First Draft of Media Exploration: How is gender represented in fragrance commercials

Judith Butler argues that ‘there is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender’[1] which suggests that gender can be fluid and therefore can be chosen. Butler illustrates the idea that person is born a sex whether it is male or female but then can adapt and change their gender depending on their own opinions or the cultural background they are from.  However the idea of this choice in this ‘Gender Trouble’ can be counter typed and challenged by the amount of pressure put on audiences in the media; females are pressurized to become feminine and males are pressurized to become masculine which arguably then creates the male or female gaze and the spectrum of masculinity and femininity can be varied depending on the confidence of the individual wanting to conform or resist the conventional ideas in the media and society.

The CK One fragrance advert compliments this idea as the slogan of the fragrance is ‘for a man or a woman’ which hen reminds viewers of the similarity of the gender and can therefore highlight the idea of equality the image on the advert also emphasizes this as the male and the female are visually similar the only difference being that the women has a different body shape, however the way the male is covering up the women’s chest with the fragrance bottle can identify the equality in the two sexes. They are also dressed in the same style jeans with their chest being exposed which can show there also to be equality in the gender they are portraying which can compliment the argument of Judith Butler and the idea of people being able to choose what gender they are with no limitations because of the sex they are.  The female’s hairstyle in the advertisement becomes prominent as it isn’t a stereotypical feminine hairstyle this can therefore rule out the idea of traditional gender and the conventional idea of a women or girl to have long hair and look feminine and be replaced with the modern idea of being able to resist in society and therefore have short masculine hairstyle this can again reinforce the idea of gender now being fluid and not dependent on the sex the individual is.

However this advert portrays the fragrance to be a sexualized. The way the people are positioned in the photograph gives sexual connotations due to the idea that they have minimal clothing on and the button being undone on the female’s jeans being prominent. This becomes ironic and then gives the impression to audiences that if they purchase the fragrance it will make them feel and look more sexual the audience is exploited as the advert is selling a fragrance through images, the smell of the fragrance is not identified in the advertising campaign at all.  This is because ‘Advertisements cannot simply attempt to sell the product in question; they must make it appeal to the consumer.  It is important that advertisements not only attempt to make clear the attributes of the product they are trying to sell but also ensure that these actually mean something to us the consumer’[2]

The advert can be viewed through Laura Mulvey’s female or male gaze; due to both sexes being sexualized and therefore the audience having a choice which sex they feel attracted to this can link to the fragrance being multi-gendered as if the female was sexualized and the male wasn’t this would then arguably appeal towards the male sex. Although the female is the main figure and takes up most of the advert and therefore is visually dominating the male illustrates dominance over the female by the positioning of his hands being almost inside her jeans and his other hand covering her chest. The male has power over the women the way his arms are around her which can connote a symbolic barrier almost as if the female can’t protect herself; also the male is having to cover up her chest which can then go on to illustrate that the female has no dignity and if it wasn’t for the male covering up her chest she would be fully exposing her chest. Linking to ‘Killing us softly’ by Jean Kilbourne who illustrates the idea of how women are exploited in the advertising industry and how the media establish the idea in advertisements that women must be innocent but sexy and also virginal but experienced. Kilbourne further analyses an advertisement for Armani Exchange, which reads, “The more you subtract, the more you add.”[3] Which almost implies that the less of you there is the more attention you will attract; which links towards the minimal clothing in the CK One fragrance advertisement.

