Magazine representations of women in texts and images of Valentine's Day celebrations.
Mthethwa, Ntombifuthi Christophora.
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Women's magazines have been accused of using their power of reaching millions of audiences to influence ideas such as the perceived role of a woman in the society; how she must behave, what she must do to win the attention of men as well as inform her of her limitations (Marshment, 1997). Women's magazines do this through the advertisements and stories that they publish. Ballaster et al. (1991) posit that the media has very powerful means of influencing and persuading audiences to think, act and behave in a particular may. The media has the power to shape and direct the way in which audiences perceive themselves. Evidently, it creates a desire in people to improve themselves by purchasing a certain product. Following a critique of seven women's magazines, this study acknowledges the power of the media to influence its audience and analyses the use of the theme of Valentine's Day in stories and advertisements of the selected magazines. The analysis explores how such influence can result in the promotion of gender stereotypes in society.