What Effect do Glamor Magazines really have on Women

Do glamour magazines really have any impact on women at all, since they are primarily targeted at men? Glamour models tend to have a certain artificialness about them they are not presented as real women, but rather as Barbie dolls, with their dyed-blonde hair, tiny waists and ultra-inflated boobs. Is that really something ordinary women want to aspire to? Maybe not, but perhaps the images of such models are encouraging men to develop unrealistic expectations of what a real woman ought to look like.

Glamour magazines contain lots of images of women either scantily clad or nude. The women in the pictures are looked after by professionals who plaster make-up on them and style their hair, whilst the set-crew set up their lighting equipment to show the models in their best light. Then there is the dear-old airbrush that can eliminate any blemishes and flaws which the make-up and lighting fails to. This is hardly a realistic set up, and does not portray ‘natural’ beauty. These conditions can hardly be replicated in the real world, now, can they? A photograph only captures a moment’s worth of posing it does not show all the effort that went into achieving a particular look.

However, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that such ‘perfection’ is easy to achieve, and so it may not be surprising that so many men think that women should be slim, big-breasted, with a perfect complexion and be perfectly coiffed, and that this can be achieved with little effort. Maybe this is unfair to men many claim to prefer their women to have a bit of meat on them and are aware that they are being manipulated into thinking a certain look’ is sexy, when in reality variety is the spice of life.

Even this kind of positive attitude may not prevent women from putting pressure on themselves to look a particular way. You only have to look at the popularity of breast enhancement surgery to recognise that women have their own expectations of what constitutes the perfect body, perhaps influenced by the presence of glamour magazines and the growing acceptance of plastic surgery as a way to address a person’s physical ‘flaws’.

More serious than the issue of women being influenced and made to feel bad about their physical appearance by the existence of glamour magazines is the influence they have on young girls. Increasingly, being a glamour model is seen as a legitimate career for youngsters who see it as something to aspire to. Instead of girls dreaming of becoming nurses or doctors and wanting to get an education, they regard taking their top off as a good way to make money. This isn’t something we should encourage if we want girls to approach adulthood content with their bodies and able to command respect, and if we want boys to become men who think of females as more than just a way to provide sexual gratification.

Ultimately, little good has come from the proliferation of glamour magazines except to provide a few more pretty girls with work and to give men a few moments of aesthetic pleasure. They do little to improve women’s self-esteem and body consciousness, and may in fact have a detrimental impact on women, and consequently on society at large.