The ‘Miss Dior Cherie’ fragrance advert doesn’t sexualize the female it countertypes this idea and almost portrays her as a child, due to the balloons this can symbolize childhood and can make the female holding them look innocent, also the pastel colours present emphasize this as it makes the advert feel calm. The positioning of the female floating identifies the passive nature of the female linking toward the idea of traditional gender and feminism and the gender traits of a female being passive and innocent the dress the female is wearing also adds towards the idea of her being passive due to the restrictions by wearing a dress. Moreover the facial expression of the female connotes her having a calm nature, which is ironic due to the advertisement showing her floating above the city. The idea that the female is floating can also connote the idea of the female being angelic and therefore perfect as the media encourages perfection in females which in ‘Killing us softly’ Jean Kilbourne analyses the idea of the females being constantly pressured to look ‘perfect’ like the celebrities or females shown in the media however audiences are exploited as Kilbourne investigates that most images of females in the media are edited via photoshop or the female has had some sort of surgery. Due to the advertisement having intertextual references to fairytale’s, the advertisement can arguably relate to the younger generation due to the over sized perfume bottle which can link towards Alice in wonderland, however it adds towards the innocent nature of the female in the advertisement. The female in the advertisement is also arguably represented younger than she actually is this could be to relate towards different audiences.

In male fragrance adverts according to the ‘The Times article; how are fragrances advertised to men’ males are represented as masculine or the opposite. The Davidoff Adventure fragrance advert appeals to the masculine representation of males ‘The Times’ describes the advert as ‘Ewan McGregor, unshaven, artfully rugged, dressed in anti-fashion thermals and ethnic scarf, finds himself on “an incredible journey’[4]. The celebrity Ewan Mcgregor is represented as a strong masculine figure due to the conventional image of a beard and being muscular. However his hairstyle can arguably be unconventional due masculine men having short hair in the media. The masculinity created by Mcgregor is also reinforced by the surroundings he is in and the idea of the motorcycle in the background, this connotes being independent which is a traditional male trait. The idea of the jungle also adds towards the idea of masculinity but also due to the idea that he is on his own it illustrates him being brave. The facial expression of Ewan Mcgregor is stern which emphasizes him being of a strong nature but can also add towards the traditional view of male’s not showing much emotion. The dark clothing worn in the advertisement is conventional for a male however the white scarf has a feminine aspect to it, which gives Ewan Mcgregor traits of a female as well. The idea that Davidoff have used a celebrity to appeal their fragrance towards the audience is relatively appealing, as Ewan Mcgregor is a popular role model for males across the nation and also a sexual appeal for females. The female gaze is apart of most male print advertisements due to the females being attracted to the image of the male and then purchasing the fragrance for their partners or friends.

In conclusion, gender is a big part of print adverts, and I feel in fragrance commercials gender helps a lot to sell the fragrance to the audience as it makes audiences appeal to the advert and aspire to be like the celebrity it also forms an attraction if the female or male is good looking which it most cases the fragrance advert uses a popular celebrity to do this. Fragrances then create a more mass appeal as if a person aspires to be like a celebrity and the celebrity is promoting the fragrance it makes audience think the celebrity has that fragrance. However celebrities are usually represented different in fragrance adverts such as David Beckham who as a footballer is represented as a masculine figure in football his main career whereas in his fragrance commercials he is represented in a more feminine light as he wears a lot of jewellery and also makes fragrances for women which then creates a mass appeal due to the male gaze as well as his popularity. Females in fragrance adverts are generally represented to have stereotypical feminine traits and either be innocent and passive or provocative and have minimal clothing on.


[1] Judith Butler (1990). Gender Trouble. Routledge. 25.

[2] Judith Williamson (1978). Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning In Advertising. Marion Boyars. 12.

[3] Sut Jhally, Jean Kilbourne (1999). Killing Us Softly 3. USA: Media Education Foundation.

[4] Anon. (2008). How fragrances are advertised to men. Available: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/men/article4020253.ece.

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Autobiographical Genre: A Childlike Innocence

…Darkness took the lead, almost as if a black hole had been consistently growing in the same space for a great deal of time. Wetness surrounded me making me feel as if I’d been thrown into a deep puddle and left there to go soggy.

I had restricted movement, restricted space. A snakelike unbreakable tube led into my belly button. A heavy thud bellowed through my diminutive ears. It then finalised with an immense screech, which made my body convulse with fear. I began to tumble; my miniature body cascaded over and over as if I were a Ferris wheel. I couldn’t take control over my actions. Somebody else must have been controlling them instead. Who was holding my strings?

