visual me #4

Brigitte was founded in 1954 and is published by Gruner & Jahr among Brigitte Woman, Brigitte Balance, Woman, Gala, Emotion, Eltern, and Healthy Living. ( Remarkable that G&J defines their magazine titled ‘Eltern’ (‘Parents’) as a women`s magazine!)
Brigitte is the markt leader of german women`s magazines, coming along a little modern for the stereotypical and conventional middle-class woman. Treating the themes women are supposed to be interested in: fashion, cosmetics, (hetero) partnership and house-holding (especially recipes).
In October 2009 Brigitte announced a ‘revolution‘: Stopping to book anorexic professional models for fashion shoots – but rather work with ‘normal’ women. (What`s nothing new and has already been practised in other magazines for a longer time.) This ‘revolutionary’ concept, led to a never-ending discussion in press and bloggosphere. Many observers claim, that fighting anorexia does not make sense while going on to print the ‘Brigitte – Diet’. Die Tageszeitung: ‘You look really great just as you are — but you’d look even better if you only lost a few kilos.’

The fact, that Brigitte is a commercial product, using PR strategies like any other enterprise and propably killing two (or more) birds with one stone using this ‘revolutionary concept’ is often disregarded.
The whole discussion is quite needless, beeing hold in the frame of a conventional women`s mag, manifesting stereotypical gender roles. ‘Normal women’ as defined by the latest issue of Brigitte, do not serve everybody`s ideal of beauty: on the cover we get a cute, loveley smiling and harmless looking bunny totally fitting in the role a young woman is conventionally expected to be.

credits: G&J
appearances of women in women`s magazines in the 21st century


What kind of visual ideals get transported here (reaching about 3,6 million female readers in Germany)? What about the assumption, women`s interests to be corresponding between fashion, cooking and diets? I personally get bored flicking through this aesthetically and intellectually uninspiring and obsolete stuff.
It may have been a cool pr-gag or saving money from spending honorars for models – as print magazines really have hard times right now – Brigitte still sticks to it`s over 50 years old concept: Women as women have to be. So take it or leave it.

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Filed under - VISUAL ME #, ISSUE Ø7 - SERIES

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