Media Representation of Ideal Woman: Sociological Research

Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Future of Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2023



Media Representation of Ideal Woman: Sociological Research

Zorana Šuljug Vučica, Gorana Bandalović, Isabel Kelić




In modern society, the media play a significant role in promoting beauty trends and the perfect woman. Women’s magazines are one of the many structures involved in the production of representations of women. The goal of this research was to examine the ways in which women are portrayed in the media, i.e. on the covers of Cosmopolitan magazine. The analysis shows that the most represented topic on the covers is sex, followed by fashion and love. The covers of the magazine mostly show young white women with make-up, brown hair of medium length and wavy loose hair. More than half of the women on the covers have a smiling face. Also, most women bodies are presented from the knees/thighs up and most of them are women with slim bodies. By profession, the most common are actresses and singers, then models, mostly of foreign origin. As for the analyzed text by the image, in most cases it is advice, expression of personal experiences or recommendations of the people who are shown on the covers, written in the first- or third-person singular, which tries to influence the reader’s behavior. Finally, the women on the covers are flawless, perfect women, therefore almost unreal. Although the aim of the magazine is to advise and inform women about various everyday topics, it certainly has a hidden message, which is to promote the perfect ideal of beauty that influences young women all over the world.

keywords: content analysis, magazine Cosmopolitan, media, representation, women