Mens Lifestyle Journals Analysing Gender Identities Multimedia Essay

Men's lifestyle periodicals are interesting research for analysing gender identities. As mass social texts they have the to influence or maintain ethnical norms and worth in the modern culture (Taylor and Sunderland, 2003). They have the ability to construct masculinity or femininity in a good way or in a poor way. They may possibly also modify or change ethnical norms which have been in existence as time passes.

In the 1980's, men in men's magazines were built as emotional, sensitive people. They were also designed as narcissists that dwelt on fashion whereas females were produced as powerful, independent beings that were well known by the men. (Gill, 2003). Over modern times, however, the representation of masculinity and femininity has improved because of the introduction of 'New Lad' mags.

Men's magazines have moved from constructing men as narcissistic visitors to representing them as pleasurists who enjoy love-making, alcohol, sport, autos, video games and the looking at of sexualized images. The ladies, on the other hand, were created as sexualized things to be gazed at. Edward (2003: 139) points out that, women with successful employment opportunities have been equally "undermined through salacious spreads of these stripped of the clothes". These representations make up the characteristic images of the 'New Lad periodicals'.

For this essay, I will analyze the structure of masculinity and femininity in another of these New Lad periodicals: FHM publication. My plan here is to critically express and analyse the visual images and the text messages within the publication. For the first analysis on aesthetic images, I will adjust a multimodal methodology taken from Van Leeuwen (2008) and Machin (2007), and then for the second research on the vocabulary, I will use a critical discourse theory defined by Vehicle Leeuwen (2008) to examine the development of women and men through writers' linguistic choices.


My analysis because of this review is a magazine called FHM journal (For Him Journal, the January 2010 edition). I decided FHM magazine because, as compiled by Jackson et al (2001), it has a mass blood circulation with monthly sales reaching the hundreds of thousands. Because of this wide blood circulation, the magazine has the power to effect a large amount of visitors. Launched in 1994, FHM Mag is directed at a particular audience: solitary men between your age ranges of 17 and 35 (Stevenson et al, 2001).

As witnessed, the magazine addresses single men as though they were 'friends'. This friendly manner is all achieved through the supplying of advice on relationships, the debate of sports, people, music, videos and other matters normal to typically male interactions.

FHM Magazine handles themes associated with the male lifestyle. These themes or templates include gender, sport, alcohol, movies, women, erotic jokes, food, music and clubbing. The newspaper also includes parts such as: letter to the editor, articles, interviews with superstars and 'advice' portions (formulated with advise on romantic as well as strictly sexual romantic relationships) The articles in the FHM journal primarily give attention to sport and superstars. Interviews generally include soap opera superstars, actors, celebrity and models. These celebrities are used to promote and market the magazine because of their status as public figures.

On the cover of the newspaper shows up a semi- nude girl complemented with the shiny effect of the publication that functions as an 'eye catcher' to the readers. On top of that, within the newspaper there is the dominance of black, red and white colours against which advertisements have the ability to stand out.

(Adverts, on the other hands, are) Nearly all these advertisement feature (male-related products) targeted at men, including cars, men's toiletries, gadgets, phones, blazers, movies, computers and men's wrist watches.

Men's publications are characteristically 'male' as a result of focus on sport (sports), drinking, women and, most of all, intimacy. Advice on associations found in men's mag, for example, often offer with intimacy in the headlines:

"How to speak your missus in to the lingerie of your sordid dreams. . . "

Sentences like the one above serve as an vision catcher and could lure a guy to buy such journal. Such sentences as well as the sexualized images of females, is the major reasons why male viewers buy these magazines (Jackson et al, 2001).

The magazine's narrative composition adopts a 'storytelling strategy'. The storyplot telling approach is employed for various matters including the debate of women, sexuality and personalities. The usage of dialect within the mag is generally informal with hackneyed words such as 'wow', 'naughty', 'foxy' and 'hot' or vulgar words such as 'bitch', 'shit', 'damn' and 'fuck'. These words, however, are used figuratively to build an ironic impact and without the intention to spite anyone. The use of irony goes throughout the journal. Jackson et al (2001:104) explain that the use of the literary device is a 'alert against taking anything that is thought to very seriously', adding so it allows the 'visitors to receive advice according to sexuality, indulge in fantasies of successful manhood and consume representation of beautiful women in. . . a guilt free way'.



