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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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Women's Portraits Present in Print Fashion Advertisements

A Content Analysis of Spanish Fashion Magazines from 2002 to 2009

Paloma Diaz Soloaga and Carlos Muñiz

ABSTRACT

This chapter presents the findings of a content analysis of 568 luxury brand (e.g., Gucci, Dior, Loewe, Chanel) print advertisements published between 2002–2005 and 2007–2009 in high-circulation Spanish women's magazines – Vogue, Telva, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Woman. We address the following two research questions: (1) Which female stereotypes are used to portray women in the luxury fashion brands' print advertisements? (2) Do certain factors explain the use of each female stereotype in advertising? Our findings reveal the most frequently portrayed role for female models in these ads is the “hedonist and sensual,” which shows women above all as objects of pleasure who also narcissistically contemplate their own beauty. This advertising stereotype reinforces and crystallizes the social stereotype of the woman who is valuable as long as she is physically attractive.

If, on the other hand, we sum up the “female” historical duty of having to be beautiful, it will also be valid in a broad, abstract sense, which naturally rejects the reduction of beauty, for example, to a pretty face. We would not be violating this concept if we say that a hunchbacked old woman can be “beautiful,” because in its broad sense the concept means harmony of the total being in itself, that brings to the work of art, the most harmonious ...

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