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Issue addressed: The narrow representation of body image in the media has been linked to body dissatisfaction, particularly among readers of women's fashion magazines. Some countries have made efforts to improve body image diversity in the media and the fashion industry. This has included attempts to regulate minimum body size of models (eg, Israel, France), and the development of codes of practices such as the Australian Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image. However, there is little evidence of whether these efforts have impacted media content. Method: This study aimed to gauge the state of body image diversity in the print media 5 years after the introduction of the Australian Code of Conduct via a content analysis of 13 Australian women's fashion magazines published in 2015. Results: Results revealed low levels of diversity in body size, ethnicity and age among models depicted in fashion magazine images. Models were predominantly young, white and underweight. Conclusion: The results suggest that efforts to improve body image diversity have had little impact on print media. Further research is needed to understand the barriers to increased diversity in the representation of body image in the media so that the industry and regulatory bodies can further address this important issue. This is increasingly pressing given the proliferation of content now enabled through online media platforms.
Body image diversity in the media: A content analysis of
womens fashion magazines
Catarina de Freitas MPH
Helen Jordan PhD
Elizabeth K Hughes PhD
Melbourne School of Population and
Global Health, The University of
Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Department of Paediatrics, The University
of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute,
Parkville, Vic., Australia
Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal
Childrens Hospital, Melbourne, Vic.,
Elizabeth K Hughes, Centre for Adolescent
Health, The Royal Childrens Hospital,
Parkville Vic., Australia.
Funding Information
This research did not receive any specific
grant from funding agencies. The Murdoch
Childrens Research Institute is supported by
the Victorian Governments Operational
Infrastructure Support Program.
Issue: The narrow representation of body image in the media has been linked to
body dissatisfaction, particularly among readers of womens fashion magazines.
Some countries have made efforts to improve body image diversity in the media
and the fashion industry. This has included attempts to regulate minimum body size
of models (eg Israel, France), and the development of codes of practices such as the
Australian Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image. However, there is little evi-
dence of whether these efforts have impacted media content.
Method: This study aimed to gauge the state of body image diversity in the print
media 5 years after the introduction of the Australian Code of Conduct via a con-
tent analysis of 13 Australian womens fashion magazines published in 2015.
Results: Results revealed low levels of diversity in body size, ethnicity and age
among models depicted in fashion magazine images. Models were predominantly
young, white and underweight.
Conclusion: The results suggest that efforts to improve body image diversity have had
little impact on print media. Further research is needed to understand the barriers to
increased diversity in the representation of body image in the media so that the industry
and regulatory bodies can further address this important issue. This is increasingly
pressing given the proliferation of content now enabled through online media plat-
body image, communications media, content analysis, diversity, magazines
Negative body image, or body dissatisfaction, is widespread and
persistent among women and men of all ages
. It is a serious
health concern as it can lead to harmful weight loss practices,
including disordered eating and excessive exercise, and is associ-
ated with other risky health behaviours such as smoking and
unsafe sexual practices
. In addition, body dissatisfaction in girls
and women has been shown to have economic consequences
through its associations with reduced educational and social partici-
pation, reduced confidence and performance levels, and reduced
cognitive capacity
. Given its wide-ranging impacts, identifying
and reducing factors that contribute to body dissatisfaction are crit-
ical areas of research.
Amongst the many and varied factors influencing body image,
the media is thought to play a significant role. Fashion magazines,
and the broader fashion and beauty industries, in particular have
been the focus of scrutiny for their frequent use of thin models and
digital alteration of images
. Cross-sectional research studies con-
firm that female fashion models are more likely to be underweight
compared to non-models
, and the practice of digitally altering
images of models to look thinner is considered the norm in the fash-
ion industry
. Moreover, there is now considerable evidence to sup-
port the assertion that exposure to oftentimes unrealistic and
Received: 16 June 2017
Accepted: 20 October 2017
DOI: 10.1002/hpja.21
Health Promot J Austral. 2017;16. ©2017 Australian Health Promotion Association
unattainable body images in the media has a detrimental impact on
womens body image through social comparison, objectification and
internalisation of the thin ideal
A variety of strategies aimed at reducing the impact of the media
on body image have been developed. Consumer-targeted strategies
such as university-based body image interventions that include a
media literacy component have shown some promise
. However,
greater impact is likely with content-targeted strategies such as the
implementation of government policies and legislation that directly
changes practices in the fashion industry and associated media. In
2009, the Australian government formed a National Advisory Group
on Body Image. From a range of softand hardregulatory policy
instruments available, the Advisory Group developed a voluntary
Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image
. This code of conduct
contained 7 good-practiceprinciples for the advertising, fashion
and media industries including diversity in the representation of
body size and ethnicity, use of healthy weight models and guidelines
for the use of digital alteration. The code was launched alongside a
Positive Body Image Awards scheme that recognised efforts by the
industry to promote positive body image. Other countries have gone
a step further, imposing legal requirements for fashion models and
the use of digital alterations. In 2013, Israel introduced a law which
required fashion models to have a BMI of at least 18.5 kg/m
, pro-
ven by a medical certificate no older than 3 months and for any digi-
tally altered images to have a visible warning label, stating that
alterations have been made, covering 7% of the size of the image
surface area
. Similarly, in 2015 amendments were made to the
French Health Bill requiring models to be of a minimum BMI of
. The law has only recently come into effect but with the BMI
cut-off replaced with a requirement for models to have a medical
certificate stating they are healthy to work, and for images in which
a models appearance has been manipulated to be labelled as
retouched. Other initiatives have come from the industry itself, such
as the Dove Real Beauty and Target Loves Every Body campaigns.
