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Women's Magazines

Women's magazines are periodical publications explicitly addressed to female readers. This kind of press covers a vast range of topics: fashion, beauty, romance, fitness, cooking, childbearing, politics, traveling, and so forth. Social and historical accounts of consumer culture call attention to the role of magazines in shaping and affecting the imagery and lifestyles of women from different social classes, races, ethnicities, ages, geographical regions, and cultural milieus. For at least three centuries, women's magazines have instructed women to choose and consume commodities to make “appropriate” female identity-marking purchases: improving their relationships and their lifestyles; transforming their appearance, especially to please others; and, implicitly, developing a consciousness of their own femininity.

The first publications dealing with women's issues, such as the English Athenian Mercury (1691), Female Tatler ...

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