The modern women according to women's magazines

by Sefana Boucherit on January 3, 2015 - 8:45am

The modern women according to women's magazines



« La femme moderne selon les magazines féminins » is an article which has been published in August 2011, on, a website dedicated to news and society analysis and written by two hands, two male journalists called Pierre Ancery et Clément Guillet. In this column, they decided to indulge in reading women's magazines to put himself in the place of women and to understand their relationship to the press. 
 The life of the modern woman is one long orgasm. Indeed the journalist denounces the fact that women are constantly reminded of their sexuality and their sexual performance. Here are some quotes of several women's magazines about sex:

"Where shaving sex? 15 situations at your own risk "(20 years)," Orgasms in 7 positions (revisited) Kama Sutra "and" words (them) are hard "(Biba)," I love making love several "(Marie Claire) or, for those under 15," I have fantasies is it normal? « (Lolita!). In the 60s and 70s, The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, inspired many feminine magazines which were at the forefront of the struggle for sexual emancipation of women. Orgasm, contraception, pill, homosexuality, extramarital sex, these taboo subjects were discussed for the first time by famous and influent magazines such as Elle and Marie Claire. This was the time when women magazine used to decomplex their readers: today it is the opposite. The time when these magazines invited women to no longer be ashamed of their bodies and their sexuality, is over. Nowadays, sex, unbridled if possible and always straight-centered, is mandatory. And the competition is fierce, as there is always younger, more attractive and slimmer girls than oneself in the area: every two pages, a picture of a bikini model is here to remind you. One of the missions assigned to women's magazines is to help women to conform to what males' desires seem to be. Besides french female magazines imply that women are only happy through their credit card. Indeed, they suggest that most of the problems encountered, will be solved trough consumption. Women's magazines excel at creating complex to better enable advertisers, ubiquitous in this type of press, to control womens' consumption. Finally, we understand that « la femme Elle » doesn’t look like theaverage woman. The two journalists call for a destruction of this dangerous image, destruction which is trying to be made by new newspaper such as Causette , which deliberately doesn’t use any top models and Photophop and trues to tackle subjects which are less feminized but more feminist.


Your article is really interesting and what I find more interesting is that two journalists, men, get interested in the content of women's magazines and in the pressure and the guilt women experience every day flipping through this kind of magazines. It is interesting that two men write about women's magazines because the latter shape the image of women so that it meets the male desires. And this denunciation made by two men, offers an interesting angle to the analysis.

This article is really interesting. The image of women presents in women's magazine is indeed full of stereotypes and corresponds to another isolated reality. The idea which formulates that everything is done to suit better to men's desire is probably damaged because women tend to set up themselves ever higher "goals" of beauty, thinness… Certain articles do ask for male's opinions but they represent such a low part. Women seem to create them even more complex (this word is often over-used in headlines) the problem is also they don't seem to want to take into account outsiders opinions, who needs when the model is just there under the eyes, print on this page of a brand's publicity? This creates higher expectations of themselves; To support magazine that propose a more realistic image of women is indeed a good way to gave less audience to those idealistic scopes, even if the degree of advertisement is also unfortunately something to deal with.

Hi! Now I am curious to open a old women’s magazine: see the difference with magazines of today (pictures, articles). It shall be quite funny. Your article is pleasant to read, and shows how evolve the image of woman through the years. Now the modern woman is thin, maked up, sexy.. Even if we know (or if we want to reassure ourselves) that Photoshop exist... Girls in this magazine are kind of models for us. And of course they represent the good way to act. And some women’s magazine give a superficial picture. I agree when you said it’s a dangerous image, we have lauded the emancipation of women but we are not only consumers who buy products to be only pretty.

About the author

My name is Sefana, I'm a student in a French selective school called "Sciences Po" where I study sciences politics, marketing/management and history. I come from Paris and I'm doing Erasmus during one year at the University of Potsdam.