The Cover Page Women

We live in society that places a high degree of importance on physical appearance. Television, movies, magazines and billboards all display attractive people.

In our visual tradition men are active, women are passive. Our pictorial tradition is dominated by a presupposed male viewer who watches the female subject. She is thus merely an inactive object existing solely for male gaze. If we interpret such covers through our heteronormative standards, why would women need to be smiling coyly out at other women, scantily clad to sell magazines? Using this standard if women magazines were created for other women, why couldn’t they have scantily clad men on their covers? Through pictography alone, magazines perpetuate iconographical tradition of women as a sexual object on display for a male viewer. The magazine industry creates the covers of its magazines as well as the articles to attract people to buy them. Through flashy covers and screaming tag lines men and women alike are overwhelmed with pressure to at least have a look at them. Images of half-naked women in magazines like Maxim, Playboy, Cosmopolitan grab our attention almost hypnotizing us with their glow. These scantily clad women are wearing ‘the Playmate of the Year’ bathing suit and advertising diets, beer, sex, gadgets to men everywhere. Such magazines become merely an outlet for the objectification of the female subject to fulfill the male viewers’ gaze.

Similar is the instance of popular novels we see attractively queued up on any road-side book stall. Their flashy covers reel you in with pictures of beautiful women and tempting captions. For example, the covers of some of the romantic novels are of an enticing form. “Body Ripper” style of covers is geared towards men who are buyers for bookstores and not the ultimate consumer. After all women who read heterosexual based romance aren’t generally choosing their books based on the cup size of the cover model. There are a lot of readers who glare those tempting images and believe the story inside will appeal to them far more than a cover with hand gun or a Mughal era image. We may say that a people judge books by their covers. Cover images very often provide first lend of culling when it comes to find new books o read. Publisher is fully aware of the fact that a book cover communicates to readers and also increases the sell ability. We may see road side vendors and station trolleys sell ‘best seller’ like Sidney Sheldon, Judy Blume etc. Covers of male desire or objects of male gaze received with the prospect of excitement. So the model has eye candy appeal that is the complete focus. It’s the parts and pieces kind of thing where she is objectified because she is not thought in terms of a whole person or individual, liked with a mind and free will.

Women have often been used as an attractive item in media. Taking a look at all advertisements around us 99% of them include women. We see women in ads of bikes and shaving creams!! It’s just amazing that how media is using female sex to promote their products. Today women are being glamorized a lot. They are being depicted in roles which no longer exist in real life. They are portrayed as “marketable commodities”. They are being objectified and eroticized by media. The exploitation of women in the media has become so common, particularly in advertising that most people fail to get outraged or even notice it anywhere.
Women commercialization is very eminent to magazines targeting male consumers. Its purpose is to cure a prospective buyer by portraying sexy women in their front cover. This kind of art propagates erotic attitude towards women in general. Since media has a vast influence over the society, the effect is very derogatory.
The mainstream media not only has the capacity to perpetuate, but does perpetuate phallocentric ideas that reduce “the women” to object. Since we live in a male dominated society, the sexualizing of women becomes systemic. Sex sells when it involves women primarily because they have become objects. Women are portrayed as submissive, available and desirable.

Moreover, despite the fact that some women are in positions of power and make great contribution to society, it does not mean that they as a group are not victims of a greater system of satisfaction, objectification and oppression.

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