Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fashion Fantasy Dies at Forty: Women of Age in Us Fashion Magazine Editorial, a Three-year Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis of Comparative Representation and Depiction
by Moore, Elisha , M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2018, 130; 27605880
Abstract (Summary)

To what extent are women of age invited or allowed to participate in the fantasy fashion purports to offer? And does it matter? To answer these questions, this study first develops a critical and multi-disciplinary “lens of age” (Marshall 6) based on prevailing literature, investigating the profound and complicated facets of age, including: how it affects identity, shapes perceptions in a youth-normative culture, its impact on women and femininity, as well as its expression in general media, advertising and fashion. Utilizing covers and featured editorial spreads for four top US fashion magazine titles for the years 2015–2017, this work then quantifies the presence of women of age and qualitatively analyzes their depictions versus those of younger women on four key criteria: body, attitude, stature and fashion. Evidence from quantified data demonstrates that women of age are substantially underrepresented. Qualitatively, they are frequently depicted in body, attitude, stature and fashion in manners that significantly deviate from those of younger women. At the highest-end of the fashion spectrum, women of age are depicted in severely diminished presentations, both literally and figuratively, and prohibited from full-participation in fashion-fantasy. These presentations and exclusions have the potential to inflict non-negligible harm both emotionally and physically, as evidenced by cited scientific studies. Additionally, data refuting business-case justifications for these exclusions lay responsibility with the fashion industry’s compliance to hegemonic power structures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Payne, Robert
Commitee: Westley, Hannah
School: The American University of Paris (France)
School Location: France
Source: MAI 81/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Fashion, Communication, Personality psychology
Keywords: Fashion, Magazine, Agism, Age, Identity
Publication Number: 27605880
ISBN: 9781088346440
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