Fair-skinned and Happy housewives : How women are portrayed in advertisements in Mexican fashion magazines

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/HLK, Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap; Högskolan i Jönköping/HLK, Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap


Advertising has a powerful role in today’s society, especially since we are constantly surrounded by it. Advertisement does not only encourage people to make decisions about their purchases but has a big impact on the culture (Lin & Yeh, 2009; Lindner, 2004). Hence, it is a big factor of creating norms and ideas of what is feminine and masculine; thus affecting the perception on gender within societies. Unfortunate is however that to be able to cut through the enormous advertising clutter that people are exposed to daily, advertisers tend to use sexual content and portrayals as tactic, leading to an obscure ideal (Dahl, Segupta & Vohs, 2009; Cortese, 2008; Connell & Pearse, 2015; Butler & Almqvist, 2007).

This quantitative and qualitative study examines from a Gender and Feminist theory perspective how women are portrayed sexually and stereotypically in advertisements within Mexican fashion magazines. The advertisements found within the seven biggest fashion magazines in Mexico are being studied both through a quantitative content analyse and qualitative text analyse using a semiotic approach.

The result of the study shows that the content of advertisements in Mexican magazines frequently portray females in a sexualised and stereotypical way. Within our qualitative result six different stereotypes could be found. Furthermore, our quantitative result shows that the most commonly portrayed female within the advertisements are White. Henceforth, our result shows that a female ideal where the most crucial attributes are: to be sexy, beautiful, obtain an attractive appearance and to be White. 

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