Ad Bank Semiotic Analysis: Cosmopolitan and Maxim Magazines

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Ad Bank Semiotic Analysis: Cosmopolitan and Maxim Magazines In our house, we have a girls' bathroom and a boys' bathroom. When entering into the women's private sphere of the bathroom, one cannot help but notice the mountain of women's magazines on top of the toilet. Similarly, the men's bathroom has its share of men's magazines stacked in their domain of masculinity. This essay will take a look at the advertisements in these infamous periodicals, to attempt to gain a better understanding of their message(s), and their appeal. Interestingly enough, both the men's and women's magazines tend to represent women in the same fashion. Cosmopolitan is the first thing I see when entering our bathroom. Month after month, the pile of magazines grows into a fine Cosmo collection. The covers are adorned with bright feminine colours and beautiful women -- the first thing to attract potential readers. Each issue has new faces and bodies, yet they all look familiar: how many more sex and make-up tips could they possibly have? The covers of the magazines themselves tell us what they are all about. By placing the two examples of Cosmopolitan covers side-by-side, there are many similarities that can be seen. They are relaying the same message. What is the message? Both have the stereotypical model on the cover of the magazines. They are blonde, blue-eyed, and are much slimmer than the average woman by far. The two are posing in similar ways, showing their midriffs and cleavage. Neither of them are really smiling, but look like they are ready to do something 'fun' and 'fearless.' Which explains the magazine's slogan: "Fun Fearless Female." The slogan is also addressing the kind of women who would read this kind of magazine. Career women in ... ... middle of paper ... ...te as being 'normal' and 'good.' Unfortunately, the images of these women also bombard the pages of men's magazines as well. It is what they want to see. In reality, beyond the Cosmo and the Maxim, women like to talk about women, and men like to talk about women. The advertisements cater to their interests, but they essentially have the same idea. Women are commodified objects of sexuality which gives them power over the men, but men have the ultimate control because the women are using their sexuality to gain acceptance by men. Then both women and men come to value women according to their superficial good looks. This gets repeated again and again in advertisements. Our traditional male-dominated culture has been hegemonically maintained by objectifying women's bodies, especially in advertisements. Sources Cited: http://www.film.queensu.ca/Critical/Bai.html

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