Stuart Hall, the author of “Encoding/Decoding”, explores the relationship between encoding and decoding messages, explaining how one component of media can be decoded in several ways. As individuals, we give meaning to the things surrounding us based on our own beliefs, values, and experiences, making room for numerous perspectives. Basketball idol, LeBron James and supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, were featured on the cover of Vogue Magazine, March 2008 issue. Following the release of the March issue, James was acknowledged for being just the third male ever to appear on Vogue’s cover, and the first African American. What would be considered a major accomplishment for anyone, especially a young athlete has now become a very controversial issue. The cover of the magazine has produced both positive and negative viewpoints. While some support James in his memorable accomplishment, others critique him for not being more careful with his image. How is it possible that the same image could have such opposite reactions? This derives from how individuals give meaning to the things around us because of our beliefs. When two people can be shown the same image and interpret it in to completely different ways, as seen in the controversy with LeBron James on the cover of Vogue magazine, it is apparent that their experience have influenced their way of decoding.
The March 2008 Vogue cover featuring James & Bundchen, show’s James with a defensive stance, basketball gear, muscles flexing, tattoo’s exposed, mouth wide open, and bared teeth, with his arm around Bundchen, who is smiling, wearing a gorgeous light green, slim fitting dress. Bundchen looks as if she is effortlessly trying to escape James, while maintaining her pose. However, the controversy of the cover begins when it is compared to a 1971 U.S. Army propaganda poster, encouraging people to enlist in the U.S. Army, with the text “Destroy This Mad Brute”. The image on the poster is of this beasty...
Cited: Ekberb, Aida. “LeBron and Gisele:Beauty and the Beast?”.2008. Associated Content. 2 May 2009. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/678047/lebron_and_gisele_beauty_and_the_beast.com
Hill, Jemele. “LeBron should be more careful with his image”. 2008. ESPN. 2 May 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com./espn/page2/story?page=hill/080320&sportCat=nba
“LeBron Jame and Gisele Bundchen”Photo.ESPN.com. 2008 March. 2 May 2009. http://espn.com
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