This may be a new concept , but a picture is worth a thousand words (I know, I know — I’m a genius). That is why today I’ve decided to focus on magazine covers and their relationships with female politicians — which have been less than productive in whole. Magazine covers, in a world where people are overstimulated by messages from every medium all at once (and all the time), are much like articles — very few people (only 20%) read past the headline. So when a publication represents a politician (especially a female one) in a very particular light through the picture on their cover, they know that for the majority of its readers that picture is sending the main message being received. While the magazine covers I have chosen for this blog depict two different stereotypes (the man crusher and the “sex kitten”), these aren’t the only ones posing a problem to women’s productive involvement in society:
“A recent UNESCO report describes the litany of common images of women in the media: ‘the glamorous sex kitten, the sainted mother, the devious witch, the hardfaced corporate and political climber.’ The report, released in 2009, states that, at the current rate of progress on stereotyping women, it will take another 75 years to achieve gender equality in the media.” —World Savvy
Take a peek at some of these harmful magazine covers below– and read what their critics have to say about them. You might be surprised to find how recently these covers have been published, as well as how familiar you might be with them already.
“Time magazine prides itself on having visually provocative covers, but this latest one recycles a worn-out frame from the 2008 presidential campaign: Hillary the Entitled Ball-Buster. It also casts this formidable figure as the inevitable 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. The only thing that seems inevitable about 2016, however, is that the same old stereotypes will continue to shape Hillary Clinton’s public identity.”
“Way to Go, Newsweek. This magazine cover from 2010 enraged the right and Palin, who said of the chosen pic, “The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness – a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now.”
“Sexualizing every last woman who dares to enter the male domain of church and state is one way to keep us women demeaned, trivialized and in our servile place. With women a pathetic 17% of Congress, clearly it’s working.”
“This magazine cover was so blatantly anti-Bachmann that it drew the ire of the National Organization for Women and many others.”
“Having seen the May 7, 2008 issue of The New Republic, which shows then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as “hysterical,” I shouldn’t have been shocked by their recent depiction of Kate Middleton.”