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Influences of Vogue on American Popular Culture

Page history last edited by Whitley Ables 13 years, 4 months ago


Vogue's Impact on Popular Culture is Alive


     Brooke Rutheford, in her dissertation featuring a content analysis of Vogue, quoted the The Fashion Book, “Great fashion is about cutting moments of transition out of cloth.” (Rutheford). Some see fashion as a way of liberating women. Vogue’s influence on popular culture within America is countless. The idea of “ women, fashion, and the issue of liberation (are) at the forefront of contemporary American culture” (Rutheford 6).



     One example of influence Vogue carries on American pop culture is surprisingly, within politics. It used the newest first lady, Michelle Obama, as an iconic figure featured on one of the covers in March of 2009. This significance of this cover brings to life the idea that politics of fashion is alive. Some see the first lady as the second Jacqueline Kennedy. She uses style as a way to open up a new door to communication just as the original first lady of fashion did so. Because of thier stylish looks, the first lady's were able to use Vogue as an outlet for sharing thier views.  




Social Issues

     Vogue also holds influence in prevention of such things as domestic violence. A wonderful example of their influence on such social issues is the use of Rihanna and Chris Brown’s domestic disputes. Rihanna seen as a young iconic figure in American society was featured to show that a strong, confident, and self-assured “Gucci Woman” would never bother or stay with an abusive boyfriend.

Fashion within Vogue Magazine can also be seen as a source of empowerment. Through the fashions of the images, consciousness is brought about the body. This can fulfill fantasies and take part in sexual and gender expression. “By finding pleasure in their bodies women reclaim their status as the more powerful gender in American Culture” (Rutheford 12). Though dressing well may not be an adequate reason for women to feel they are the more powerful gender, it does make them feel stronger. Looking great causes women to be more confident about themselves and does in turn lead to a feeling of empowerment within jobs and other social environments.





Negative Influences

     Even with its many positive effects, such fashion publishing can have negative influence on women of American culture. “…fashion as an institution in American culture perpetuates gender injustice by devaluing and undermining women with images of beauty that are impossible, unattainable and questionable terms of health” (Rutheford 11). This use of beauty within such an influential magazine such as Vogue causes excessive spending by women on beauty products, constantly trying to maintain the image set forth as beautiful.

     Another negative influence of the fashion magazine is that the preoccupation with appearance can result in women losing sight of more important issues. With the distractions of trying to maintain a certain look, woman devalue intelligence and education, which can lead to an overall weakened effort by woman for complete equality.


Vogue as a Source of Communication

     With its focus only towards women, Vogue is used as a strong source of information. It appeals to all woman of American culture and is accessible to many female demographics. With Vogue, “Fashion journalism as an aspect of popular culture presents information to a wide female demographic on issues directly related to women” (Rutheford 12).

Vogue Magazine

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