Media Texts, Brands, and Identity: “For Him Magazine” (FHM Magazine)
In this essay I will firstly introduce the magazine I am discussing, and talk about ideas of representations and gender in their issues, and also how it in effect they market themselves as a brand that articulates identity.
FHM magazine stands for “For Him Magazine”; its core target audience is males 25-35. The magazine is produced monthly at the cost of £3.40 per issue.
FHM is now on global release as it publishes 27 different editions around the world in every continent, each with its own unique content. The UK version sells approximately 600,000 copies per month making it one of the most popular magazines in the country. For their company Emap under an umbrella of 58 magazines it is the most popular.
Its content varies inside as it is essentially seen as a lifestyle magazine. Every month it has recurring themes of reviews and articles centrally focused around the opposite sex and hobbies the magazine assumes the audience has.
A way we can look at the notion of identity is through representations given through the magazine. Since the magazines are aimed at men, we can assume that the magazine has underlying issues about gender. Therefore FHM would like to express itself through masculinity to create a meaningful link to its audience. In the following I will show how different men and women magazines are completely different in content and identity.
Contemporary ideas of masculinity and femininity will be different to those of previous generations. Current themes may be stereotypical but to study it using binary oppositions gives it greater meaning; men are seen as masculine, dominant, strong, aggressive, intelligent, rational, and active. Whilst women are the opposed, they are feminine, submissive, weak, intuitive, emotional and communicative. As well as theses factors men and women are also seen to like different things, men like cars, technology, getting drunk and having casual sex with strangers whilst women like shopping, make-up, social drinking with friends, and having committed relationships. However, it is also clear that these lists are not truly representative of what men and women are really like. You all probably know a woman who likes cars and can be aggressive or a man who doesn’t drink and cries at weepy romantic comedies.
These stereotypes exist, to a certain extent, because they are easier than getting to know every man and women they would like to know. Advertisers are especially prone to using stereotypes to sell products for the same reason. They assume that all women or men are similar to make targeting audiences a simpler process.
We can use advertising as a starting point when considering representations of gender in lifestyle magazines. By looking at some of the adverts it is clear to see how gender stereotypes are employed and maintained by advertisers.
Using stereotypes of men and women, men should drink beer followed by...