HERE COMES THE BRIDE: A CONTENT ANALYSIS EXAMINING THE REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN BRIDES MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENTS
Eaton, Bene 1987-
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This study is a content analysis that examined the representation of women in Brides magazine advertisements. The depictions of women in Brides advertisements published in 2011 were considered in terms of female gender roles, socioeconomic class, and beauty ideals. This research assessed if Goffman’s (1979) female gender role categories were applicable to bridal ads. Considerations were also made as to whether Brides magazine advertisements reflected traditional gender roles and sustained patriarchal values. Research additionally measured the extent to which bridal ads endorsed upper-class lifestyles. Since bridal ads were found to be overtly skewed toward high socioeconomic classes, this study argued that women reading the ads may feel that they are unable to measure up to the depicted lifestyles. Further assessments were made concerning beauty ideals in the ads, and in particular, models’ body sizes, skin tones, and nature of flawlessness were examined. Models were found to be predominately thin, Caucasian, and flawless. In turn, the researcher postulated various ways these homogenous images could negatively impact the magazine’s diverse readership. This study provided keen insight into the portrayal of women in bridal advertisements. The findings raise awareness about the representation of women in bridal media and prompt future research within this subject area.