An impulsive tremble compelled my spine to constantly collide against barriers in darkness which surrounded my body, my mouth continually jolting within my skull.

I gravitated almost as if I was a school boy being pushed over; my mind hesitated for the landing of the fall. However curiously I didn’t injure or hurt myself, it was if a trampoline had been present and had sprung me back up again. My back set itself into an arch shape moulding itself against the barricades. My arms enfolded and locked onto my knees, my heartbeat got slower whilst my eye-lids ajar. I drifted off into sleep whilst the darkness took the lead.

My eyelids opened to allow my eyes to breathe in the air, still accustomed to the blackness. My movements were hindered by the confines of the surrounding barricades. Sporadically, a cacophonous thud which made my whole body spasm uncontrollably would occur, along with butterflies which took to the stage in my stomach and danced in a tickling motion. Nourishment occasionally visited to nurture my daily requirements.

A drum within my chest played a constant beat as a solo part, not being accompanied by any other sound or instrument. It played with a fast rhythm causing my body to shake with its loudness. My mouth became waterless and my throat started to tickle. Wind travelled from my belly into my throat then walked the rest of the way into my mouth to cause me to make continuous bellowing noises assisted with more trembling.

I lay listening attentively to the sounds contained in the darkness; numerous bellowing ‘booms’ and ‘screams’ took control boisterously, which caused me to try and hide away shutting my eyes tightly. A sensation of blazing heat fulfilled my body waddling its way through my insides. The sense of bursting became apparent as my structured frame became compressed in the restricted area I had to move in. My feet and toes enlarged, touching the barricades of darkness.

Bleary vision blemished my skin as agony pasted itself throughout my whole body. A sinister stroke led itself up into my throat. The insignificant drum in my chest began beating slower than usual, steadier. Severe tension wrapped itself around my neck smothering my breath with death. I suffered persistent agony until a ray of luminous light grabbed me, so tightly I couldn’t break free and it took my last wheezy breath away from me…

 

 

…I floated gracefully in rhythm to classical symphony. Upward. I drift moderately, unhurried like a tortoise. Spotlights still drew me in as I continually drift ascending:       Up.

Up.

Up.

Leaving everything behind, I felt secure and above agony, nothing could hurt me or get to me up here. I was secure.

 

This is me, talking from heaven. It looks practically like a school playground, with giant swings and skipping ropes it’s full of people like me up here. There are counsellors present to help the newcomers settle and adjust to the new surroundings.

From heaven, I spectate: my parents. I can see how content they are now and how they imploded after my death, but it was their decision, they didn’t want me to be their child; I wasn’t the one for them. I understand that I was a mistake to them. But I am safe up here, I still watch over them. They’ll always be my parents.

I like it up here, troubles seem a far. Its peaceful, blue skies everyday almost as if somebody has painted it, the sun gleaming all the time fixing a smile to everybody’s face almost as if it were Christmas. Negativity keeps a distance, it’s not allowed up here and only the positive minds are welcomed at the gates.

This is summer, but that is the only season up here, the golden gates secure me; I have a new family up here.  I was taken from Earth before my mother had give birth to me therefore I didn’t get to see Earth properly. I now live in heaven, people say it’s just the same as earth, but more peaceful.

I live among the brightly coloured flower garden a yellow path guides people toward the pale pink cottage with its thatched roof every detail of it helps to define the word perfect. Everybody’s welcome in our house. My new mother bakes cakes for newcomers, to welcome them so they don’t feel disorientated and scared; the newcomer then gets placed with a suitable family who will then nurture them. My new mother is now taking care of me, until my parents come to collect me, hopefully they’ll want me then. I’ll watch over my parents until they come and find me.

 

…brightness now takes the lead.