Although these efforts suggest greater awareness, both within
government bodies and the fashion industry, of the need to depict
diversity in appearance, there is little evidence of whether this work
has resulted in greater diversity in the appearance of women
depicted in fashion magazines. Content analysis of magazine content
is a useful and widely used technique
and can be used to deter-
mine the extent to which fashion magazines comply with standards
or expectations of body diversity. This approach has been used pre-
viously to explore magazine representation of older women
, mas-
culinity in mens lifestyle magazines
and gender role portrayals
A content analysis study by Boyd and Moncrieff-Boyd
whether magazines upheld aspects of the Australian Voluntary
Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image
. The study looked at the
representation of diverse body shapes and sizes in the annual swim-
suit issues of 7 Australian womens magazines
. Three criteria were
used: evidence of at least one fuller size/plus size model, evidence
of various body shapes and sizes, and evidence of body enhance-
ment tips for diverse body types. It was found that while most
magazines upheld at last one of the 3 analysis criteria, only 1
magazine showed evidence of all 3 criteria. This magazine, Madison,
has since been discontinued. The study also found that some
magazines represented and discussed body image and diversity in a
potentially problematic manner. For example, providing tips on how
to hide or disguise body areas rather than tips for dressing to suit
body figures. The authors recommended future analysis of diversity
in body shapes, ages and ethnicities in contemporary magazines to
ensure claims of diversity are objectively monitored. Although this
study found partial adherence to the Code of Conduct, it was con-
ducted shortly after the Codes release and warned of the potential
for the results to be placatory and short-lived.
This study therefore aimed to gauge the state of body image
diversity in the print media 5 years after the introduction of the
Australian Code of Conduct. Specifically, the study aimed to evaluate
diversity in the visual representation of body size, ethnicity, and age
in Australian womens fashion magazines published in 2015 using
content analysis. It was expected that diversity would be low across
all 3 aspects of appearance.
Selection of magazines
Thirteen magazines were selected for inclusion in this study (all Aus-
tralian editions): Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Dolly, Elle, Frankie, Girlfriend,
Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Marie Claire, Oyster, Shop Til You Drop,
Vogue, and Yen. Magazines were included if they targeted adoles-
cent and adult females, were primarily focused on fashion rather
than lifestyle and/or gossip, and were readily available in Australian
newsagencies. Australian magazine readership information by Roy
Morgan Research
indicated that 11 of the magazines had com-
bined readership of approximately 12.4% (readers 14 years and
older), equating a readership of about 2 409 000. Including Next
Medias information for Yen
, the combined readership total
approximately 2 559 00. Readership information was not available
for Oyster. One issue of each magazine published was selected for
analysis based on convenience, spanning January to October 2015.
Image inclusion criteria
All images within the magazines were included in the analysis if they
contained a real-life image of a female (ie not a drawing or cartoon),
were not children, and the arms and/or legs were visible including
arms and/or legs visible through tight clothing. If more than 1 model
was depicted, each model was rated separately. Coding included
whether the image was embedded within an advertisement or was
magazine-generated content (eg fashion spreads).