Critical discourse analysis, as described by Vehicle Dijk in his newspaper, 'Critical Discourse Analysis', is "a type of analytical research that primarily studies just how social power misuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by content material or converse in cultural and political context" This explanation by Dijk therefore means that CDA really helps to show inequalities in a written and spoken words. Such inequalities may include gender, politics, electricity, and contest.

In previous research, CDA has shown to be a great tool in figuring out gender inequalities. The works of Caldas-Coulthard (1996) and Sunderland and Taylor (2003) drew on the critical discourse research in order to look at what linguistic selections receive to the cultural construction of women and men in a publication. The first, Caldas-Coulthard (1996), centres on the representation of women as the second, Sunderland and Taylor (2003), centre on representation of men.

Writers and loudspeakers use vocabularies and grammatical constructions to describe participants or appraise interpersonal events as seen in the articles of newspapers or speeches on tv set. The main problem of Discourse experts is to examine the article writer or the speaker's selection of words in order to bring out more obviously inequalities that surround the text messages. More importantly, the Discourse experts absorb what vocabularies and grammatical set ups were not used but could have logically been used.

In this newspaper, I'll analyse the terms of the FHM mag and can answer the questions below:

- Which gender is activated and which is passivated?

- Are there any gender divides through the words used?

- What linguistic options have been made to symbolize the male and female gender and are they displayed in a poor or positive way through the terminology choice?

In order to answer the above questions, I'll draw upon the analytical framework of Vehicle Leeuwen (2008) that uses such conditions as role allocation. This term examines which public actors are lively and unaggressive in a phrase. Also, there are several conditions such as role allocation, funtionalisation, individualisation and collectivisation. I'll discuss more about these conditions in relevant portions.


I also plan to use a multimodal approach for the examination of images in the FHM Publication. This approach handles all communicative modes within an image. These communicative modes include colours, cultural actors, language, create, objects and a great many other semiotic resources. The strategy also focuses on how these settings are structured to make a meaningful whole.

In this newspaper, I plan to analyse images in the FHM magazine paying particular attention to a interpersonal semiotic known as 'public actor research' Machin (2007). This approach allows me to take a look at the ways women and men are displayed in the images of the periodicals. In addition, it allows me to study how women and men are positioned for the viewers in the images.


To be a man or a female is not the results of biological determinism; cognitive composition. Gender is historically and culturally specific, subject to radical discontinuities over time and across space. This will not mean that one can simply choose genders. . . rather, were gendered through the power of controlled and regulatory discourses.

Foucault quoted by Baker (2008:291)

Which gender is more turned on and which is more passivated?

In order to answer these question, I'll examine 'role allocation', a term used by Vehicle Leeuwen (2008) and Halliday (1994). Role allocation shows the position where social stars are located. It equally shows how communal actors are represented, e. g. if indeed they is seen as a person who is productive (occupied), dynamic, passive, unchanging or benefiting. For this type of research headlines from FHM have been decided on:

"Commander Ryan Ramsey captains nuclear attack submarine HMS Turbulent. "

"The ultimate way to learn about romance is usually to be in one. This month we 're going stable with India. "

(FHM Publication pp 120 & 169).

The man (Commander Ryan Ramsey (appendix 5)) and the pronoun 'we' (referring to the men writers) are stars, and the girl (India) is the goal. In the phrases above, the guys are activated as a result of material procedures, 'captains' and 'going'. That is quite different with regards to the feminine, India, however, who has no process. She is cured as an thing of representation, represented as a subjected social professional or a passivated participant.

Other headlines in the magazine include:


- "World Triathlon Champ Alistair Brownlee understands at least three reasons for having getting fit. : The person, Alistair Brownlee, is activated as senser in relation to the mental process 'Knows'

(FHM Journal pg 160)


- "FHM's woman of the 10 years is Rachel Steven": Rachel Steven is passivated.

From this, we cannot conclude, however, that all women in the magazine are unaggressive; some are similarly activated just as the phrases below:

'She was Walford's outrageous child in East Enders, now Louisa Lytton is heading for Hollywood": 'She' is activated because of the existential process 'was'.

