I reviewed three editions of Us Weekly to try and gain a sense of some of the common ideologies that exist in our society. Most of the ideologies that I found in this magazine were lifestyle related and for women. Namely, because Us Weekly‘s target audience is women.
So, as usual, I like to get everyone on the same page when it comes to discussing rhetorical elements. Therefore, I would like to have a clear definition of ideologies. Thanks to vocabulary.com we have a sound definition. They state that an ideology is “a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual.” So, generally, what makes a society tick.
This basically encompasses, but is not limited to, the following:
Us Weekly mainly focused on the ethical and political but I came across two ads and an article that really caught my attention.
The first was an article about Revlon’s first full-figured woman to become a spokesmodel: Ashley Graham.
This caught my attention because this is representative of an ideology that is slowly changing. Until recently, I’m talking in the last 5 years here, to be a model, you had to be a beautiful pencil. But thanks to Ashley Graham and her peers (Tess Holliday, Candice Huffine, and Tara Lynn), the plus-size model market is blooming.
Major plus-size retailer Lane Bryant, launched a campaign in 2015 called #plusisequal that emphasized the lack of full-figured representation in the media. Graham was at the forefront of the campaign.
The ideological shift is extremely interesting to me for many reasons but mostly because the traditional beauty standards for societies all over the globe are being challenged. Graham’s body positivity message has opened the doors across all platforms. She was the first full-figured woman to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and she has also had major success as a judge on my guilty pleasure, America’s Next Top Model.
Graham’s article appeared in the 7th issue of Us Weekly in 2018 on page 59 Graham gives the statement “curvy girls have tons of beauty products. Because lipstick always fits.” This is indicative of the strides still to go in the fight to change the ideology. Many designers and major retailers are resisting the pull of the booming plus-size market. Despite the fact that the majority of women are technically considered full-figured.
Speaking of which, this next ad will make you question the growth of body-positivity in the media. In the last pages of ALL THREE of the Us Weekly issues that read, they had this ad for Zantrex:
Truth: “Weightloss is a journey”
False: This woman is in need of this weight loss drug.
This ad makes me feel like the first time I learned that a woman who was a size 8 was considered a plus size model. This woman looks healthy and beautiful but this ad suggests that she isn’t done losing weight. That she needs to take this miracle drug to drop the last of the weight.
This ad is a mere two pages from the body positivity message of Ashley Graham! But this ad just proves that this ideological shift is going to take a good amount of time.
Finally, this ad was posted and I kind of found it comical.
While pistachios are not horrible for you, I wouldn’t call it the “skinny nut” This ad is feeding into the ideology that promotes skinny equals healthy. This is so dangerous and so bad to promote. Healthy is good, it’s the goal. But skinny can be very dangerous! Some woman are not built to be skinny and by telling them they are not healthy until they are skinny leads to anorexia, Bulimia, or any other number of eating disorders.
If this said anything other than skinny, I probably wouldn’t be so mad at it.
But patience is key. Hopefully, the acceptance of a body-positive outlook on fashion will reach all corners of the media. And hopefully, this modern ideology will only gain momentum!
What do you think of this ideology? Do you notice any other ideologies that are changing or that you wish would change? Leave me a comment down below!