Women's Own Essay

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Compare how Women are Represented in a Women’s Own of 1952 and a Women’s Own Magazine of 2007.

Magazines have changed and progressed over time. They started out as political bulletins aimed solely at the literate, which were upper and middle classes. When the education act was introduced in 1870 you started getting penny magazines, which were cheap stories of interest aimed at all classes as most people were now literate. Magazines gained popularity in the early 20th century as niche marketing came about and magazines were printed for specific audiences with that audience’s specific interests in mind, women’s magazines were printed for women etc. As the market for magazines grew publishing companies were founded, one of them IPC (International Publishing Corporation Ltd). IPC was formed in 1963 following the merger of the UK's three leading magazine publishers – George Newnes, Odhams Press and Fleetway Publications each having been established in 1881, 1890 and 1880 – and now owns 20% of the magazine market.

Woman’s Own was first published in 1932 and is owned by IPC, prior to that it was owned by George Newnes alone. It was a magazine aimed solely at women and promoted their idea of an ideal woman; a housewife. The idea that women stay at home and cook and clean has slowly been abandoned since Women’s Own was first published, and so the magazine has had to adapt and change as the equal pay act was formed in 1975 and women were finally seen to have equal rights. The way that women are pictured in the magazines is called representation; the way the ideal woman was represented back then was as a housewife with a perfect happy family – nowadays they are represented as mothers and lovers that are attractive and have problems like normal people.

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The front cover of the 1952 Women’s Own is simple. It has a family in the foreground, featuring the mother and her 2 children (a baby on her knee and a boy at her feet resting one elbow on the father) and the father looking lovingly at them. At the top is the name of the magazine, Women’s Own, and above that it says in block capitals ‘the national women’s weekly’ in the left top corner. In the right top corner it has the date of sale ‘on sale Thursday April 17th 1952’. Bottom left corner there is praise to ...

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