Men's Health notes

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  • Men's Health
    • First Issue released in 1987.
    • Readership of 71M.
    • Published by the Hearst (American mass media and also publish Hearst Magazines).
    • Hearst Communications Inc. is one of the Big 6 media conglomerates that own 90% of American media.
    • Owns cosmopolitan, Elle, Good Housekeeping and Esquire.
    • Costs £6 in the Uk.
    • Target audience men aged 25-44.
    • Target audience of men who earn 60k per year and have a degree.
    • Focuses on products that reflect a certain lifestyle such as fashion, watches, grooming, fitness and cars.
    • Van Zoonens Theory:. We get our ideas about gender from Discourse- Discourse is communication from the Media games, videos
    • Richard Dyer's Star Theory: the Star as construction- not a real person, the Star as a commodity - stars a made for profit through merchandise, the Star as an ideology-stars could rep certain culture groups and views
    • Baudrillard Theory: society has become saturated with these simulacra
    • Brands for active, successful, professional men who want greater control over their physical, mental, and emotional lives
    • give advice on from fashion and grooming to health, fitness, weight loss. Say their editors seek best advice form 'trusted', experience and academically affiliated authorities in health weight loss and many others
    • up to date with latest news research
    • Still features content originally known for: health, nutrition & fitness but has become more of a hybrid that covers general Male lifestyles topics such as fashion, celeb interviews and travel.
    • Usually features muscular men on its front cover and it's cover focuses on having a fit and healthy lifestyle.
    • Audiences may receive gratification by identifying themselves directly with this idea of masculinity.- May see themselves reflected in this image which could encourage them to read the magazine to have their own values reflected back to them and thus reinforcing their own identity.
    • Audiences may see the magazine as aspirational because - Audience group may see the topics in the cover lines as being solutions to problems thy perceive in their own lives- Magazine could be used as a product that may help them overcome what they see as their own scarcities, as Dyed would put it.
    • Articles on mental health - Subvert audiences expectations.
      • Expand the scope of the magazine and enlarge the definition of men's health to not just physical health.
    • Masculine identity is reinforced by - Images of the men in the final two articles.- Men depicted with a quiet and calm, yet powerful, expression and they are definite by their physical achievements.
    • Structuralism: Binary Opposites- masculine/feminine- weak/strong- successful/unsuccessful- happy/unhappy (editorial excerpt).Men's Health comes firmly down on the side of masculine, strong and therefore by association, successful and happy.
    • In many ways this form of traditional magazine publishing is a way of replicating the experience of watching television on the printed page. - In this case the experience is like watching a single-issue television programme (think Top Gear or Countryfile).- The layout of the contents page is designed to make what could seem quite homogenous, a more varied and entertaining read.
    • ReadershipABC1 men = 643AB men = 321
    • "Men's Health readers are affluent, intelligent and successful" (reflected by demographic)COMBINED PRINT & AUDIENCE:905K are ABC1, aged 25-44700k have a degree200K earn over 50K
    • Audience gratifications offered by the magazine- Blumler & KatzSurveillance: It informs the men on what they need to do to be fit and healthy. Guides them on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle.Personal identity: May identity with the representation of masculinity depicted.
    • - men are looking for identity positions that they can use as reference points- audience have with "the reel" Vin Diesel to
    • reception theory HALLdominant - accept ideal body type and seek to achieve itnegotiated - accept ideologies but won't aspire to be him
    • Men's health website Offers additional and exclusive content to the print magazine
    • In “Feminist Perspectives on the Media”, Liesbet van Zoonen noted how feminist discourse often conceptualised gender as a “dichotomous category” In other words, masculinity and femininity were binary opposites. These meanings were seen as “historically stable and universal”.
    • According to the dominant ideology, femininity was represented as “emotional and inclined to nurture”, whereas masculinity was “political and rational”. Women were depicted as passive and domestic, but men were active, adventurous and determined to conquer their world. Obviously, the advertisement for Score’s liquid hair cream is a good example of this narrative.
    • Building on Laura Mulvey’s concept of the male gaze, Liesbet van Zoonen argued there were plenty of women who watched male protagonists on the silver screen and enjoyed “not only their narrative characters but their physical appearance as well”. She joked how “the sight of hysterical girls throwing their underwear” at male rock stars “has become a normal measure of success”. This, of course, is the female gaze.
    • “Men’s Health” and other publications, such as GQ magazine, are at the forefront of that change, making it much more acceptable for men to focus on their physical well-being and mental strength.


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