The Effects of Fashion Advertising

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Year 11 Home Economics

Sustainable Textiles

The Effects of Fashion Advertising

By Leticia Hargreaves


Teacher: Mrs Cridland

The Effect of Fashion Advertising

Advertising found in the media today marginalises members of our community through its inequitable representation of individuals.

The magazine investigated is “Girlfriend Magazine”. “Girlfriend” is a popular Australian teen targeted at readers aged 12–17 years old with a mix of entertainment, fashion, beauty, advice and lifestyle articles.

The models chosen to advertise in this magazine ranges from all categories of girls, with different skin colour, ethnic backgrounds, hair colour and body size. However, the most highly advertised ‘girl’ in this magazine is the stereotypical flawless, blonde hair, blue eyes, skinny, white ethnic girl. Research undertaken on four different ‘Girlfriend’ magazines has proved that 55% of the time, the only girl’s being used in the ads are the ones that fit this description, 25% are girls with, other hair colours and eye colours whilst the last 10% of girls are ones of a different ethnic background, darker skin colour and plus sized.

Comparing these results to the real world, outside of magazine expectations, the percentages change enormously. In 2003, Teen magazine reported that 35 per cent of girls 6 to 12 years old have been on at least one diet, and that 50 to 70 per cent of normal weight girls believe they are overweight. Overall research indicates that 90% of Australian teenage girls [1]are dissatisfied with their appearance and body weight in some way. Would teenage girls be as upset with their appearance if the pressure from the media wasn’t so huge?

In reality two out of 50 teenage girls have naturally blonde hair[2] and only 20% of teenage girls have naturally blue eyes[3]. If these are the statistics, how is it that magazines with a demographic audience of teenage girls aged 12 – 17 are constantly seeing the stereotypical blonde...
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