Coding procedure
Body size was classified using the Stunkard Figure Rating Scale
. The FRS is a visual scale of 9 silhouette figures increasing in
size from 1 (very thin) to 9 (very obese). It has been widely used as
a self-report measure of perceived and ideal weight status, and is
considered suitable for the assessment of an individuals relative
weight or size by an observer
. A recent review of FRS found the
FRS to have high reliability and validity
, on par with other recent
scales such as the Photographic FRS
. Previous studies suggest the
FRS figures can be classified into 5 categories: underweight (figures
1 and 2), appropriate weight (figures 3 and 4), slightly overweight
(figures 5), overweight (figures 6 and 7) and obese (figures 8 and
As few previous studies have examined ethnicity and age, this
study aimed to provide a preliminary indication of ethnicity diversity
by categorising images based on skin colour as white(ie Caucasian)
or other,and of age diversity by categorising images as young
and older(ie showing wrinkles and/or grey or greying hair).
Content analysis procedure
All images were rated by the first author. To measure intra-rater relia-
bility, 60 images were re-coded by the same rater 1 week later. Per-
centage agreement was 100%. Inter-rater reliability was assessed by
having a second rater (third author) code 15% of the images. Percent-
age agreement was 85% for body size, 95% for ethnicity and 100% for
age. Percentage agreement above 80% is considered acceptable
A total of 1182 images depicting 1534 models were included in the
analysis. Of these images, 293 (25%) were embedded within adver-
tisements. The mean number of model per magazine was 118, and
ranged from 28 (Yen magazine) to 190 (Shop Til You Drop maga-
Table 1 shows the percentage representation of each body size
using the FRS for the 13 magazines. Of the 1534 models, 1141
(74%) were classified underweight (figures 1-2), 380 (25%) as appro-
priate weight (figures 3-4), 10 (1%) as slightly overweight (figures 5)
and 3 (.2%) as overweight (figures 6-7). No models were classified as
obese (figures 8-9). There was considerable variation across maga-
zines. For example 54% of models in Dolly were classified as under-
weight compared to 96% of models in Shop Til You Drop.
Table 2 shows the percentage representation of ethnicity and
age. Regarding ethnicity, 1386 (90%) of all models were classified as
white. Across magazines this ranged from 84% (Marie Claire) to
100% (Cleo). Looking at age, just 12 (1%) of models were classified
as older. Eight of the magazines did not depict any older models.
The greatest age diversity was observed for Frankie, with 5% of
models depicted being of older age.
Across both advertisement images and other images, on average
73% of models were underweight, whilst 26%-27% were classified
as appropriate weight. In the advertisements, there were no models
classified as slightly overweight, overweight or obese. However, less
than 1% of models were classified as slightly overweight and over-
weight in other images. None of the advertisements analysed in this
study depicted models of non-white ethnicity and/or older age.
Overall there was little diversity amongst body images represented
in Australian womens fashion magazines. Across the 13 magazines
examined, models were mostly underweight, white and young. Just
1 in 4 models were observed to be of an appropriate weight or lar-
ger, with less than 1% observed to be overweight. There was little
difference in diversity between advertisements and non-
TABLE 1 Number (%) representation of body sizes for each magazine using Stunkards (1983) Figure Rating Scale
Figure Rating Scale, n (%)
Magazine Images, n Models, n 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cleo 104 121 1 (1) 85 (70) 32 (26) 3 (2) –– –––
Cosmopolitan 110 126 3 (2) 92 (73) 18 (14) 11 (9) 2 (2) ––
Dolly 78 123 67 (54) 43 (35) 11 (9) 1 (1) 1 (1) –––
Elle 121 164 17 (10) 122 (74) 25 (15) ––
Frankie 55 62 1 (2) 37 (60) 12 (19) 5 (8) 5 (8) 2 (3) –––
Girlfriend 94 112 1 (1) 66 (59) 33 (29) 12 (11) –– –––
Harpers Bazaar 111 139 11 (8) 91 (65) 35 (25) 2 (1) –– –––
InStyle 78 100 1 (1) 79 (79) 17 (17) 2 (2) 1 (1) ––
Marie Claire 120 159 6 (4) 103 (65) 47 (30) 3 (2) –– –––
Oyster 76 82 2 (2) 66 (80) 13 (16) 1 (1) ––
Shop Til You Drop 121 190 10 (5) 173 (91) 7 (4) ––
Vogue 88 128 2 (2) 88 (69) 34 (27) 4 (3) –– –––
Yen 27 29 0 (0) 17 (61) 8 (29) 3 (11) –– –––
Total, n (%) 1182 1534 55 (4) 1086 (71) 324 (21) 60 (4) 10 (1) 3 (.2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
The stimuli for the Figure Rating Scale range from 1 (underweight) through to 9 (obese).
advertisements aside from a small representation of overweight
body sizes in the non-advertisement images.
