Timeless Ideals: Images of Women in Magazine Advertising

By Jana Perez.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the knowledge that women make a majority of all consumer purchases in America, historically and presently, the target audience of most retailers is female and many advertisements feature images of women. Traditionally, this type of visual communication utilizes a combination of text and photography to create messages and also integrates rhetorical devices, such as metaphor, into visual space. This paper explores visual language and outlines recurring design elements through an examination of commercial images of women in magazine advertisements from a range of dates, beginning with the 1950s to present day. While technology advances the mechanical constructs surrounding the delivery of mass media, and many viewers recognize digital enhancement, a secondary discourse of pose, color, and costume remains fundamentally similar throughout time and continues to contribute to social semiotics.

Keywords: Visual Language, Advertising, Women, Mass Media, Communication

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.187-200. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.061MB).

Assoc. Prof. Jana Perez

Assistant Professor, Graphic Design, Visual Arts, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas, USA

Perez is Assistant Professor, Graphic Design, at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She has presented research at regional, national and international conferences including the 7th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities and the UCDA National Design Education Summit. Perez’ photography has been featured in several exhibitions nationwide including WomanMade Gallery, Fitton Center for Creative Arts and Houston Center for Photography.