fashion magazines Essay


The popularity of manner magazines over the past few decennaries has risen to new highs. Fashion magazines being the Bible that many immature adult females and work forces live by, it is extremely of import to understand the function these magazines play in different societies and civilizations. The research workers of selling, consumer behavior, tendency analysis and tendency prediction see civilization or the differences and similarities in them to be an “obvious given” . Culture is most frequently seen as something that stands in the manner of complete globalization. Theory suggests that differences in mark groups and selling sections can be easy overcome through expressed research. While holding to the general idea that civilization should be ‘respected ‘ and ‘treated earnestly ‘ , the major driving force of selling and consumer surveies is most frequently, wholly, how to get the better of and ‘manage ‘ civilization ( Roothart, H. and W.van der Pol, 2002 ) There has been some research done on the representation of adult females and feminist thoughts in the West but an extended research needs to be done on the representation of adult females, work forces, society and civilization through media in an Asiatic context.

Over the past few old ages the Asiatic states have changed their public policies environing media its ownership and contents. Taking advantage of this chance many international magazines like Elle, Vogue and Cosmopolitan have launched their local versions in these states. These local versions have continuously faced accusals and unfavorable judgment from society be it racism, favoritism or nakedness, although their international versions have been extremely appreciated, therefore bespeaking that cultural differences need to be explored for the successful launch of any trade name.

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For this paper the similarities and differences within different civilizations would be determined utilizing the screens of a common trade name of magazine VOGUE across civilizations. This comparing would besides assist to find whether civilization and/or society play any function in the successful arrangement of a magazine and whether Vogue has managed to keep its trade name personality by traveling local.

Chasing a Dream


Beauty is non concrete and may change from civilization to civilization altering over clip and switch harmonizing to location. The construct of beauty is an image which has been created by society to which adult female and work forces have had to subject themselves to be “real” . History confirms that the political orientation of beauty or what is accepted as being the right visual aspect has been created by society and mostly propagated by media. For United States of the 1950s Marilyn Monroe was the pinnacle of beauty which shortly changed to Twiggy in the sixtiess. While porcelain tegument is valued in China, scarification of the tegument and adorning it with tattoos is considered as a position symbol in Africa and other parts. Thus the physical properties and thoughts attached to beauty vary across civilizations.

“Women ‘s magazine industry is understood as a massive significance manufacturer, go arounding magazines that contain messages and marks about the nature of muliebrity that serve to advance and legalize dominant interests.” ( Anna Gough- Yates ) They have been a great beginning to analyze the alterations in society. Traveling from the purely manner magazine to lifestyle and place to ‘do it yourself ‘ and ‘New adult female ‘ to ‘woman can work excessively ‘ magazines have ever reflected revolutions in society and influenced the sentiment of adult females across states.

Given the addition in trade to Asia and the spread of the beauty industry across states, it is let downing that there has barely been any survey on how people are depicted internationally in the manner magazines. Previous research has established that adult female ‘s magazines can move as agents of socialization, publicising certain gender stereotypes and certain beauty ideals like size nothing and institutionalizing conventions like photographic airss. ( Rudman and Verdi, 1993 ; Griffin, Viswanath, Schwartz, 1994 ) . Yet barely any research has been done on the differences in representation of adult females internationally and locally.

Global MEDIA

Over the past few decennaries at that place has been a rapid enlargement of the planetary media in the country of adult female ‘s manner magazines. Local editions of Elle, Harpers Bazzar and Vogue are now being published in Asia. “Theory holds that addition trade and improved communicating are conveying about a mix of civilizations and planetary unity” ( Giddens, 1990, Thompson, 1997 ) . The internationalisation of a magazine is non a new phenomenon although until rather late the most popular adult female ‘s magazines have been published locally. Harpers Bazaar, a U.S magazine launched itself in U.K. in 1929 ( Anna Gough-Yates, 1993 ) , Elle a European magazine began printing its first edition in Japan in 1960 ‘s while Vogue a U.S magazine entered the Indian market in the twenty-first century. However “the constitution of an integrated planetary media market merely began in earnest in the late 1980 ‘s and did non make its full potency until the 1990’s.” ( Herman and Mc Chesney,1997, p10 )