These findings are unsurprising given those of previous stud-
; however they are disappointing given recent efforts to change
practices and improve diversity in the representation of females in the
media. Unfortunately, these findings appear to confirm that voluntary
efforts such as the Australian Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on
Body Image have had a placatory and short-lived impact on media
practices, at least in the print media. Initiatives by government, indus-
try and other sectors are to be commended, yet there is a clear need
to ensure these initiatives are effectively implemented and evaluated
in an ongoing manner to ensure sustained impact. For example the
Australian Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image initi-
ated in 2010 was an admirable achievement. However, its voluntary
nature limited implementation, and it was essentially abandoned upon
a subsequent change in government in 2013.
Of importance, policy and legislative strategies aimed at changing
industry practices need to be made in consultation with industry to
identify and address any barriers to change. Furthermore, efforts to
address the effects of media on body image must be multifaceted.
Policy efforts need to be complemented with education and advo-
cacy, including evidence-based interventions like media literacy and
cognitive dissonance programmes
, and increased critical discourse
regarding sociocultural constructions of acceptable body size and
Although the study is helpful in contextualising the current state
of diversity in Australian womens fashion magazines, some limita-
tions should be noted. First, only 1 issue of each magazine was anal-
ysed and selected based on convenience of availability. Other issues
of the same magazine may have included more diverse range of
models, and may have identified seasonal differences. Second, the
classification categories used for age, ethnicity and body size could
be considered simplistic and somewhat subjective. However,
obtaining actual data on the characteristics of models were not fea-
sible, and the coding system arguably represents how the magazine
images would be perceived by readers. The simplicity of the coding
also allows for ease of replication in follow-up studies. Indeed, this
study showed the rating system to have good intra- and inter-rater
reliability. That said, the dichotomous categorisation of ethnicity
remains problematic as it limits a more nuanced consideration of
ethnic diversity and may inadvertently validate the dominant repre-
sentation of white females in magazines. Third, images were only
included in the ratings of ethnicity and age if they had met inclusion
criteria which were designed to allow ratings of body size (ie visible
arms and/or legs). More inclusive criteria for these ratings (eg head
shot only) may have increased the degree of ethnicity and age diver-
sity observed. However, our impression from the rating process is
that any such effect would be minimal.
Finally, the analysis was restricted to print magazines. Analysis of
other forms of media is of growing importance given the rise in
social media and magazinesincreased use of online platforms.
Indeed, 4 of the magazines included in this study (Dolly, Yen, Cleo
and Shop Til You Drop) have since ceased publication with many
attributing their decline to readers shifting their media use online.
That said, there is much to learn from studies such as this which
highlight the difficulties of developing and implementing policies
which will have significant impacts on diversity in the media. The
proliferation and speed of content delivery in the online space sug-
gest this will be even more challenging as technology progresses.
Beyond these limitations, the study also had several strengths. A
large number of magazine were included for analysis, covering a
large readership. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability showed a high
level of consistency across the measures. Diversity was measured
not only by body size but also by age and ethnicity, therefore pro-
viding a more complete indicator of diversity.
The study highlights several areas in need of further investigation
and development. Firstly, there is a clear need for initiatives target-
ing media content that are evidence-based. For example, although it
was thought that labelling images as photoshopped/altered would
reduce negative effects on body image, studies have found that such
labelling may not be effective and may sometimes have a detrimen-
tal effect on body image compared to no label
. In contrast, it has
been shown that exposure to advertisements depicting average-sized
models has a less negative effect on womens body image compared
to exposure to advertisements depicting thin models, whilst having
no significant impact on the effectiveness of the advertisement
Second, when evidence is lacking to inform selection of strategies,
there needs to be a well-planned evaluation framework in place to
determine the effectiveness of implemented strategies. Such evalua-
tion frameworks can then ensure that initiatives which are effective
are maintained, and those that are ineffective are ceased. Regular
monitoring and reporting of body image diversity in the media
through content analysis, such as that undertaken for this study, can
form both a strategy for encouraging change by identifying narrow
and biased representation, and a way by which to evaluate the effec-
tiveness of specific interventions. Monitoring may, however, require
TABLE 2 Representation of ethnicity and age for each magazine
Ethnicity, n (%) Age, n (%)
Magazine White Other Young Older
Cleo 121 (100) 0 (0) 121 (100) 0 (0)
Cosmopolitan 110 (87) 16 (13) 126 (100) 0 (0)
Dolly 106 (86) 17 (14) 120 (98) 3 (2)
Elle 152 (93) 12 (7) 162 (99) 2 (1)
Frankie 60 (97) 2 (3) 59 (95) 3 (5)
Girlfriend 99 (88) 13 (12) 112 (100) 0 (0)
Harpers Bazaar 132 (95) 7 (5) 138 (99) 1 (1)
InStyle 91 (91) 9 (9) 100 (100) 0 (0)
Marie Claire 134 (84) 25 (16) 156 (98) 3 (2)
Oyster 77 (94) 5 (6) 82 (100) 0 (0)
Shop Til You Drop 166 (87) 24 (13) 190 (100) 0 (0)
Vogue 110 (86) 18 (14) 128 (100) 0 (0)
Yen 28 (100) 0 (0) 28 (100) 0 (0)
Total, n (%) 1386 (90) 148 (10) 1522 (99) 12 (1)
more complex, innovative methodologies to capture the variety and
volume of media now available, particularly social media
. Finally,
there is a need for government and advocates for body image diver-
sity to more effectively engage the fashion and beauty industries in
efforts to improve body image attitudes and diversity. By working
together, industry bodies, government and advocates might better
gauge the feasibility of proposed initiatives and more readily identify
strategies will bring about change.
