Comm long paper - Connell 1 Jamie Connell 22 November 2009 Professor Sara Crymble/Karen Hinkle Communications 101 The Mass Media Ideally InStyle

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Connell 1 Jamie Connell 22 November 2009 Professor Sara Crymble/Karen Hinkle Communications 101: The Mass Media Ideally InStyle Over the past fourteen years, InStyle Magazine’s circulation has grown by over 160%, surpassing Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Bazaar, and W magazines, and securings its spot as the top women’s fashion magazine ( The Style Collection Media Kit ). With such far reach, however, comes great influence, and InStyle is using this power to project an unhealthy ideal to women in today’s society. With monthly issues of about 350 pages, InStyle has the potential to encompass many different styles and clothing across a varied price range; however, at least fifty percent of the magazine is dedicated to advertising and the rest is overflowing with articles and pictorials promoting designer labels and celebrity images. Rather than celebrating uniqueness among wo- men, InStyle creates a picture perfect, fashion savvy ideal that is unrealistic for many of its read- ers. InStyle projects an unattainable image of high fashion, celebrity culture as normalcy, thus distorting women’s perception of reality and encouraging them to strive for a lifestyle that is out of reach. InStyle magazine is a section of Time Inc, and was originally launched in 1994 as a spe- cial issue focused on celebrities and fashion. After having huge success with this feature issue, Time decided to make it a permanent, monthly magazine. Since then, the magazine has flour- ished into one of the most popular women’s magazines, and it has expanded to include interna- tional editions and a website that was launched in 2000.( In Style Magazine ) The magazine is fo-
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Connell 2 cused on fashion, beauty, and celebrity style, and its influential status gives it insider access to celebrities and designers. The unrealistic ideal projected by InStyle is consistent with the stereotypical image that the media is often criticized for portraying. The women in the magazine are incredibly thin. Their make-up and hair is styled and perfect. These women are dressed to the nines no matter what the situation and have expensive, designer clothes. The majority of the content of the magazine is dedicated to celebrities and worships their image and wardrobes. InStyle is sending women everywhere the message that being normal means having an expensive wardrobe and looking like a celebrity at all times. Not only does the content of the magazine send this image, but the majority of the advertisements are for designer labels and depict stick thin, beautiful models. InStyle makes this image seem normal because there is no point of comparison. In other words, InStyle shows the world as a picture perfect, high fashion place full of tall, beautiful, thin women, which is not reality but appears to be within the pages of each issue. On pages 308 through 313 of the October 2009 issue, there is an article called “Wow &
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2011 for the course COMM 101 taught by Professor Jacobs during the Fall '07 term at University of Michigan.

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Comm long paper - Connell 1 Jamie Connell 22 November 2009 Professor Sara Crymble/Karen Hinkle Communications 101 The Mass Media Ideally InStyle

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