Can Women’s and Men’s Health Magazines be Judged by Their Covers? Differences in Magazine Models and Headline Frames

Kelly Miller

Abstract


The mass media, including magazines, play a role in promoting body dissatisfaction, which is the leading cause of disordered eating. The current study is a content analysis of the framing of women and men’s health magazine headlines over the course of three months. The purpose of this research was to investigate the differences in cover images and headlines on women and men’s health magazines, focusing on the areas of the pictured model’s body that are shown and revealed on the magazine cover and on the framing of the headlines. Women’s and men’s health magazine covers often show models from the thigh upward and with arms revealed without clothing. Models on women’s health magazine covers are more likely to be pictured with body parts revealed without clothing.  Headlines on women’s health magazine covers focus more on appearance and weight loss, compared to headlines on men’s health magazine covers, which focus more on body competency.  In order to prevent body dissatisfaction and promote healthy living, health professionals, magazine companies, and individuals should be aware of these differences.


Keywords


media ideals; headlines; body image

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