Ok, as promised I went into a local store and did this research:
I have to say I genuinely expected that I
might have to admit to being wrong. I'm pleasantly surprised the say I
don't think I was!
But first, just to say, I felt like a bit of an idiot taking a photo and
then jotting down notes in the shop. Which turned into feeling like a right
prat when one of the shop assisstants asked what I was doing ;)
It's immediately obvious from the photo (which cuts off a portion either
side of the stand, sorry) that there are a LOT of women on these covers.
However things break down in an interesting way. The vast majority of
covers featuring a woman, clustered to the right hand side halfway up, are
female interest magazine (fashion, gossip, etc.). Targetted at women they
almost exclusively feature a photo of a woman - but they are fully clothed,
it is often a headshot and the focus is fashion/style (or a celebrity). I
don't think these are sexist.
Below them are another set of female interest mags - home and hearth. None
of these feature a woman on the cover (though some have a person as a wider
part of the image).
Opposite these are two male-targetted types of magazine. On the middle
shelf cars etc. and on the lower shelf computers. These almost entirely
feature no people at all - with the exception of one PC mag which features
a tasteful headshot of a computer generated woman (I'm willing for this to
be included in the next set of figures, if you like) and a few with men on
Which leaves us the top shelf - a total of 10 magazines, 5 each targetted
at men and women. Of the 5 targetted at men you can see that 4 are
obviously feature an amount of nudity sexualisation (although there is no
actual bits on show). The fifth male targetted mag features a woman as
well, dressed, but with a bared shoulder and a sexualised pose.
Of the female-oriented magazines three of them feature a man with his top
off. One doesn't feature a person on the cover. And one (ironically going
back to the blog post linked last night) features a man with his top button
undone... and water spilling down his chin and onto his chest.
I make that 5:4, or 6:4 if you want to include the other image.
Sex sells to men and women, somewhat equally. Tasteful pictures of women
sell to women. Cars and digital imagery sell to men.
On 2 May 2012 22:52, Ryan Kaldari <rkaldari(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On 5/2/12 2:38 PM, Thomas Morton wrote:
On 2 May 2012 22:36, Ryan Kaldari <rkaldari(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Perfect opportunity to share one of my favorite
Seriously though, it doesn't seem that controversial to say that
mainstream advertising heavily skews to female nudity. Next time you pass a
magazine stand, count the number of covers with female nudity and male
nudity. I'll bet you a wiki-beer it's greater than 2 to 1. Judging by the
last time I was in Paris, I would guess 10 to 1.
On the principle of genuine interest I will take you up on that
challenge :) and will report back tomorrow.
I'll be very happy to be proven wrong. I'm certainly subject to perception
bias, but perception isn't always wrong. Don't forget to take a cell-phone
photo if you want to collect your wiki-beer :)
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