GCSE English Media Coursework: Teenage magazines

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Sophie Daysh 11GEH

GCSE English Media Coursework

Teenage Magazines

Analyse and comment on the content and presentation, and the advertising of the Summer 2004 issue of Elle Girl magazine. Examine the relationship between features and the advertising in the magazine and consider in particular how this magazine tries to persuade young women to buy fashion and beauty products.

Elle Girl is a magazine aimed at young teenage girls. It contains fashion tips, general life advice and articles about celebrities. There are 130 pages inside the magazine, filled from top to bottom with pictures or text. There are adverts on at least 75 of these pages. This shows that there is at least one advert on every other page and many in between.

        As you look at the front cover, your eyes automatically meet the person featured. This happens to be Kate Bosworth, who after recently starring in several hit films will be popular with any movie fanatic. The text next to her reads: Kate Bosworth, just how did she bag Orlando Bloom. Clearly trying to imply to young readers that if they follow in the footsteps of this young woman they will be able to get themselves someone such as Orlando Bloom. The cover is bright and bold. The text is in pink and green on a white background, so it grabs attention quickly. It has a summery feel to it but also appears to be to quite a young taste. It has been well arranged to look nicely busy with articles. The reader is tempted to continue.

        “Dare to be different.” This is a small comment on the front cover in the very important position of below the magazine name. This is a clever marketing scheme and has been placed there very wisely. Young teenage girls, unintentionally open to influence will read this magazine and believe they know how to be different, when in fact this whole magazine is purposely created to contradict this phrase and subtly tell them what to buy, what to wear and how to act. Every article in the magazine whether openly or subliminally is attempting to groom young females into being a certain way, buying a certain perfume or a particular brand of clothing and believing that they like it. All over the UK readers will be feeling secure and “in the right” about copying fashion ideas, celebrity styles and generally lacking in individuality. This magazine is basically just a list of fashion ideas and advertisements, and they would not be included if the editor even slightly believed that they would be ignored by the mainstream readers. This means that teens everywhere will be noticing and copying these ideas but not yet noticing the almost invisible film of insecurity and on the whole believing that they are “different.” I think that it is unfair to advertise so subtly to the teenagers at the most influential years of their lives. At this stage they are learning more than ever, growing into who they really are and developing personalities of their own, and this magazine will deteriorate any signs of an individual. If Elle Girl really wanted the readers to be different it shouldn’t try and teach you how to clothe yourself and live your life. I appreciate that this is a very clever sales technique but I do not respect it. There is nothing that can be done to stop it until all the readers realise that they are being groomed into a certain type of human, just as the media feels they should be.

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        On the front cover it also reads, “Rip up the beauty rule book! Cos life’s too short to conform. This is another example of an unsuitable article, simply because there is a contrasting article on the same page which entirely contradicts it. The contrasting article reads, “376 look to suit every leading lady, discover your movie star style.” If you were to “rip up the beauty rule book” and “stop conforming” you most definitely would not want to learn about movie star styles or a look that would suit every leading lady. As I read on about “the beauty rule ...

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