"Rachel Steven is our cover lady of the decade": The girl is triggered as a carrier in relation to the relational process 'is'

(FHM Newspaper pgs 80&106)

The question, then, is which kind of process can be used to represent men and women. In my preceding research, the men appear triggered either in a materials or mental process. The material process depicts them (men) as energetic people, having activities, and the mental process depicts them as people capable of 'considering and assessing. ' On the contrary, women are turned on in relational and existential techniques. The relational techniques, as Machin (2007) highlights, are 'carriers of meaning rather than celebrities'. They are not lively. This inactiveness is also observed in the aesthetic images of women (appendix 3 and 4) they 'take indicating through [her] postures and dress' Machin (2007:133). Also, the existential process means that the woman appears in a place that will not allow them to be 'active' as is the case of material procedures. These representations depict men as dynamic and practical individuals, as the women are represented as unaggressive and objects.

Are there any gender divides through the lexical alternatives used?

In the newspaper, linguistic alternatives differentiate women from men in conditions of work. Applied linguist, Vehicle Leeuwen, puts ahead the terms, 'functionalisation' and 'identification' to identify how social actors are represented. The term 'functionalisation', as he explains, occurs when public actors are symbolized in conditions of activities, occupations or tasks. The second term 'Recognition' occurs when public actors are displayed in terms of personal relations such as auntie, partner or in terms of physical information such as young, pretty and a great many other descriptions (Vehicle Leeuwen, 2008).

Table 1 lists the ways females and men are symbolized by FHM. In nearly all cases, men are symbolized in conditions of assignments and occupations as seen in the prior section while women are described in conditions of physical identification and relational recognition.


Director Person Richie. . .

Foxy Lady. . . Elisabetta Canalis. . .

DC Professional Editor Dan DiDio. . .

High neighborhood honey Charlotte. . .

Shaun White, World- famous Snowborder. . .

Kerry Katona, blonde, fun and top- heavy. . .

Jeff Zuker, the principle executive of NBC Common. . . .

Rachel lives with new husband Alex. Jamie Oliver and Gwen Stefani are her neighbours. . . (Relational Id)

Warren Buffet, the billionaire US trader. . .

George Clooney's arm candy, the amazing sounding Elisabetta Canaliss. . . (Relational Recognition)

Movie maestro, Adam Cameron

Anna Skellern. . . another very victim in the Descent. . . .

Dennis Smart, the club's then Exec Director. . .

Cecilia Peckaitis. . . the hot girl in the lynx Dry up ad. . .

India is 19 and lives with her people in Reading. . . . (Relational Id)

Based upon these data, you'll be able to monitor two strong discourses that are visible in the publication. The foremost is the business enterprise discourse and the second reason is the sexuality discourse. This business discourse is achieved by using words such as 'directors', 'executive(s)', 'editors', 'chief', 'chairman', 'billionaire US buyer' and 'maestro'. This discourse implies power and professionalism and reliability. The intimate discourse includes conditions such as 'foxy', 'very', 'hot', 'sexiest', 'candy', 'spectacular', 'blonde' and 'fun' as well as much other physical identifiers associated with women. Both of these main discourses provide to split gender in terms of work.

What linguistic selections have been designed to stand for the male and female gender and are they displayed in a negative or positive way through the terminology choice?

As written earlier, the writer's selection of linguistic words is a concentration of discourse experts. Working from existing theories in Critical Discourse Evaluation, I have preferred three articles from the newspaper to examine what alternatives of words are being used to stand for both genders. The first article centres over a male, music exec, Simon Cowell. The next and third articles centre on two female stars, Elisabetta Canalis and Rachel Steven.

Tables 1 & 2 lists the lexical items used to spell it out the social actors with their frequencies.

FEMALE Frequencies MALE Frequencies

Pretty 1 Huge star 2

Princess 1 Giant 1

Girl next door 1 Impresario 2

Five ft. force of nature 1 master 2

Sexist 5 Manager 2

Hot 1 Success 3

Candy 1 humble 1

Exotic 1 strong 1

Formaggi (cheese) 1 High profile 1

Dolly bird 1 shallow 1

Foxy 1 reckless 1

beautiful 1 cocky 1

Actress 1 Harsh 1

Presenter 1 Hairy 2

model 1

A close look at the linguistic options in desk above implies that the man, in majority of enough time, is identified in terms of status or function. For example, we have what 'manager', 'impresario', 'huge celebrity', 'professional', 'high profile ''large' (connoting electricity or importance), and 'strong. ' On the contrary, women are defined in term of appearance like the words 'quite', 'beautiful',

Like language, cultural actors are represented in images to connect suggestions to the viewers. Relating to Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996), companies of images use interpersonal celebrities to demand an 'imaginary cultural response from the audiences'.

