Ok, as promised I went into a local store and did this research:  http://instagr.am/p/KK-RXOwWyt/ 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 the covers.

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.

My conclusions?

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@wikimedia.org> wrote:
On 5/2/12 2:38 PM, Thomas Morton wrote:
On 2 May 2012 22:36, Ryan Kaldari <rkaldari@wikimedia.org> wrote:
Perfect opportunity to share one of my favorite blog memes:

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.

Ryan Kaldari

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 :)

Ryan Kaldari

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