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Representation refers to the construction in any medium (especially the mass media) of aspects of reality such as people, places,

objects, events, cultural identities and other abstract concepts. Such representations may be in speech or writing as well as still or moving pictures.


This is the first example of the voyeuristic treatment of the female body. The woman is in a provocative position and her face is barely shown, showing that her body is the most important part of her: This is portrayed a lot in this hip-hop/rap genre.

The music video also includes lots of cars and other vehicles, this one looking particularly like an army vehicle to emphasise the males power and authority.

A Counter Example: Missy Elliott

Rejects conventional representations of women free from objectification

Does not conform to stereotypical gender representations

Missy is not passive; she narrates the action lyrics are not self exploiting

Here is another example of how women are objectified in hip-hop/rap videos. The woman is not facing the camera, the audience can not even see her face, highlighting that only her body is worth looking at. This agrees with Goodwins theory as he suggests one of the six features of a music video is voyeuristic treatment of the female body

The lyrics: The lyrics not only provide intertextual references to the Tranformers franchise but also suggest that they can transform a woman to be what they want her to be; another example of the imbalanced treatment of women in music videos. The reference to Transformers therefore amplifies the lyrics and the relationship between the lyrics and visuals

Typography: Stressed out? The magazine cover suggests that it will include some methods of dealing with stress. This links to the audience gratification because people might be reading the magazine for leisure a break from work. At the age of the target audience, the reader would be still in education so currently completing exams and coursework, so this would be common ground for them and an additional reason for them to read the magazine. This appeals to the target audience because it tells them about things they would be interested in, and uses information that is specific to this age range. Colour scheme: The pink clothing that Vanessa is wearing links with the pink in the title of the magazine. This represents the target audience being prominently female because pink is stereotyped to be a typically female colour, rather than male. This appeals to the target audience because it is a colour they would naturally be attracted to due to the stereotype. Superimposion: The title of the magazine overlays the image of Vanessa Hudgens which suggests that she doesnt overpower other features of the magazine. This conforms to our stereotype of a young girl because it illustrates themes of innocence and lack of power. This would appeal to the target audience because young girls would generally rather conform to stereotypical female traits rather than male, so they might look up to the portrayal of Vanessa Hudgens.

Similar Magazine: Teen Vogue.

Key signifier: Vanessa Hudgens featured on the front cover of teen vogue. This appeals to the teen audience because she featured in the disney film High School Musical which was a film set in a high school therefore appealing to a teenage audience. .

Representation: Vanessa is represented as sweet and still shows some aspects of the innocence of a young girl. We can see this through her innocent smile and body position. Her clothing is simple and the style of her dress gives an impression of a young girl, with puffed sleeves and of a hot pink colour. This would appeal to the target audience because young girls might see specific traits of themselves in Vanessa.

Similar Magazine: ELLE girl

Superimposition: Once again the title of the magazine is superimposed over the image of the model which suggests the innocence of a young girl. This is often how young girls are portrayed in the media so this magazine conforms to this stereotype. Composition: The composition of the text on this front page is diagonal which makes it less serious and formal, and more interesting to read. The layout of the text really conforms to the stereotype because it differentiates this magazine from the original ELLE copy. By doing this, the young girl reading the magazine is ensured that the contents will be of interest and gives a quite enjoyable and easy-going feel to the magazine. Lead story: One of the main storys on the front cover is about Back to school fashion blitz. This is important to our portrayal of the magazine because we can see that its main focus is on fashion, although other sub headings are included. I will use this on my magazine cover because I want to include aspects of lifestyle and health and beauty magazines, although my main subject of contents is fashion.

Colour scheme: Bright and vibrant colours are used which link to a younger female audience and would be eyecatching on the shelf. Also, the model is wearing pink which is a stereotypical feminine colour and young girls might be attracted to this. Colour scheme: Once again, the colour scheme is relatively clear to the reader, making a distinctive link between he model on the front cover and the text through the use of the bright pink and red that she is wearing, and the colour of the font. This suggests to the reader that the young girl featured on the front cover posses some of these traits that the magazine will be addressing later on in the contents. For example: GET GREAT HAIR is in a similar colour to that of the clothes that Julia Stiles is wearing, which allows us to associate great hair with her. Young girls might then look up to her as a role model, and this brings up the issue of how a young girl feels she should look.

Forms & Conventions

In XXL editions of magazines they will always use the large, bold and thick title XXL. This is also used in other music magazines such as NME and VIBE which clearly demonstrates that a large title must be more appealing to the audience. The masthead, XXL, also denotes the meaning extra, extra large, and emphasize how this magazine is massive as are the rappers featured in it. The text is on a large red box which helps contrast the colours and show the magazines brand and image more clearly, the colour connotations of the red box also represent power and the energy of the rappers.

A feature added above the masthead is Hip Hop On A Higher Level, which is the magazines slogan to attract the readers to the magazine, it also imposes the image they are trying to create about how the rappers are at the peak of their game.
XXL will also have one or more famous artists on the front of their cover, and they generally use hip-hop, and rap . This immediately shows to the reader what type of magazine it is just from its front cover, making it very clear from the front that the magazine is based on music, specifically in the Hip-Hop, and rap area. XXL always make the front image very large to make it clear to the reader what the magazine will specify in for its best and main story. It also shows dominance of rap and hip-hop music. XXL use a few other forms & conventions for example they put to good use a small amount of text of what artists are included in the magazine, mostly famous and very successful artists in their own genre. Information on such successful artists is always something that XXLs target audience will want to read about.

This issue of XXL features a shot of def jam as this is clearly advertises in the main cover line def jam 25. This is the central image with the other elements of the cover surrounding it which is a generic convention employed by many magazines to focus the attention upon the image. The rappers appear intimidating and the poses are showcasing their different styles.

This type of magazine is not aimed at an older age band, and I feel this magazine would be aimed at the 16-27 age group. My reason for this is because the artists usually represented on the front cover are usually from a more recent era, which instantly shows us that the magazine is formed around that genre of music, and everybody knows what genre of music these artists perform. With the audience I also feel that this edition is portrayed towards a male market as we can see this from the intimidating poses that are represented here. I highly doubt that many females would be interested in the intimidating glare towards the camera and because they have put all males on the front cover, this makes the magazine look as if its aimed towards a male market.
Clearly the magazine offers inside information for fans interested in the hip-hop / rap genre. I feel that XXL have portrayed themselves in an outstanding way to capture the eye of their target audience.