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Should we judge a woman by the cover of her magazine?

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Introduction

Should we judge a woman by the cover of her magazine? Jennifer Charles Should we judge a woman by the cover of her magazine? The immediate answer that springs to mind is a resounding NO, however, if given more thought; the answer could be very different. Many of us are guilty of jumping to conclusions and stereotyping. If we had to say who is the more intellectual from the choice of a reader of Cosmopolitan and a reader of the Financial Times, the vast majority of us would vote in favour of the Financial Times reader. What our answer should be is "you should not judge, based on this information alone." Let's look at February's issue of Cosmopolitan - the first thing that draws your attention is the stunning Mischa Barton who is this month's cover girl. With the front cover bursting with body, diet and fashion advice it suggests that anyone could achieve the same 'perfection', and aspire to looking like the cover model, solely by reading the magazine. ...read more.

Middle

The editor's clever use of the words can, now and fast make dating, dieting and fashion sound possible and more easily accessible. The bold strap-line header reading Stop Dieting, Start Dating is followed by information on the magazine's mindless features, one of which says lose 6lbs in 6 weeks which ironically is what the strap-line header is trying to avoid - dieting! Surely this shows that women who pick up the magazine can't be intellectual or they would have spotted this obvious contradiction and not bought the magazine. The compelling and unbelievable headlines draw gullible women to the shelves to pick up and buy. Some may see Mischa Barton's quote, "I won't give in to body image pressure" as a sensible and inspirational comment but you wouldn't have to worry about pressure if you looked like her. This is a strange thing to quote on the front of a magazine which encourages just the opposite, with features about body boosting and fashion fixes. ...read more.

Conclusion

The magazine may make women believe that all their problems will be solved if they flick through the pages. Magazines like this thrive on women's deepest insecurities and encourage their shallow dreams. Should we then assume that these women have low self-esteem and do not have a high value of themselves? Shocking storylines prey on the curious minded and make compelling reading. Perhaps these stories put women readers' lives into perspective and give them a feeling of well-being. On the other hand, women may have a sadistic streak and actually enjoy reading about other people's misfortunes. Although, we cannot rule out the fact that they may just find the story interesting. Cosmopolitan is the best selling women's magazine in the world, which is a sad reflection of the modern woman, the superficial and image-orientated covers produced are obviously what attracts the reader. However strongly I feel that we should not judge a woman by the cover of her magazine, I do believe that there is some justification in doing just that. ...read more.

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