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Horror Genre: An unknown entity

I was forced to leave my old memories behind. The ‘new’ house stood intimidating me, larger than all the others in which I had grown up in. The iron gates outside secluding it from the rest of the world, the lonely corner house. It’s fragile brickwork skin keeping it together, with significant cracks in each corner. Darkness defeated the daylight, the ‘new’ house solemn, only the old oak tree with its monstrous features knew the house’s secrets and why it had been empty, hungry for so long…

I’d seen these types of things in horror movies, people pretending they feel or see ghostly presence and then coming to haunt them in the night; however I had never been convinced by it… until now.

Nobody believed me; they said I must be disorientated. However my parents were always out; I was left with the house, alone. Floorboards creaked on their own accord. Cobwebs hung as if I was in a tarantula’s lair. A black hole sat prominent in the floor leading downward towards the cellar, my mind curious.

The house feels cold, I race up to my room- but it was nothing special; an old canvas bed, a bay window with decrepit paintwork; numerous colours it had previously been painted were showing through the cracks. A lonely black and white portrait of a young boy, who looked strangely like me, centred itself in the middle of the nicotine stained wall. It’s almost as if somebody wanted me to move here. Nostalgia overcomes me, why would my mom want to move here? I loved my old bedroom; my baseball flags draped from the ceiling, I had nearly every team’s flag. I had my own box for all of my trading cards. This house has nothing like that, it is just a skeleton.

I draw the paper-like curtains, held together by a couple of threads of cotton, and make my way towards the bed, I wasn’t going to label it ‘my’ bed because it wasn’t mine, nothing in this house was mine. The sheets felt old and itchy, the pillow not even an inch thick; the smell of moth balls suffocated me, my mind constantly active. I do not feel safe. Hesitant for my mom to get home I wait. Echoes of what I think is the wind invading each room, the echo almost sounds like my name: “Christian, Christian, Christian” I just blame it on my disorientation like everybody else, I suddenly hear a massive thud which shakes the whole house. My mom must be home. I’m safe now aren’t i? I roll over and try to get comfortable, try to sleep…

…Breathing shallow, I slowly drift off; flashes enter my mind without permission. Hallucinations, a boy at the bottom of my bed. Hallucinations, a blooded axe. Hallucinations, a hooded figure, blurs surrounding it: it invades my space I can feel its breath. Blurred vision; I wake feeling bewildered. I make my way towards the portrait, one step at a time, each toe adding to the loudness of each creek.

I study the picture closely; I wonder who this boy is? His features are the exact same as mine except for his hair being pushed to the opposite side and his prominent mark on his chin; is he related to me? I lift the picture, clutching it tightly in my hand to have a closer look, cobwebs wrap around my fingers. A gothic mirror glared at me; it had been hiding behind the picture…

Goosebumps cover my body. Suddenly, the boy becomes my reflection. His flat-peaked cap is now easily identified. He stands in the same place as me. His piercing eyes burning into mine. Petrified. I tremble, every move I make he mirrors. I drop the picture in fear; it shatters the glass into tiny pieces almost like grains of sand. The shards of glass then implant themselves into the joints of the worn floorboards.

I run into the bedroom which my mom had claimed. I want my mom, I need to tell her, but she’s not there. A shadowed figure replaces my mom in here bed. Getting closer I still just see the blackness. Terrified. I scream: “MOM” no reply, “MOM” no reply. I race back to the mirror; a film of condensation covers it: The room is freezing. Trembling with fear and the cold I rub the mirror. The boy isn’t there, I just see myself, only myself. I bang the mirror expecting a reply. I try smashing the mirror, it won’t break. I sit on my bed, puzzled. I can see my breath outside of my body. My heartbeat is deafening me. I’m scared. Without warning, lights blinded me. The house looks different in the light. My mom bellows my name from downstairs. I find my feet disorientated. I look for the mirror; the portrait takes its place. Confused, maybe it was just a realistic dream? I go downstairs to my mom, breakfast. It’s a new day.