In order to analyse the cultural stars of images in the mag, Kress and Vehicle Leeuwen's (1996) 'three proportions of the placement of viewers with the members' would be looked at. The first is the 'image action or Gaze' that shows how a sociable professional relates with the male viewers. S/he can provide a demand gaze that is directed immediately at the visitors or an offer image. The second is the public distance that depicts what sort of social acting professional is close or distant to the audiences and the 3rd is the viewpoint of interaction that presents the various perspectives from which audiences see participants. Maybe it's horizontal perspectives that symbolize engagement, vertical angles that symbolize ability or oblique angles that symbolize detachment.

In the FHM mag, about 47 per cent of all the editorial images are females while 53 % are males. Inside the section that uses, I will verify how the women and the men (public stars) are designed in the visual images of the journal. I will start by looking at the viewpoint of connection, image work and 'cultural distance' of men and women and, equally, analysis the way they both relate with the male audiences. I am going to, then, consider which gender is excluded, included, individualized, and grouped.


About 25% of the pictures of women are demand images, while 22% are offer images. The offer images of the women make no contact with the visitors. They therefore allow male audiences to accentuate on the semi naked systems, appendix (2b). This representation depicts women as erotic thing to be gazed at.

Apart from the offer images, a higher ratio of the demand images are seductive, communicating sexual intentions to the male visitors (appendix 2a). 'Present' combines with the women's gaze to bring out a complete interpretation. The blend of both gaze and the cause depict women as making sexual demands to the visitors. This sexual submission and intention may, in turn, evoke erotic emotions in the male viewers. So, in addition to the fact that women are linguistically displayed as sexual things in the newspaper, the women are also aesthetically constructed as sexual temptresses.

24% of images of men are demand images, while 29% of these are offer images in the publication. With the offer images, almost all of the men, apart from some found in advertisements, get this to offer because they're involved with an activity or work. For instance, appendix 2d&2e shows the men looking from us because they are busy doing an exercise. These images allow male viewers to observe male personas as they work, unlike the offer images of women that allow the audiences to gaze at their semi-naked body. Here, males are depicted as efficient and effective people while females are portrayed as non-functional and passive. Equally observed on the linguistic level, the visual portrayals of people separate genders in terms of work.

For almost all, men that are inactive are seen to provide demand images. Their gazes may show you a serious, relaxed or joyful manifestation. Most men with serious expressions talk a form of 'vitality'. They have emerged folding their arms to depict them as authoritative (appendix 2c). The calm manifestation communicates to the visitors the experience of an trouble-free lifestyle. Unlike the first, they are seen with the hands in their pocket that portray them as gathered and easy-going people.

Surprisingly, there's a difference between your demand images of the men and the ladies. I believe the females are portrayed as more demanding that the guys. Including the girl in appendix 2a demands gender from the male viewers whereas the person in appendix 2c will not demand anything, somewhat he offers to the male visitors. The girl may be stating, "Come sleep with me at night", while the man is saying, "I am in control".

SOCIAL Conversation.

Looking at the angle shot of images in the publication, I have discovered that, when sexualized, women are shot more at vertical angles than another sides (appendix 2a). This vertical position depicts them as powerful and superior to the male viewers. However, Machin (2007:75) points out that vertical angle photographs of sexualized women 'work by metaphorical association'. He creates:

". images of women using hardly any clothing. . . may make them appear vulnerable, or objectified as sex objects. But this effect is reduced by by using a low-angle shot. The audience therefore appears up at the woman. . . So she is given status and electric power through being searched up to. This reduces the energy of the browsing position and for that reason reduces her vulnerability as she appears down dominantly on the viewer. Obviously this will not really increase her vitality over us but functions by metaphorical connection. "

Despite the actual fact that sexualized women are displayed as powerful by the use of vertical perspectives, this representation as Machin (2007) observed is a incorrect sense of electric power.

