I am currently interning at Amy Delman Public Relations LLC., where texts such a press releases are written by me and then revised by my superiors. Since I am still an intern, no text that I create goes directly to the public. However, when I graduate my career goals are to become a staff writer for women’s fashion magazines like Cosmopolitan or Seventeen magazine. The audience for Cosmo and Seventeen consist of young girls, ranging from the ages of 12-22 years old.
For me, as a journalist, it is and will always be important to remain unbiased and give the readers the truth without including my personal beliefs. The job of a journalist is to deliver the news. Working for a fashion magazine would mean that I let girls know what is trending. However, it becomes tricky when the reality is that skinny models are always trending. Fashion magazines also sell things to readers through advertorials that look a lot like editorials. So while the reader things that they are reading honest text, they are really just being persuaded to lean towards a certain brand simply because that company had the money to buy a spread and not because the product is better than another on the market.
With a young and impressionable audience, magazines have the power to influence generations. Therefore, when producing editorial it important that there are no hidden signs hinting at what a woman should be, whether it be skinny, thick, sporty or chic. This is where representation comes to play. Take for example the cliché Euro standard girl who is deemed as more beautiful than other cultures. Just because a woman has euro features does not mean she is more beautiful than other women it just means that her look is more desirable because it is seen more in media.
Ferdinand De Saucer was a theorist who studied the relationship between two things central to the meaning and was extremely interested in the relationship and interrelationship of signs. De Saucer believed that the largest system of signs that we share is language which is through the signified (sound, image, written word) and signified (mental concept). In fashion, a signifier is a skinny model, a signified is what we imagine; the typical cover girl is skinny, tall white and blonde. According to De Saucer, signs are not real things but just constitute reality.
When writing for fashion, it is not always just about trending items for the upcoming season but it also about female sexuality and how to attract a mate. Durham wrote an article called, “The Myth of Female Sexuality,” where it was said that sexuality is a function of body hierarchies. To be slender, long-legged and full breasted meant beautiful yet at the same time you had to be curvy and have white Euro beauty meant that you were on top of the “food” in this case, “woman” chain. When writing text for magazines I think it is imperative to not make a woman feel like she has to look one specific way but rather embrace the things that make a woman different.