I ask my mom is she slept well, she was fine we ate breakfast together then she was off to work again: I hated it when my mom left me like this, especially when my dad was away and I’m on my own. As soon as my mom left the echoes started again, this time louder, much louder. The cellar, is a prominent black hole in the floor, I’m being drawn towards it I can’t escape, my movements constricted. Slowly getting closer I feel as if I’m being taken over, my body light weight. Out of control, questions spin around in my head mixed with fear; why is this happening to me? I can’t escape, I’m being sucked in, and it won’t stop. I spiral like being in a tornado, my mind now working unconscientiously.  Frightened is an under statement to describe this. Blackness surrounds me, echoes fulfil me, my name again “Christian, Christian, Christian”. This house isn’t just a house like my old one, I want to go home. Who’s at the other end? I smell moth balls, damp. The damp clings to the back of my throat. Downward I go, being absorbed into the cellar, as if I was the nourishment to its hunger. Downward, my soul being taken away from me, my body is being taken over. Possessed; I reach the bottom, the cellar…

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Communications Coursework: My laptop controls facebook: but does facebook control me?

Social networking sites play a big part in today’s society; social networking mainly appeals to the teenage audience however it is starting to become a big aspect of everybody’s life.

 

Facebook is available on many cultural products including; laptops, mobile phones, iPods etc, and is accessible everywhere, it is a part of popular culture as it is ‘for everybody’ and is ordinary. I use different personas on my laptop depending what I am using it for. For example facebook contains a persona that can be changed and adapted to my social group and the media influence and is arguably my online identity; due to the way I have control over what my profile picture looks like and whether it is of me or not. My profile picture acts as an icon and relates to Goffman’s idea of performance ‘life is a dramaturgical model of self performance’ due to the way I don’t choose a picture that signifies me in a bad way, I pose for my picture to make myself look more attractive, which in the terms of Roger’s could be my ideal self. Through social networking the idea of gate keeping is applied as I get to choose what information I want to disclose and to what people. The idea of disclosure and feedback is also adapted through facebook due to the way you can give your opinion on other friends photo’s, status’ etc, this could be linked to the Johari due to the way I have the control over what is disclosed on my profile and what people I want to see it. Moreover, the information in the open self would vary depending on how well I know the person on facebook. The privacy settings on facebook help to hide information from certain people on my friends list. I will choose to hide the information from a person on my friends list if I think the information wouldn’t be relevant for them to see e.g. parents due to the way we have different personas as when we are with out parents to when we are with our friends. Additionally, I will only accept a person on facebook if I want to allow the person into my private self.

 

One of the main reasons I use social networking is because it is a quick way of communication and is aimed at all age groups therefore I can get in contact with people who I don’t see regularly it is also available internationally therefore I can speak to people around the world. Restricted code is used on social networking as the people who see what you are writing are in your private self and therefore will understand what you are speaking about so there will be no need for elaborated code.

 

My facebook identity is important, as identity is a big part of the subculture in which I am a part of; teenagers have two identities an online virtual identity and a ‘true’ identity. However both can be adapted and changed via others opinions and media’s influences, although I think it is easier to control how people perceive you in the virtual identity.

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Controversial Article: Abortion; Lower The Limit

