Review of Women's Studies, Vol 15, No 2 (2005)

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Women's Magazines as Instruments of Neo-Colonial Domination

Georgina R. Encanto

Abstract


This paper examines how women's magazines in the Philippines, especially local editions of glossy American magazines such as Cosmopolitan Philippines, are instruments of neo-colonial domination. Published by Filipino media conglomerates like Summit Publications, these magazines are veritable clones of their international counterparts with very similar covers, advertisements, and editorial content. Because of their formulaic contents, women's magazines like Cosmopolitan Philippines wield a tremendous insidious influence on their readers as they promote high end American products, lifestyle, and values and tend to define femininity according to American standards. With their emphasis on Caucasian norms of beauty and behavior, women's magazines in the process, tend to make Asian women feel a pressure to conform to the patriarchal stereotypes of women propagated by the magazines and to even alienate them from their own indigenous culture.

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