It’s been said you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – but what about when that cover is establishing beauty standards for men and women all around the world? Magazine covers today feature models, fashion icons, and pop culture stars – and impressionable audiences everywhere are paying attention.
The “idealised” body has changed dramatically over time, but in recent years, the bar may have been set so high by media adverts, social outlets, and printed press that the average person can’t realistically meet their expectations.
To understand how magazine covers choose to market towards people today, we studied over 3,700 magazine covers across the U.K. and U.S. We examined trends in the way they’ve been portraying sexuality and exaggerated body standards to how well they’ve diversified what beauty looks like across 35 publications, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, and GQ. Curious how well they stack up?
Our analysis also revealed beauty and fashion magazines weren’t always the most guilty culprit for suggestive imagery. According to people who participated in our poll, more than 1 in 5 lifestyle magazine covers were rated as either extremely or very sexually suggestive compared to only 3 percent of beauty and glamour publications and 6 percent of health and fitness brands.
Source: Magazines & Body Image