How do girls’ magazines talk about breasts?

Brown, Nicola, Campbell, Christine, Owen, Craig and Omrani, Atefeh (2020) How do girls’ magazines talk about breasts? Feminism and Psychology, 30 (2). pp. 206-226. ISSN 1461-7161

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Girls’ magazines play an important role in female adolescents’ identity and their constructions of femininity. Despite breast development being common to all female adolescents, and breasts being a key signifier of femininity, the representation of breasts in girls’ magazines has not been investigated. A Foucauldian discourse analysis was conducted to understand the ways in which breasts are represented in two popular girls’ magazines (Teen Vogue and Seventeen). Articles in Seventeen promoted a contradictory and potentially confusing postfeminist discourse, supporting calls for Body Positivity, whilst at the same time framing breasts as problematic and encouraging girls to aspire to an ideal breast. The reader was positioned as a consumer with the purchase and wearing of bras offered as a neoliberal solution to these problems. In contrast, Teen Vogue articles conveyed a feminist informed Body Positivity discourse. Readers were positioned as active feminist advocates, incited to adopt radical, collective, political responses in order to challenge the potentially damaging messages surrounding breast ideals and sexualisation. We argue that consistent feminist messages are needed across and within media to support teenage girls in negotiating their bodies and identities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: adolescence, body positivity, breasts, discourse analysis, feminism, magazines, postfeminism
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2019 12:49
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 14:50

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