Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Women's Magazines: Are Models an Issue?

I read several articles about women in the news before I came across this one.  This article discusses a German magazine, "Brigitte," that is considering changing its policy on only using amateur models.  I was especially interested in this article because I am invested in learning about how the media affects women's body image. I feel that women are depicted in a non-sexist way in this article and that it relates closely to the issue of how the media, other than news, can affect women. When insanely skinny and "gorgeous" women make up such a small percentage of the population it is easy for me to see why the woman described in this article say they can not identify with the extreme looks of professional models.  The article did not, however, give examples of women who were ok with or encouraged the use of professional models in the magazine. I feel that because of this lack, there was a generalized view that all women would rather see "real women" in magazines as opposed to professional models, which is not necessarily true. 

The use of specific looking models IS a gender issue however because it can give the impression that the model look is one every woman should strive for. Another thing that really interested me about this article is that no male perspective was given on the issue.  All the people quoted and referred to were woman. This makes sense since the magazine is for women only. However, because it was a trendsetter in making the change to amateur models its change back could prevent other magazines for men and women from following its lead.  The magazine defends the potential change because amateurs are harder for photographers and stylists to work with.  To me though, this  argument points out, even more, the faults in the media's depiction of women. If models of other shapes and sizes are that much harder to work with, that only continues the stigma that women are supposed to look a certain way.


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