In sum, this study found little diversity amongst the images in ado-
lescent and adult womens magazines in Australia, 5 years after the
launch of the Australian Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on
Body Image
. The predominant representation was of underweight,
white, young women. The findings suggest that the effectiveness of
soft policy options, such as voluntary codes of conduct, to promote
diversity in magazine images are ineffective in the long term. It is
likely that a raft of harderapproaches, including mandatory regula-
tion, economic incentives/disincentives, along with media literacy
education need to be considered concurrently to address the issue
of medias negative impact on body image.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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How to cite this article: de Freitas C, Jordan H, Hughes EK.
Body image diversity in the media: A content analysis of
womens fashion magazines. Health Promot J Austral.
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... While some evidence suggests that women's comparison behaviours reduce with increasing age (Yu et al., 2013), body dissatisfaction and the importance of appearance remain relatively stable (Quittkat et al., 2019). Given that fashion imagery predominantly utilizes younger women (e.g., younger than 40) (de Freitas et al., 2018;Han & Rudd, 2015), it is plausible that body image threat via appearance comparisons might increase with consumer age. Indeed, evidence suggests that female consumers between the ages of 30-60 reported higher positive beliefs towards advertisements and greater purchase intentions when fashion imagery depicts older models (Kozar, 2010). ...
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Online apparel shopping is popular among women, with possible negative body image consequences, particularly when the website imagery is body‐focused. We investigated both correlational and experimental effects of online apparel shopping on women's (N = 113) explicitly and implicitly measured self‐worth, appearance attitudes and body gaze behaviour. Self‐reported online apparel shopping behaviour positively correlated with self‐objectification and a tendency to value and compare one's appearance. Following a simulated online shopping activity, women who browsed a body‐focused activewear website felt worse about their looks, when compared with women who browsed a non‐body‐focused casualwear website. The activewear condition also primed lower subsequent visual attention towards female bodies in a gaze task, when compared with the casualwear condition. Given that women tend to naturally gaze at faces, the deprivation of facial stimuli in the activewear condition presumably led to a compensatory gaze effect, whereby subsequent attention towards bodies was comparably low. Importantly, dollars spent in the activewear condition correlated positively with appearance comparison and body shame attitudes. These results suggest that online apparel imagery exposure may negatively impact women's well‐being. We also find evidence suggesting that gaze behaviour plays a role in how apparel marketing influences subsequent attention.
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Studies suggest that an attentional bias to thin bodies is common among those with high levels of body dissatisfaction, which is a risk factor for, and symptom of, various eating disorders. However, these studies have predominantly been conducted in Western countries with body stimuli involving images of White people. In a preregistered study, we recruited 150 Malaysian Chinese women and 150 White Australian women for a study using standardized images of East Asian and White Australian bodies. To measure attentional bias to thin bodies, participants completed a dot probe task which presented images of women who self-identified their ethnicity as East Asian or as White Australian. Contrary to previous findings, we found no evidence for an association between body dissatisfaction and attentional bias to thin bodies. This lack of association was not affected by participant ethnicity (Malaysian Chinese versus White Australian) or ethnic congruency between participants and body stimuli (own-ethnicity versus other-ethnicity). However, the internal consistency of the dot probe task was poor. These results suggest that either the relationship between body dissatisfaction and attentional bias to thin bodies is not robust, or the dot probe task may not be a reliable measure of attentional bias to body size.
