Crystal clear: Paler skin equals beauty – a multimodal analysis of Asiana magazine

McLoughlin, Linda (2013) Crystal clear: Paler skin equals beauty – a multimodal analysis of Asiana magazine. South Asian Popular Culture, 11 (1). pp. 15-29. ISSN 1474-6697 (Accepted for Publication)

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Paler Skin South Asian Popular Culture revised to include focus group discussion.docx - Accepted Version

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This paper examines the multimodal representations of beauty in Asiana, a contemporary magazine aimed at British Asian women. Through a methodological integration of social semiotics and critical discourse analysis, it argues that the magazine promulgates a universal aesthetic of female beauty which is persistently white, western and wealthy; a standard imbued with corresponding ideals regarding femininity and female sexuality. The analysis will focus on the constitution of the consuming subject through the beauty/lifestyle features and skin care/fashion advertisements to illustrate the ways in which whiteness is promoted as a commodity in the global marketplace. Underlying tensions are inherent in the juxtaposition of Western and traditional images and values which offer this ‘new’ community a commodified and hybridized subject position. As a useful complement to the substantive analysis, a small-scale focus group discussion was carried out to ascertain the subject positions taken up by the target audience. Despite a discursive, nationalistic discourse which promotes Asian cultural superiority, the article concludes that the association of pale skin with success and the alignment of material commodities with progress results in Western forms of expression having an advantage over indigenous ones.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in South Asian Popular Culture on 11th February, 2015 available online:
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > English
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 09:50
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2017 17:44

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