Unlike the images of women, men are taken largely at horizontal perspectives as well as vertical angles. Oblique angles of men are generally observed in the advertising within FHM. The horizontal angles symbolize involvement with the imaginary male visitors while the vertical angles symbolize superiority.

While the vertical sides used for girls metaphorically depict a wrong sense of power, those used with men depict as the men as having a true sense of electric power. (Appendix 2c). The vertical viewpoint portrays men as powerful and women as powerless.


Photographic images of men and women are very interesting to consider. Some women, especially celebrities, are more regularly taken using an extreme long-shot than some other shots. They lay down on the floor so that their body is bold, bigger and can take up two pages (Appendix 4). This leaves top of the part of the body to occupy the left page and the low part of the body to occupy the right. This 'extreme' long shot is done to give the imaginary guy audiences a clearer and bolder view of the women's body.

Long photographs of the ladies suggest, however, a faraway relationship between the audiences and model (Kress and Van Leeuwen, 1996). Thus, we might conclude that the 'female' in appendix 4 has a faraway romance with the viewers. But, the enlarged and bold physique of the girl pulls her body nearer to the male audiences to make a more intimate distant, 'distant that make coming in contact with possible' (Kress and Van Leeuwen 1996:251). Such extreme long photos were not used for the man participants. You can find no emphases on the man's body and they do not take up two webpages. Here, we could see that the women are offered as sexual items for men's desire.


This section will target more how the men and the females are depicted. I will verify which gender is individualized, categorised, excluded and included.


Pictures considered by photography lovers could depict people as individualized or as grouped. Vehicle Leeuwen (2008) shows us how middle-class driven newspaper will individualize 'elite' people and group 'typical' people in a verbal discourse. It is simple to see, in the appendices, that both genders are individualized and not grouped. Thus, another observation I made is that women are also grouped.

There is an enormous difference between women that are individualized and women that are grouped. Individualized women are seen improperly outfitted with the grouped women appearing well clothed. This difference says us that the newspaper tend to individualized sexualized women and group 'standard' well-clothed women.

Examining appendix (3a), we see a group picture of two women and four men discussing within an eatery. These people are cast of a significant television programme known as Skins. If we study appendices 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, the four men of the television programme are released here and moreover, individualized. That is completely different to both women cast people. As depicted in appendix 3f, they may be grouped. Both give an offer that suggests lack of communication with the audiences. Also, they are properly dressed and not exposed to sexualize reading which emphasis my earlier point. I believe these differences serve to construct the men as independent and the women as centered.


Exclusion means not acknowledging a certain kind of people that live and work in the same world. (Truck Leeuwen, 2008). To adopt a good example from the publication, appendix 3a, as written earlier are cast from the television set program Skins. The four male ensemble members, as recognized, were properly introduced, for example, appendix 3b and 3c created the men and the heroes they play in the Skins:

1b) 'Jack O'Connell, 20.

Plays: James Make meals.

1c) Luke Pasqualino, 19

Plays: Freddie Mclair

However, no proper introductions were given to the female cast participants of Skins. They are really unveiled as shown in appendix (3f). The viewers are not given their titles or what people they play in the show. They may be disregarded or excluded. The result of the exclusion, I believe, is to foreground the ladies as 'Other'.


This article has reviewed the gender variations within the terms and images of the new technology men's newspaper, FHM.

In this journal, particular linguistic alternatives and the representation of gender in images has shown a level of social inequality between females and males. The ladies analysed in this article have been seen to be adversely constructed. This structure depicts them as subjected or passive individuals within society. Furthermore, the linguistic selections relating to these women, as observed in most articles, present one particular discourse - the discourse of sexuality. However, the utilization of the sexuality discourse is not presented for men. Rather, the magazine focuses on the business discourse, which portrays men as lively and practical individuals within culture.

Furthermore, through an evaluation of the interpersonal actors found in the images, I've shown that girls are displayed as non-functional individuals, powerless reliant creatures, sexual objects for men's desire and lustful temptresses. These negative representations of women are, however, not portrayed in images relating men. They may be, alternatively, represented as powerful, successful and self-assured people, or people considering activities. These portrayals create gender imbalances within the newspaper.

With the utilization of the CDA and the multimodal way, I've shown that, in FHM, women are inadequately constructed and men are favorably constructed, making the newspaper a good example of 'hegemonic masculinity. ' Wheaton (2001:214)

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