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This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the representation of women on the cover pages of Vanitha, one of India's most circulated women's magazines, spanning from January 2019 to August 2021. Employing a content analysis methodology, we collected and analysed sixty-six cover pages from the magazine, utilising descriptive statistics and visual analysis to gain insights into the portrayal of women. Our findings reveal a pervasive and stereotypical representation of women on the magazine's cover pages. While females are prominently featured, there remains a significant disparity in age, colour, class, and social status among the featured models. Older women are conspicuously absent from the cover pages, while middle-aged and young women conform to the societal norms dictated by patriarchal structures. Moreover, the cover pages predominantly display single portraits, perpetuating the normalisation of patriarchal ideals surrounding the "ideal" woman. The multidimensionality of the female psyche is primarily overlooked, failing to represent women's diverse experiences and complexities accurately. Furthermore, our research highlights the dominance of male and female actors as the primary stars featured on the magazine covers, followed by a limited presence of models, politicians, singers, and authors. Additionally, we observe a tendency for cover photographs to emphasise a seductive effect rather than effectively communicating the magazine's content. Examining the cover lines, we identify several dominant frames: health, celebrities, beauty, food, relationships, career, festivals, astrology, entrepreneurship, travel, and politics. These frames reflect the magazine's prioritisation of topics and align with the interests and concerns of its target audience. In conclusion, our study underscores the need for more inclusive and diverse representations of women on Vanitha's cover pages. By challenging stereotypical portrayals, addressing the disparity in age and social status, and adopting a more nuanced approach to the female experience, the magazine can foster a more empowering and authentic representation of women in its content.
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The research examines global fashion, with a special focus on cultural appropriation and inspiration in the contemporary fashion industry. The issue of cultural appropriation is quite new in the scenario of cultural studies. In its early stage, the project will consider new perspectives on the analysis of fashion production with a multidisciplinary approach. By collecting and studying material from international frameworks, the research aims to understand how the concept of appropriation develops. By outlining an approach for a conscious production process, even cooperating with other international realities, the present work might be of help in decentralizing the market.
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The Covid19 pandemic forced most companies to impose teleworking from home. Although individuals have access to many platforms in order to collaborate and to communicate with others, telework during the pandemic brought to light many challenges. Among these, personal appearance, and the setting in which videoconferences are conducted emerged as critical elements when working from home. Very few studies have researched the role of fashion in video-meetings. To address this gap, a survey has been executed, providing relevant insights into workers’ videoconferencing practices. Findings show that individuals’ appearance when doing online meetings with the camera on is very different from when they are in a professional setting. Furthermore, the desirability and prediction of use of digital elements/filters such as clothing, make-up, accessories, hair/beard, and home décor for professional settings are high. The implications of this study are twofold. Firstly, it provides novel insights on the role of digital fashion in the context of teleworking. Then, avenues for future research on digital fashion for videoconferencing in a post-pandemic setting are presented.
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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have witnessed unprecedented dynamism over the recent years with only few luxury brands experimenting with the technology albeit the very personal characteristics of NFT ownership. Little is known about how luxury brands use NFTs to develop their brand image and what opportunities luxury brands anticipate from NFTs as a new technology, digital product category or customer relationship channel. The present research note offers an applied research design to tackle these questions and systematically understand the potential of NFTs for personal luxury brands at large.
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The case of the Louis Vuitton ‘ maison de famille ’ in Asnières-sur-Seine allows investigation of communications strategies implemented by Corporate Fashion Museums. It is argued these museum types are used by luxury fashion brands as marketing tools to retain their customers. The data relied upon are primarily qualitative: interviews and exploratory observations were specifically conducted between January 2020 and November 2022. It is suggested that the process of commodification of the family patrimonium as well as the enhancement of for-sale products within the museum is made possible through the wise use of various techniques mainly related to the artification and the heritagization processes. The combination of those techniques – linking fashion brands with the art and museum world(s) – enables fashion firms to produce a coherent corporate narrative while pursuing seemingly oppositional goals.
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The French luxury brand, Balenciaga, recently faced its most important communication crisis. On November 16th 2022, the brand released its holiday gifting campaign featuring children surrounded by sadomasochism-inspired teddy bears/handbags and received immediate backlash from the public, who accused the brand of sexualizing children and promoting pedophilia. The outrage went viral on social media - mainly on Tiktok - with the hashtags #burnbalenciaga and #cancelbalenciaga, which have accumulated more than 300 million views. Balenciaga suffered an incalculable damage on its reputation, having two flagship stores vandalized and a viral online boycott. This investigation follows the case study methodology, by analyzing the timeline of events, the brand’s statements and response, the viral effect of the boycott on social media and the ultimate affectations that the brand underwent due to the crisis. The conclusions reveal that on one hand there are some social anethical boundaries that not even well-positioned and beloved brands can afford to cross, and that slow, unclear and unaccountable answers compose a terrible strategy of crisis management, and on the other hand, the power of consumers on social media has gained enough strength to damage brands like Balenciaga.
