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Encoding & Decoding Cosmopolitan Magazine

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Introduction

´╗┐Encoding/Decoding; Cosmopolitan For decades, infants have represented an important target to marketers because they have their own purchasing power. They influence their parent's buying decisions and they're the adult consumers of the future. Children are exposed to sublimal messages and implicit images right from the very beginning of their childhood which shapes their identity and their gender. For example, when a girl baby is born, she is automatically placed into a pink world; pink clothing, pink bed sheets, pink crib etc. Pink is perceived to be a girly, feminine color. It represents a soft, sensitive, kind and gentle image which is why it is usually associated to girls. Yet on the other hand, boys represent blue. Which is perceived to be a manly, powerful and dominant color. The cartoons that take over televisions in every family represent strong ideologies of the ideal image of femininity and masculinity, which is related to gender discrimination. The female characters such as Barbie and the Bratz Dolls implicitly influence a little girls idea of what she needs to look like. Their perfect thin bodies, their exaggerated assets, and their flawless skin all affects a kids development. ...read more.

Middle

This magazine has sold over 85 million copies worldwide, and its success persists. Aside from Cosmopolitans great success, it conforms to the stereotypes and ideologies that are a big part of our society. The magazine proves the ideology of the "ideal woman" and what her character and physical look should be like. Everything about the magazine, whether it's the ads, the cover stories or the interviews, all relate to how femininity is portrayed in an exaggerated matter. The cover page is a great implicit example of this situation because the women have to meet a certain criteria in which they must maintain in order to become a cover girl. Most criterias have been shown to be all about the physical beautiness. The cover is the most crucial and important part that determines the make-it or break-it factor of the issued magazine. Cosmo goes through a very detailed search in order to find the "perfect" icon to be placed on the cover. The definition of perfect and other adjectives, all come from the standards and messages that are shown by the media. The cover girls are all powerful, influential,gorgeous, thin, sexy and confident. ...read more.

Conclusion

Women are constantly being reminded of how important their looks are. The pressure of the media is just getting harder to ignore and it reinforces the idea of perfection which is already an obsession for many. The men in the magazine also conform to stereotypes that have been constructed by the media. The males found in Cosmopolitan are always good-looking, muscular bodies (along with the eight-pack, lats, traps and more), rich, and intelligent men. They always seem to have the right answers to all of the womens questions. The men are all examples of what any woman would want. The discrimination towards gender differences is very obvious because both genders have a certain look that influences and affects a readers thoughts on their appearance and how they want others to look like. Cosmo creates a reality that is very hard to obtain because the level of beautiness achieved seems so easy, yet in real life, most people are not blessed with natural good looks. Which results in more plastic surgeries, more self-esteem issues, and higher suicide rates because enough is never enough. The readers compare themselves to the models and celebrities they see which leads to the realization that they aren't satisfied with their looks. The images have become so imposing and influencing, that individuals are becoming strongly affected by them. ...read more.

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