Abortion is legalized in 54 countries worldwide. The legal abortion limit in the UK is 24 weeks. According to the world’s leading expert of fetal pain babies can feel pain after the 21st week of the pregnancy.
Considering the legal limit in the UK is equivalent to 6 months into the pregnancy therefore only 3 months away from carrying full-term. Why do people choose to abort at 6 months?
Many abortions do however take place around 3 months; but abortions at 6 months are legal in the UK. Studies have shown that people who abort at 6 months are usually aborting the baby due to a surgeon thinking the baby will have a disability like Down syndrome, but what’s to say that they can’t get that wrong? We interviewed Katy Hall and partner Jack Francis who were recently given the wrong information;
“ We were distraught to hear that our child could have a high risk of Down syndrome, and we were given talks by surgeons on ways of dealing with this and what we would have to go through if we chose to keep our baby. However we stuck to our beliefs on abortion, knowing that our baby was dependant on us, we had to make the right decision for it. Therefore we chose to keep it and Betsy-mae was born with no disability at all she’s a healthy little bundle of joy”
Everybody can make mistakes including surgeons. Other studies show that babies are aborted at 6 months due to Club foot which is easily treated with simple surgery so why do people choose to murder the life they created?
Abortion process today can be medical or surgical. Up to 8 weeks you can consume the Misoprostol pill which can be accessible from local surgeries and is also available free on the NHS. However abortion after 8 weeks has to be surgical, which includes the vacuum aspirator. The UK has a limitation on abortion up to 24 weeks which is one of the highest limits worldwide. The NHS provide for abortions which then brings up the idea of if the limitation of abortion was lowered would this save NHS expenses? Then, instead of the money being spent to ‘murder’ a life, could it be spent to ironically ‘save’ a life.
There are advantages and disadvantages of lowering the abortion limit in the UK which has been a subject for government since 2005. Disadvantages would be that nearly 1 in 5 babies born will go into care but is that such a bad idea? As the baby has a chance to live a life instead of being killed at their first breath. Babies who go into care don’t necessarily have a bad life it just means they will end up with a loving family that won’t be biological but will still nurture them. They could also go to a loving family who maybe can’t conceive. Moreover, due to scans being able to show the parents of any potential disabilities for the child at 5 and a half months, will this mean that disabilities in children will raise in the UK? This could be the case but giving children a chance at life whether they have a disability or not represents equality and is seen as the right choice. The baby does not have a say on whether it gets aborted or not, it is dependant on the parents to make the right decision for it. Disabilities can be time consuming and very demanding as a parent, it could also mean the child does not get a very good lifestyle but is this better than not having a life at all? Children with disabilities are taken care of in society today and there are care homes and schools which cater for their needs, the child can then be happy in an environment with children similar to themselves. Additionally tests have proven that 50% of disabilities shown at the 6 month scan can be treated with simple surgery which people turn down everyday and choose to murder the life they created instead.
Other reasons for abortion can be that the baby was a mistake and that the parents are too young to be able to look after it. Abortion in the teenage generation has almost doubled in the last 6 months. Teenagers are now using methods of abortion as forms of contraception, but is that the right choice for the child? Although teenagers can be seen as irresponsible, many teenagers who keep their child turn out to be responsible parents. Moreover even if the teenager doesn’t want their child due to financial reasons or they don’t think they are ready to be responsible for another life, is it fair to say that they could consider adoption instead of abortion? With teenagers knowing the abortion limit is 6 months in the UK, this makes them think they can have an easy way out up to 6 months into their pregnancy; this is treating the baby as an easy taken care of mistake instead of a life. MP’s try to lower the abortion limit each year, but fail to achieve anything. Due to the amount of people using it as a easy way out. This is selfishness as the baby cannot make the decision; it is dependant on its mother to make the right decision for it. Abortion at 6 months is murder, considering the baby can survive at 6 months with the help of a ventilator additionally if you consider anything having a heartbeat a living thing, babies have a formed healthy heartbeat at the fifth week of pregnancy. Abortions are annually performed in our country for women who feel they have no other realistic choice. Babies could be aborted due to the facilities for the baby or the financial state but do these people spare thought for women who can’t conceive, and the other options for the child other than death?

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Rapresentation: Exploring hip hop from a feminist perspective, is it all misogynous?

