Gender Codes in SELF Magazine Essay examples

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An Ideal SELF Woman?

Americans live in culture full of numerous gender codes. Gender codes are imaginary rules of how males and females should live and are created within America by the media such as TV shows, movies, billboards, magazines, and advertisements. In "Gender Codes in the American Culture", Jack Solomon and Sonia Maasik believe that "Gender codes are socially, not naturally, constructed, and usually reflect cultural values rather than natural facts" (476). This supports that the media creates gender codes because it is the main method in which cultural values are presented. They present what is accepted to be masculine and feminine in America at the time, and society follows these generalizations of what it means to be a man
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SELF uses the images and the contents of their advertisements and articles to send out this idea to their readers.

The advertisements in the magazine do a great job of idealizing the well-rounded woman. The advertisement on page 154 for women's footwear shows three women on the top of a mountain with the slogan "Smart, stylish gear for crossing borders, chasing adventure and embracing life." This idealizes women who try new things and get adventurous by telling them that if they do, they get to see great things and experience what they've been always been dreaming about and they get to see spectacular views such as the mountains in the photograph. By insinuating that when you travel you are "embracing life", it gives the negative connotation that if you don't travel and sightsee, that you are missing out on life and that your life is boring otherwise.

An advertisement in the magazine for PowerBar also works to idealize the healthy and happy women. They show a pretty and younger woman with a huge grin on her face, implying that she's happy and her life is great because she's staying healthy by eating "nutritious" PowerBar foods. It also includes the slogan "Be great" right next to the PowerBar trademark and the text "How does your snack complete you," sending the message that you will be great and
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