Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Race and beauty are mutually implicated concepts in Western culture. Feminist scholarship posits beauty as a social construction that is also a marker of power in terms of race and class. This study examines constructions of race in relation to beauty in the top-circulating magazine for adolescent girls, Seventeen. “Teen magazines”—fashion and beauty magazines aimed at adolescent female readers—are an important factor in girls’ socialization. Using semiology and myth analysis, this study examines the ways in which beauty is “activated” through the use of multiracialism. It was found that in these magazines, race was a consumer option, devoid of history or social meaning. In a sense the magazine’s texts and images represent a Utopian future in which racial differences and the attendant social discriminations are nonexistent. In addition, the myriad crosscultural hybrdizations that mark youth culture today was absent.