Identity & Consumption: Men’s Health Magazine
My dissertation explores the concepts and notions of Identity and Consumption as twin discourses, in co-existence with each other. With relation to Men’s Health magazine, I wanted to explore how men simultaneously identify and consume with a masculine portrayal. This project was firstly derived from the notion of the quantified self, the measuring, the numerics, the facts, the info-graphics and ultimately; the self critique of man and then goes on to discuss how this is presented in Men’s Health magazine, through the techniques mentioned above. In a world where the media is continuously scrutinising women, it would be credible to explore the connections between a male media piece and its effect on identity and consumer culture, through the avenue of the ‘quantified self’. Men’s Health has been defined in this study as allowing for the ‘critique of the self’ reinforcing the idea that men control their own destiny. This study has also found that this could have an effect on the current masculine identity, linked with a possible shift towards the traditional male.
Changing Notions of Beauty
I have undertaken the final Major Project, where I decided to create fashion spreads of a magazine. I decided to use i-D magazine as my inspiration as I really enjoy the content as well as the creativity of the brand. For example, every cover model of i-D poses with one eye closed, to mimic the ‘i-D’ logo, which I find to be very fun, creative and authentic. I find that the idea of beauty has drastically changed over the last few decades, especially a woman’s physique. We have gone from obsessing over supermodel-slim physiques to appreciating what we have, such as larger breasts or backside. However, some have taken this ‘new body’ so far that they are undertaking cosmetic procedures to enhance certain parts. This can be seen as a problem to society, as not every woman has the same body shape, therefore, the cycle of having the perfect body of what the Media deems as beautiful continues. In order to celebrate the new body of a woman, I have made use of models who are naturally curvy and healthy. Makeup application nowadays has also become a phenomenon, having the ‘perfect makeup’ look is just as important as owning a trendy bag or statement shoes. The immense following of YouTube allows users to act as producers of texts. This enables them to upload and share their talent with the world, make-up application being one of the popular choices, and so I have incorporated these current beauty trends within my magazine.