Rap music is a part of the larger movement called hip-hop; the lyrics express storytelling and can also reflect on the ethnic background of the artist. But is all rap music misogynous? With the genre of music arguably male dominated a feminists view on rap music would be that “Women’s roles in rap music usually placed them out of the spotlight as back up singers or dancers. It was not until the past ten years that female rappers have made their mark and gained considerable recognition and respect as artists and lyricists in the field.” I will use a feminist’s perspective to analyze aspects of rap music including images, moving images and language.
Rap music has a subculture like most genres of music the subculture of rap music is usually ‘gangsters’, they dress in tracksuits and hooded jackets which is where the vocative ‘hoodys’ come from in society, due to the way the ‘gangster’ subculture stereotypically seen as destructive. This links in with Goffman’s personal style as if a person chooses to dress this way they are conforming to the ‘gangster’ identity. A rapper’s ethnic background is important because it determines the type of rap they write, for example rap music originated in Africa and consisted of a story of the artist’s life it then formed a mass movement in the south of America, and today rappers write about anything. Rapper’s don’t use their original name they make names up like ’50 cent’ ‘Tinie Tempah’ etc. This is a hidden identity it can be seen as a separate persona for example an on stage persona and an off stage persona, however it could also be part of the rapper’s image due to the way these names can be argued to be more memorable and also original, as no other rapper would have the same name as the one they have made up.
Feminists would argue that women are portrayed as objects other than people. They are shown this way through the videos as well as the language in the lyrics. Women are placed out of the spotlight and are generally placed as back up dancers, dressed in minimal clothing; such as short tight dresses or bikini tops which could connote that they are no more than eye candy and therefore are seen as objects other than people. Moreover, now that rap music is globalizing and is a part of popular culture, rap music videos are shown at all times during the day and people of all ages have access to it; “What sort of personal values do little girls in our hip-hop nation develop when they are constantly bombarded with images of their future selves as little more than rump shakers? What do our little boys learn when a disproportionate number of rap videos portray their sisters, mothers, future wives and future daughters as little more than eye candy?” This linking to the theory of ideal self and making young children/ teenagers want to aspire to the values of rap music, and the artists shown in the genre. Moreover young girls would be aspiring to these women dancing provocatively wearing scandalous clothing.
Women are also portrayed as objects through the lyrics also, the lyrics are written in Bernstein’s restricted code which only gives the people who listen to it regularly or the people who understand the slang in which the rappers use have understanding of what the song is really about. This form of verbal communication has been criticized by feminists and the media for its negative portrayal of women. Artists such as Snoop Dogg and Ja Rule have generally been the source of this criticism due to the way they were charged back in 2001 for the use of indecent language at the SunFest festival in Jamaica. Lyrics such as;

‘Game is the topic
And what’s between your legs is the product
Use it properly
And you’ll make dollars bitch’
Have become normal in the rap industry, these lyrics from Ja Rule’s: ‘Bitch betta have my money’ continue to degrade women. The slang terms such as ‘bitch’ and ‘ho’ are a colloquialism for women in the male rap industry. This slang is not used to pass judgment on the female’s lifestyle but is used to describe any female. This lyrics portray womanhood that it is of a high standard to have a 24/7 sexual availability and however in society today this quality would be seen as derogatory. “They disrespect women; all that matters to them are the guns and sex and money that feature in so much rap music” this quote can reinforce the idea of most rap music featuring guns and sex and that being the main message in the lyrics of rap music, the portrayal of guns and sex are positive which is contradictory in society due to the way it is only seen as right that guns are only associated with the army and war. A feminist’s perspective on rap lyrics find that it is all degrading to women and that it is becoming monotonous; “We’ve been hearing about sex and drugs and money for so long. How much more is there to say? Surely now is the time for something new and positive to take over.” This explains the feminists view on thinking that rap music is all negative and therefore asking for something new and positive.
However female rap artists such as ‘Missy Elliot’ conform to the rap genre by also giving themselves a stage name however the term ‘Missy’ is emphasizing her gender therefore she is using Dick Hebdige’s theory of resisting against the male dominance in rap music. Female rap artists are minority due to the way rap is male dominated; “male rappers outnumber female rappers, but talented female rappers will inevitably break through commercially” This means that if a female artist has a big fan base then they will become popular through commerciality. Most female rappers use stage names including the words; ‘Lady’ or ‘Sista’ which also emphasize their femininity. The lyrics in female rap connote women in a positive manner;
‘I’m fighting for the girls, that never thought they could win
cause before they could begin you told’em it was the end
but I am here to reverse the curse that they live in’
Taken from the song Nicki Minaj-I’m the best. These lyrics connote female rap artists fighting for femininity. The words ‘reverse the curse’ this is effective as it rhymes however it also could connote that female rap artists are fighting for a better life for women. Moreover female artists’ lyrics don’t include as much slang or bad language as male lyrics this could be due to the way males see themselves as more superior in the rap genre.