Harmonizing to a PricewaterhouseCoopers the Asia/Pacific magazine market excepting Japan is projected to turn by 7.2 % yearly, making $ 20.7 billion by 2010, Advertising is besides expected to lift by 5 % yearly to $ 8.1 billion in 2010. This means there ‘s plentifulness of possible for states in South Asia, where publicizing disbursement is merely approximately 0.34 % of GDP. Until now foreign trade names were allowed merely 26 % ownership when embarking into Asiatic states. But in 2005 most of the Asiatic states levelled the field for non intelligence publications leting 100 % foreign direct investing. ( D. Ruth, 2007, Forbes )

Like all the other planetary media, magazines use many different schemes to traverse boundary lines. But the chief grounds for making so are ‘saturation of place markets and to bring forth gross by supplying international consumer trade names with advertisement vehicles that reach into the spread outing foreign markets ‘ ( Dr. Katherine Frith, 2006, pg4-5 ) . With Conde Nast holding to shut down Mademoiselle in November 2001 due to competition and flagging gross revenues, markets with lifting economic rates like Asia and Middle East have now become a mark for westerns manufacturers of beauty and manner magazines.


A survey of manner and magazine screens over the past 100 old ages gives us a clear image of the extent of alteration media can convey approximately. From the girdles and 16 inch waists to jersey cloths to bikinis the sum of adult female ‘s release brought approximately along with the growing of adult female ‘s beauty and manner magazines is pretty apparent.

Magazine publication surfaced much before the nineteenth century but up till than due to limited resources and engineering publishing houses did non necessitate illustrated or photographed forepart covers to sell a magazine. By the terminal of the century development in engineering meant that every publishing house could now do usage of screen illustrations.

The 20s and 30s saw two or more people on the forepart covers. Red lips, coffin nails, dapper looking work forces and unostentatious elegance came into manner.

During the 2nd universe war work forces disappeared from the screen pages merely as they disappeared from mundane lives of adult female. Magazines became adult females ‘s true friends and the authorities used them to pass on with the place forepart. Silk fell from grace and hose became scarce. The screen miss emerged, adult females were pictured have oning aprons keeping bundle of maize.

With the terminal of the universe war magazine publishing houses stuck to a fixed expression of selling magazines by utilizing coloring material and collaring screen lines. Christian Dior made a splash and adult female ‘s release began.

The 1960 ‘s saw a revolution of self look, music and ‘models who became every bit celebrated as film stars ‘ . This was the start of a new epoch for adult females. The screen of Harper ‘s Bazaar ( 1965 ) with the theoretical account Jean Shrimpton have oning a Day-Glo bright pink infinite helmet and the acid green trade name emblem at the top is frequently seen as an emblem of the 60 ‘s.

New jerseies, slipovers long hair for work forces and adult female were the features of the 70 ‘s. Photographs more than an illustration was frequently seen as the screen pages while cover lines became bigger, brighter and bolder.

The 1980 ‘s was the decennary of Madonna and Michael Jackson with shoulder tablets and exercise wear which ruling the manner scene.

( Publication: Vogue State: United Kingdom Date: 15 April 1980 )

This ended individuality in the 1990 ‘s with Grunge, Goth and a sense of anti manner with tattooing and organic structure art going in trend. ( Publication: Phase State: United Kingdom, Date: May 1994 )

In the twentieth century the key to selling magazines was the usage of famous person faces and anorectic theoretical accounts with porcelain tegument. Diet plans and Make up tips more than ‘”how to catch a cat and maintain him” screen lines make the magazine move. Environment friendly apparels and cosmetics modelled by Julia Roberts and Leonardo di Caprio were the latest tendencies. ( Publication: ElleCountry: Spain Date: August 2002 )

Until the 90s, Asiatic society and manner has been really traditional with local influences. In 1990 manner icon Princes Diana wore a Salwar kameez and Asiatic manner became a noticeable planetary tendency. The 1990 ‘s besides saw the rise of the “Asian -chic” . International pop icons like Janet Jackson promoted the Asiatic expression and gave it an International phase.

“As Asiatic economic systems flourished, than crashed and began to retrieve, Asians of different category, ethnicities and gender faced the determination of whether they should have on Western or Asiatic clothing.” ( L. Ann Marie, J. Carla, 2003 ) . The growing of international magazines in Asia and publicity of the Western beauty ideals confused already puzzled states, drastically impacting the ego regard of many immature work forces and adult female.

A batch has been recorded about the manner influences, cultural alterations and media in the West nevertheless there is barely any record of such alterations in the East. Study has proven that there is great difference between the local and international versions of the magazines but there is no record of the influences and effects on society due to these differences.

