Fables of Abundance

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Suzette Rambo-Lamb

Professor Goldberg


Part I.

The new approaches that advertisers applied to idealize conceptions of the body and health as analyzed by Lears, relate to the two images in many ways. The advertisers began to focus on physiological (materialistic) and psychological (vitalist) perfectionism thus encompassing everyone and often overlapping. This is very prelevent on these two magazine covers. The 'Fitness' magazine, at first glance, focuses on the physiological, health aspect but it also has an article that focuses on lowering stress. On the 'Redbook' cover, there is a 'refreshing' picture of a movie star and a summary of the article about her. The article focuses on the psychological because it focuses on emotionally hard times her and her husband have made it through. It is also physiological though because it has articles about skin, diets, and sex.

In both pictures, beauty is important. The women are both beautiful, slim and healthy looking. They are both smiling leading us to believe that the lifestyle they live in order to look like this makes them happy and if we choose to live this way we will be happy too. They also imply that the women on the covers follow the advice, diets, beauty plans etc. that are found in the magazine.

If looked at from a psychological point of view, the articles imply that by reading them and following them, we will have less stress, a better sex life, be a stronger person, and how to not get ripped off. All of this, while being as beautiful and as happy as the models on the cover.

One of the most important reasons this type of advertising is so successful is it plays on a persons insecurities and fears. Women who want to lose weight, are afraid their husbands/boyfriends are going to cheat on them, who feel they have bad skin, fear they are under too much stress and are therefore unhealthy, who fear breast cancer etc. will buy these magazines out of fear. Some women who feel...
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