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Comparison of ‘Bliss’ magazine and ‘Good Housekeeping’ magazine

The main images on both magazine cover is of a female. However on the ‘Bliss’ magazine the image is of a young celebrity, which would make the magazine appeal to teenagers. The female on the ‘Good Housekeeping’ magazine is older which would then make the magazine appeal to women other than children. Additionally the women on the front of the ‘Good housekeeping’ magazine connotes sophistication and intelligence via the dress she is wearing and the way the image of her is orientated this can then be contrasted with the stereotypical blonde celebrity in the front of ‘Bliss Magazine’.
The colours pink and yellow used on ‘Bliss’ can give connotations of fun as they are of high saturation and are presented in a bright and bubbly way; this can relate to the ideal life of a teenager. Whereas the colours on ‘Good Housekeeping’ purple and white are less saturated which can give the magazine a stronger tone than ‘Bliss’ and having reality themed aspects other than light hearted celebrities this makes the ‘Good housekeeping’ magazine seem more mature and can also demonstrate the transition from childhood to adulthood when comparing the both media texts together.
The typography used throughout ‘Bliss’ magazine is of sans serif which can gibe it a light hearted informal tone the typography is large and spaced out which can reinforce the idea of fun. The typography of the masthead is bold and capitalised it is spaced across the top of the page giving the title of the magazine the most importance. The adjective ‘Bliss’ being used as the title of the magazine can connote happiness and being content which is arguably how the magazine wants it’s audience to feel whilst reading it. The bright pink coloured masthead makes it easily identifiable that the magazine is for girls. Whereas the typography on ‘Good housekeeping’ is a mixture between serif and sans serif which can highlight what the magazine thinks are the most important cover lines on the magazine cover. The masthead is constructed of a tall font and is easily spotted as it is in white this can connote the purity and subtleness of the magazine but could also connote to cleanliness relating to the purpose of the magazine being to keep your house clean. Which can link to the target audience of the magazine being older and having their own house.
The layout and design of ‘Bliss’ can connote the teenage lifestyle as there isn’t a set order and there is a lot of puffs which can relate to the fun and the stereotypical mixed up lifestyle of a teenager. The rule of thirds is effective as in the first third which the audiences will see first due to the conventional positioning of the magazines in the shop contains the coverlines about the celebrity; which is then anchored by the image of her in the 2nd third. There is a ouff which contain s images of fashion and fashion essentials this is in the first third also which can attract the audience by getting their attention. The font is also larger in the first third which can be effective as it can attract audiences from further away.
The layout and design of ‘Good housekeeping’ uses the same technique of thirds but uses it not to display the amount of fun in the design of the magazine but to illustrate the mass content included as there are no puffs but lots of coverlines this relates to the audience as it has an older target audience who will arguably be buying the magazine for the content not the images it displays.
The language used in ‘Bliss’ is colloquial and almost takes the role of a friend; ‘Hanging at home’ this alliteration reinforces the idea of fun there is also a boys section inside with ‘more hot lads’ the term ‘boys’ and ‘lads’ emphasises the teenage audience and their colloquial phrases. Whereas the language used in ‘Good housekeeping’ is still colloquial however it takes the role of a guide/teacher figure almost like a guru as the numbers are exact and the cover lines consist of ’20 easy updates’. The cover lines are all based around older women such as: ‘ageless makeovers’ and ‘miracle underwear’ which can stereotype older women who want housekeeping tips to also be wanting to lose weight and improve their looks

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