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This research project aims to investigate the symbolic and cultural meanings behind an underwear targeted to women in order to analyze the glamorous elements of a garment which is often presented in scenarios that allude to sexuality and transgression. The focus is on the underwear production of the last ten years, as the fashion world has lately been hit by discussions around the need to make fashion accessible for non-normative bodies. Now that fashion is called to play a role in terms of inclusivity on the symbolic as well as on the material level, the question behind this research is: what kind of relationship can be found between an inclusive underwear and glamour? The first part of this research will provide a complex definition of glamour, an ambiguous phenomenon that can either be conservative or subversive. The study will then proceed with an analysis on the relationship between glamour and underwear in the case of the two mainstream lingerie brands Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein. Finally, such relationship will be then investigated in the realm of a newborn inclusive lingerie brand named Chitè through an in situ ethnographic investigation.
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In the absence of studies addressing how to sample advertising in content analysis in a reliable manner, this paper aims to determine the most efficient way to select from a year's worth of issues for conducting content analysis of advertising in terms of sample size and type. This article specifically examines the cases of three Chilean consumer magazines: Que Pasa (a weekly news magazine), Cosas (a bimonthly celebrity/interview magazine), and Paula (a monthly women's magazine). Results show that the most efficient sample size depends on the magazine type/frequency (ranging from 6 to 12) and that stratified random sampling is more efficient than the use of a simple random method.
Technical Report
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Throughout the world, girls and women are interested in their looks. What has been perceived as an enjoyable part of life is however imbued with negative economic and psychological costs which are rarely calculated. International studies confirm the disturbing trend that body dissatisfaction and the perception that one is too large (even if this is not the case) undermine adolescent girls’ academic achievement. It doesn’t lead to failure, but to a diminishing in confidence and hence in performance. The marketing of beauty aimed at girls as young as five through to women in their seventies has made the idea of beauty more accessible but simultaneously, the narrowing of the ideal standard to very young women with one body type, one look, one shape, one colour, one breast or buttock size whose images are then photo-shopped to create bodies that rarely exist in real life - and are frequently unrecognizable to the model herself - has had many unfortunate consequences. The beauty ideals which saturate all media from facebook, to tumblr, to instagram, to mainstream magazines, music videos and billboards, create anxiety and shame around personal appearance.Concern about looks, size, weight, shape and attractiveness filch girls’ and women’s minds, passions and bodies. There is an urgent need for multi-level intervention to reverse the trend of poor body image and poor body confidence. The silent self-attacks are thwarting girls’ ambitions at exactly the time when society is apparently opening up to them. Programmes and social policy that can interrupt the cycle of undermining that is intensifying need to be underpinned by robust research, which can demonstrate the economic and psychological case for underpinning girls’ capability and can demonstrate the effectiveness of such strategies. The substantial economic costs of clinical eating disorders and obesity have been assessed in terms of present and future expenditure to the NHS and opportunities lost for young women. However, no costing exists of the ubiquitous breeding of body insecurity which takes form in the growth of appearance anxiety, body dysmorphias, bulimic behaviours, compulsive eating, and confidence issues, many of which are now normative and widespread among adults and young people. It is urgently required.
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The authors report a content analysis that assessed gender role portrayals in advertisements from highest circulation Japanese magazines. They found that, although some indigenous gender stereotyping was evident, several traits previously associated with Japanese women (devoted, obliging, rattle-brained, superstitious, thorough) were associated with men. Also, men were not linked with certain stereotypical male traits (autocratic, blustery, forgiving, generous, severe). Other findings included women being shown in a positive way as often as men. In terms of common international stereotypes, women were not associated with low priced products or portrayed as being more deferential than men. However, women still were portrayed as more concerned with appearance and as younger than men, were not depicted as product authorities, and were shown more often in sexist than in nonsexist depictions.