Magazines Today

The difference between international magazines and their ‘local ‘ versions is that the international issues tend to transport a predomination of images for transnational merchandises. ( Shaw, 1999 ) . Such magazines are turning in popularity in Asia and this popularity has bought about a alteration in position sing the word picture of adult female and merchandises in local magazines. Griffin, Viswanath, and Schwartz ( 1994 ) found in a survey comparing images in hebdomadal U.S. intelligence magazines ( Time and Life ) to hebdomadal Indian magazines ( India Today and Illustrated weekly of India ) , that many of the western advertisement rules and airss for adult females were being conveyed across states. They confirmed that female theoretical accounts in India were taking on airss that related closely to ‘gender portraitures ‘of the advanced western states. A recent analysis of magazines international and local in China by Frith, Cheng and Shaw ( 2004 ) suggests that Caucasic theoretical accounts are more often shown in seductive frocks than Asiatic theoretical accounts. Feminist reviews like Kates, Shaw and Garlock ( 1999 ) would reason that western magazines are cultural establishments that represent adult females in a debatable and frequently unacceptable manner although attractive female organic structures and sexual content have for long been used in the West to pull consumers to a merchandise and generate involvement. Comparing this to the representation of adult female across civilizations with mention to the few surveies conducted on the subject ; Griffin, Viswanath and Schwartz ( 1994 ) concluded that the usage of “Sexual pursuit” as a subject was used three times more frequently in U.S. magazines than in Indian magazines. In conservative Asiatic states like Malaysia and Indonesia merely Caucasic adult females were used in Lingerie advertizements ( Frith and Mueller, 2003 ) .

Any magazine wanting to be resonating with its mark audience needs to stand for the societal norms and cultural values of the given society. International magazines like Vogue and Elle although have printing houses in Asiatic states most frequently train their employees in the West. The consequence being that the signifiers of representation and particularly that of adult female can take on a globalized expression. As Kyung-Ja Lee, ( 2000, pg 86 ) has justly said “ for 30 old ages, media have been taken to task for reproducing and reenforcing stereotyped images of adult female. Yet unjust representation of adult female in media still prevails worldwide. Sexual activity stereotyping has been so profoundly deep-rooted, even glorified, that the adult female themselves have become desensitised to their ain inferior portraiture. The chances appear even gloomier as the globalization of media progresses”

Previous research workers have noted that the images of theoretical accounts used in magazines have been extensively retouched to stand for the ideal of beauty that is unachievable for all but a really few people. ( Greer,1999 ; Gauntlett, 2002 ) . By demoing theoretical accounts that are ‘uniformly thin ‘ , flawless and absolutely proportioned the media may lend towards low ego regard and sadness among adult female and give rise to jobs like eating upsets. In fact media is a big subscriber to the planetary addition in fictile surgery to alter physical visual aspect among immature misss.

Finally as planetary media takes readers off from local publications it is of import to analyze the impact of international beauty ideal on local consumers. With most theoretical accounts used in international magazines being ‘white ‘ the publications are rarefying the cultural beauty ideals. In fact the compulsion with whitening merchandises may be a consequence of this overexploitation of White theoretical accounts in Asiatic publications. For the Caucasic adult females the organic structure may stand for beauty while for the Asian adult female it might be the face. For some Asiatic states beauty is the simpleness in a ‘sari ‘ clothed adult female while in some parts of Africa it ‘s a tattoo adorned bare female.

To better understand how beauty and adult females have been represented internationally every bit compared to locally and their differences based on society and civilization I have considered 3 issue of Vogue magazine across civilizations ( U.S, India and China ) for the period of 6 months from February 2009 to June 2009. The unit of analysis was restricted to the screen pages, incorporating at least one theoretical account.

Looking at Vogue magazine over the last 20 old ages we can easy reason that the magazines enlargement scheme has been really aggressive.

Conde Nast which has a portfolio of 127 magazines in 23 states believes Vogue to be its hard currency cow. At present there are a million manner and beauty magazines such as In Style, Elle and Cosmopolitan circulated around the Earth, but in times of crises citizens all over turn to Vogue to corroborate the latest manner intelligence. With readership and subscription degrees of approximately 220,000 a month for the British Vogues, 133,000 a month for the Gallic Vogue and American Vogue, at 1.2 million a month Vogue is the taking magazine in the concern of manner. The Grecian, Indian and Chinese Vogues non being as influential are of import merely to their local states.

The Gallic and Italian Vogue cater to the edgy terminal of the market while American and British Vogue embracing manner in the broader sense owing to their larger readership. ( A. Lisa, 2009, Times online )


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