Susan Meiselas0

Susan Meiselas – Shortie’s Dream, Barton, Vermont



Follow-Up of Getting Serious0

Here is the survey I’m going to use for my research project.


I am conducting this survey on the effect of beauty advertising as part of the Soc 240: Visual Sociology class by instructor Antonia Levy. The questionnaire is anonymous and all responses will be kept confidential.

General Information:

1. Gender: Male   Female   Other

2. Age: 18-21    22-25    26-30+

3. Ethnicity: Black  White  Hispanic  Asian  Native American  Other

4. How often do you read beauty/fashion magazines?

Frequently   Often    Average   Seldom   Never

*Please also list the titles of the magazines (if any):


5. How often do you purchase beauty products because of their advertising?

Frequently  Often    Average   Seldom   Never

6. To what extent you think  the beauty standards presented in advertising nowadays have effect on your view of female beauty?

Very     Somewhat     A little bit     Not at all

Visual Identification: Please take look at images below and answer some questions.

7. Which one would you like to choose to represent your perspective of the female beauty nowadays? And why?

8. Considering the image you choose, do you think it’s realistic?

Image 1 -6, respectively.


Image 1. Street Capture. Poster on 42nd Street Time Square.

Image 2. Monica Bellucci – French Elle cover. Copyright© Elle, Inc.

Image 3. Vintage Vogue UK September 1960. Copyright©2010 voguearchives.

Image 4. Street Capture. Poster on 42nd Street Time Saqure.

Image 5. Sophie Dahl – British Vogue cover Nov. 07. Copyright© Vogue, Inc.

Image 6. Victoria Beckham – Elle cover Jan. 08. Copyright© Elle, Inc.


Getting Serious1


  • Kelly, L. D. (2003). Measuring Up: How Advertising Affects Self-Image/Fashion, Desire, and Anxiety: Image and Morality in the Twentieth Century/Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture (book). NWSA Journal, 15(2), 199-203.

In this article, author Lori Duin Kelly refers to a study of how women are affected by Advertisement. Women are affected by advertisement in a variety of ways, mentally, physically, and emotionally.The views that men and women have upon all these ads are different, and although both genders can be affected by these ads , definitely take a heavier impact on the female audience. This article implies that young women with low self-esteem turn to these advertisements in search of answers regarding how to act and dress thus affecting their whole entire life. It also talks about how certain advertisement make women and their bodies into an object which can be changed and improved for the satisfaction of males. Furthermore, advertisement and marketing change not only the self-value of the women that are affected by it, but also changes their appearance as they strive to look as the ideal women in the advertisement.

  • Martin, M. C., & Kennedy, P. F. Social Comparison and the Beauty of Advertising Models: The Role of Motives For Comparison. Advances in Consumer Research, 21(1), 365-371.

The article itself talks about a study where the motives underlining why young adolescent girls will physically compare their body to the body of female models in the advertisement, and found three main motives which are based on self-evaluation, self-improvement, and self-enhancement. Self-evaluation is defined as the judgment of value, worth, or appropriateness of one’s abilities, opinions, and personal traits; self-improvement is defined by an individual drive to improve a particular attribute; and self-enhancement is an individual attempts to maintain positive views of him/her to protect self-esteem. The social roles that these three play in social comparison are further examined for the competition of the study. People strive to become the person in the advertisement, and thus they change themselves to match the qualities seen in advertisement. Therefore advertisement changes the values of self-esteem, culture, and beauty that one might have.

  • Tsai, C. C., & Chang, C. H. (2007). Effect of Physical Attractiveness of Models on Advertising Effectiveness For Male and Female Adolescents. ADOLESCENCE, Vol. 42, No. 168. Copyright: Libra Publishers, Inc.

The study conducted was to investigate the actual effect that attractive models have on advertisement. People are used to comparing their abilities, possessions and appearance with a certain standard; however, people compare themselves with other people, normally with people of their same age or group when that standard is absent. The major comparison is made by adolescent as they compare their personal attractiveness to that of models in advertisement. It was indicated that using very attractive models did attract possible customers but meanwhile affected the perspectives of beauty among those possible customers as well when they compared themselves to the model. It could be both positive and negative effects. This is why it was found that the use of normally attractive models was much more beneficial. This article supports my topic in the fact that people tend to change themselves into what they see allows advertisement to define the social concept of beauty, and build it according to the product they want to sell.


I’m planning to use surveys/questionnaires to complete the research. Short interviews will be introduced when it’s necessary. And the target population is young adolescents. Thus, college students will be recruited.

Survey will includes both close-ended questions and visual identification, as well as some basic background information such as age, gender, and ethnicity/religious. Close-ended questions will be used to find out how participants comprehend beauty via beauty products’ advertisements. For instance, the questions will be like “how often do you buy beauty products because of  the advertising effect?” Moreover, in order to find out how participants identify beauty, images that relate to beauty will be presented. The sources of images are from major fashion magazines like Vogue, ELLE, etc., and also street shots, mostly will be posters.


For ethical considerations, firstly, I will make sure all the images that I prepare to use are legally allow to copy and post, and credits will be given in follow. Secondly, the voluntary, anonymity and confidentiality will be notified in the beginning of the survey. Let participants be aware that participation is entirely voluntary, no negative consequences if she /he stops participating, I’ll keep the identity of the participants unknown, and not revealing any information obtained from participants to any outside parties. Additionally, I will ask for permission to distribute the photos of participants if it’s necessary.


Media Activism & Political Art – Paper Tiger Television (PTTV)0

What is the main goal/objective of the organization or group? In what ways do members try to achieve their goals?

Paper Tiger is an organization whose goal is to “expose and challenge the corporate control of the media”. They want to provide a more diverse, less bias collection of information to the public. They also want to make others aware of how the media can affect social change. How? They produce investigative documentary shorts, have a community of grassroots efforts getting their message out and even hold screenings and workshops for those interested.

Staff and Collective Members

Maria Juliana Byck is the distribution and administrative manager, she also manages the internship program. And PTTV is mostly run by volunteer collective members. It seems like anyone can join. They provide meeting information and invite those who are interested in getting involved.

Make Decisions

This organization claims to “break down hierarchy” and there are no bosses. They work as a collective and make decisions as a group by deciding at weekly meetings rather than a top-down approach.

What type of activism does this group do, and what do you think about it?

It seems like this group works WITH media outlets to COMBAT mainstream media outlets. They make (and teach to make) videos/documentaries and produce the alternative they suggest should be in place instead of the mainstream media.

Would you join this group; why or why not?

I would like to join because this organization is made up by a mix of people from all walks of life, each members bring their own experience to the group, it will be fun to hear different opinions and ideas from different people.

Favorite picture:

Paper Tiger Collective Members Being Funny

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