Objective: This present study was designed to develop and validate rating scales for body image assessment in adolescents. Method: The figures of the Figure Rating Scale (FRS; Stunkard, Sorenson, & Schlusinger, The genetics of neurological and psychiatric disorders, 1983, pp. 115–129) used in previous research seem more appropriate for research with adults. Accordingly, we developed two forms of a body rating scale (BRS) depicting adolescent females and administered these scales and the FRS to 315 female subjects. The subjects comprise three age groups, 11‐year‐olds, 17‐year‐olds, and their mothers, all participants in the epidemiologically based Minnesota Twin Family Study. Two independent observers also rated each subject. Results: Intercorrelations among raters and scales and with body mass index were generally high and indicate comparability between the BRS measures and the FRS. Discussion: The generally excellent psychometric properties of the new scales coupled with their face validity may make them a useful tool for body image research in children and adolescents. © 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Ageing well and successful ageing have become important themes to describe how older individuals should keep ageing at bay. Products and services aimed at controlling ageing have become associated with ageing well. In this study we aimed to analyse the representation of older women in advertisements specific to appearance and ageing. In particular, we sought to explore how ageing for women was presented in the media over a period 50. years and when advertisements began to use the term 'anti-ageing'. A content analysis of 710 advertisements from two prominent Australian women's magazines, from 1960 to 2010, was conducted. Analyses showed that advertisements provided a narrow range of images representing women's physical appearance. The underlying messages were that ageing is problematic and that it had become unforgivable to show any signs of ageing. Text contained in advertisements for beauty products from the two chosen Australian magazines often gave specific and prescriptive advice to women on ways to avoid losing their youthful appearance. It was concluded that media relay powerful messages to spread and modify cultural beliefs informing individuals of a range of options that propose liberation from the problem of ageing.
The promise of 'big data' has generated a significant deal of interest in the development of new approaches to research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as a range of important critical interventions which warn of an unquestioned rush to 'big data'. Drawing on the experiences made in developing innovative 'big data' approaches to social media research, this paper examines some of the repercussions for the scholarly research and publication practices of those researchers who do pursue the path of 'big data'-centric investigation in their work. As researchers import the tools and methods of highly quantitative, statistical analysis from the 'hard' sciences into computational, digital humanities research, must they also subscribe to the language and assumptions underlying such 'scientificity'? If so, how does this affect the choices made in gathering, processing, analysing, and disseminating the outcomes of digital humanities research? In particular, is there a need to rethink the forms and formats of publishing scholarly work in order to enable the rigorous scrutiny and replicability of research outcomes?
This paper presents the results of a content analysis study that examined the use of celebrity endorsers in magazine advertising. Advertisements appearing in 37 different magazines representing eight major classification categories were analysed to gain insight into the prevalence of use of celebrity endorsers in magazine advertising. Only 10% of the magazine ads run during the time period analysed contained a celebrity, which is much lower than estimates of their use often reported in the media. The findings show that the use of celebrities varies by magazine type with their use being highest for sports and teen publications. The use of celebrities also varies by product/service category as does the type of celebrity utilised, such as athletes, actors/actresses, entertainers and supermodels. Celebrity use was based primarily on the source characteristics of popularity/likeability followed by physical attractiveness. Celebrity use based on expertise occurs primarily for athletic products.
Many women struggle with poor body image and eating disorders due, in part, to images of very thin women and photoshopped bodies in the media and advertisements. In 2013, Israel's Act Limiting Weight in the Modelling Industry, 5772-2012, came into effect. Known as the Photoshop Law, it requires all models in Israel who are over 18 years old to have a body mass index of 18.5 or higher. The Israeli government was the first government in the world to legislate on this issue. Australia has a voluntary Code of Conduct that is similar to the Photoshop Law. This article argues that the Australian government should follow Israel's lead and pass a law similar to the Photoshop Law because the Code is not sufficiently binding.
The increasing global popularity of men’s lifestyle magazines offers a unique opportunity to study how advertising constructs masculinity across cultures. This study conducted a content analysis of 636 ads from the three most popular men’s lifestyle magazines in Taiwan, China, and the United States to examine the representations of masculinity in their advertisements between 2008 and 2010. The objectives were to determine how masculinities are currently portrayed in terms of types and roles. The study found that the magazines from all three countries typically portrayed men as refined and sophisticated. The defining characteristic of global hegemonic masculinity is commodity consumption, with a particular emphasis on a trendy and refined appearance. We found no significant cross-cultural differences in the types of masculinity, namely, “Vigorous and Macho”, “Refined and Sophisticated”, and “Trendy and Cool”. The traditional preference for “Refined and Sophisticated” in Chinese and Taiwanese ads and a preference for “Vigorous and Macho” in the U.S. ads have largely disappeared. Instead, the global consumption market and its associated consumer culture are the primary determinants regarding representations of masculinity in men’s lifestyle magazine ads. This global culture may underlie the lack of differences found.