The media is always known to be pervasive since agents of socialization such as the peer, the family, the polity, and the school largely influence it. In the modern society, children are vulnerable to the media messages since they tend to believe what they see in various television programs. Many individuals do not have the ability to differentiate between fantasy and truth, as well as to recognize persuasive object in the media.
Moreover, it is difficult for individuals to comprehend satire and to ignore stereotypes that the media spreads. A review of the current newspaper articles and other forms of media prove that the media is gradually replacing the family as the primary socializing agent.
Media articles, such as the Maxim Magazine and the Cosmopolitan Magazine, socialize individuals to believe that women are very different from men as regards to dressing, behaving, and eating. Women are always portrayed as individuals whose main work is to engage in activities that aim at satisfying men in society.
Rarely are women presented as people who can undertake other activities that are related to political and economic development (Onstad, 2008).
Whenever a company wishes to increase its sales, it uses the image of a woman knowing that it would attract many customers, particularly men. In this regard, women are used as objects to increase profits. In the two magazines, women are simply used to please men in several adverts, but men are portrayed as masculine in the sense that they can protect themselves.
Maxim magazine is similar to the Cosmopolitan magazine in the sense that it assigns women degrading activities, such as secretary and nurse. The magazine shows men in war meaning that only masculine individuals can be trusted with the role of defending the country. Moreover, the magazine shows a man in a ring playing a male related sport popularly referred to as wrestling.
This shows that the masculinity nature of men allows them to engage in body building games, but this would be a challenge for many women, as they are expected to maintain slim bodies, which are believed to represent beauty. In the Maxim magazine, women are naked in almost all pictures meaning that they should expose their bodies for them to be seen as attractive.
Even when playing games, the magazine suggests that women should be naked. The description of the magazine indicates that its main targets are men meaning that only men control the economic activities of the society. They should be targeted since they have financial resources that enable them to acquire Maxim products.
Unfortunately, women are simply used to advertise products that they do not consume (Holtzman, 2000). The Cosmopolitan Magazine differs slightly from the Maxim Magazine in the sense that it advises women to check their diets since they should always maintain model figures that are known to attract men. However, it also utilizes female pictures n advertising some of the products.
The magazines strengthen the existing stereotypes on gender roles since they confirm that women should be undertaking feminine responsibilities, such as nursing and secretary. The Maxim magazine suggests that military related responsibilities belong to men.
The society assigns roles to individuals based on gender where men are expected to offer protection while women are to play secondary roles that mainly satisfy men. Based on this, the identity of individuals is not always real, as people live in the state of false consciousness.
Holtzman, L. (2000). Media messages: What film, television, and popular music teach us about race, class, gender and sexual orientation. Armonk, NY: Sharpe.
Onstad, K. (2008). That old thing? Chatelaine, 81(9), 207 – 208.