By Ellen McCracken

A research of the greater than fifty US and foreign smooth guides for girls. This research makes a speciality of the recommendations through which the economic constitution shapes the cultural content material, the magazines' repetitive makes an attempt to safe a consensus in regards to the female that's grounded in consumerism, and the contradictory semiotic constructions at paintings inside of and among bought advertisements, covert advertisements, and editorial features.

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Adjacency and placement are regularly used to enhance advertising messages, thus functioning as forms of covert advertising. Ads for food appear with food-related editorial, or even near articles on diet or exercise. An ad for a make-up product is placed next to a beauty article. In the April 1982 Working Mother, for example, an ad for Stresstabs vitamins appears on the page facing an article on fatigue and overwork (pp. A4-7), and an article on permanent waving hair is directly preceded by an ad for Gillette's Toni Silkwave home permanents (pp.

However, as is the case with newspaper headlines, graphic and 34 Decoding Women's Magazines spatial considerations restrict content; the need for compression and the desire to attract readers often result in distorting or misleading phrases, so that headlines are frequently false leads or partial truths about what is to follow. For example, a reader who is attracted by the headline on the February 1982 cover of Mademoiselle, "Do Men Love the Women They Sleep With? " While the actual title of the article plays on women's generalized feelings of insecurity with respect to men, the cover headline specifies a sexual interpretation - men's judgment of the women they sleep with - and links it to love.

Finally, montage functions among the headlines themselves. In examining the cover before reading the magazine, the viewer forms C cells from the titles as she perceives them in close succession. Often the titles develop a single theme, but they sometimes offer contradictory cells of meaning. " Headlines on the cover of the December 1981 Cosmopolitan en espanol sold in the United States present contradictions when read together in montage. ") and its companion which argues against drug taking ("Where the rainbow ends.

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