models in the fashion and advertising industries and how they are thought to be unhealthy role models for young girls. Much research has been carried out around the subject of media influence, suggesting links between exposure to images of the thin ideal and disordered eating and decreased body satisfaction in women. Through extensive primary and secondary research of my own, and making use of a wide variety of sources such as books, journals, magazines and newspaper articles, this was in fact discovered to be true.
    Firstly, I conducted an analysis of the front covers of British 'Vogue' magazine between 1990 and 2011 and from this I noticed that the magazine represented the thin, white and young Western idealised feminine form. Additionally I looked at studies carried out by other academics where they actually put this theory to the test, and recorded the levels of body satisfaction of women after observing images of the feminine ideal. Different types of investigation were studied; for example examining how men and women respond differently to images of the thin ideal, how women belonging to different ethnicities vary in how they are affected by images of the feminine ideal and also how being exposed to images of the thin ideal can increase bulimic tendencies and symptoms in women, both sufferers and non-sufferers of the disorder. Their results demonstrated there was a strong link between such images and a decreased level of body satisfaction and self esteem. This supported my own ideas and findings and enabled me to answer the initial research question.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 16:50
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14098

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