Kaja Drews fra International School of Stavanger vant tredjeprisen i 2012-utgaven av Fritt Ords ungdomskonkurranse med artikkelen “Chin Up, Chest Up: How do cosmetic surgery advertisements in the woman’s magazine GLAMOUR entice people to seek physical changes?”. Prisen er på 5.000 kroner samt reise til Menneskerettighetsdomstolen i Strasbourg.
Vox Publica presenterer her Drews’ egen sammenfatning av arbeidet. Du kan også laste ned essayet i sin helhet (pdf).
This essay analysis the cosmetic advertisements found in UK GLAMOUR, the number one women’s magazine in the United Kingdom. Targeted at women aged 18–49 the magazine informs readers of celebrity gossip, fashion trends, relationship advice, and how to feel confident (“Glamour (magazine) – ArticleWorld”). Although many messages GLAMOUR sends are empowering, some seem to enforce a notion of change as they suggest altering ones appearance increases male attention and feeds a need for approval. These notions create insecurities and a desire to change. Full page cosmetic surgery advertisements in the back of the magazine entice women to purchase cosmetic surgery, and the method of how they do so is investigated in this analysis.
The focus will be on the images and language used in cosmetic surgery advertisements to tempt women to seek physical change. Four issues of GLAMOUR published between August 2009 and April 2011 will be analyzed and the link between the advertisements and the contextual placement is considered in an attempt to find how GLAMOUR supports and conveys notions of change. The similarities found across advertising groups show how they strive to build trust between consumer and service and create the assumption that confidence, happiness, and love can be reached through physical altercation. In this essay cosmetic surgery is referred to meaning surgery that is utilized in order to improve one’s appearance without there being a dysfunction present caused by accident or birth defect (“Cosmetic Surgery – definition of Cosmetic Surgery in the Medical dictionary – by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia”).
Cosmetic surgery advertisements entice women to seek physical changes through identifying a relevant market and placing advertisements where readers have a felt need to alter their appearance. Physically altering one’s body is portrayed as a culturally acceptable and normal way to go about solving perceived problems, creating a vulnerable market of women that are persuaded to believe cosmetic surgery offers a solution.