Since the establishment of mainstream media through technologies such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television, the role of media in society has changed drastically from its use as a religious and politically agenda-driven medium to one driven by profit. With so many forms of free-to-access mass media available for the general public to consume, as well as heavily subsidised magazines and newspapers, the question must be asked "who is paying for it." This reading application will use the concepts of discourse, ideology, identity, subjectivity and interpellation to analyse a magazine cover page and uncover its hidden connotations through its use of magazine elements as well as its discursive constructions in the areas of masculinity/femininity, class, sexuality and nationality (O'Shaugnessy and Standler 2008).
Magazines are one of many forms of mass media which are created with specific goals and interests in mind. I have chosen to study a front cover of popular UK women's magazine 'ELLE.' On this cover, celebrity and musician Lily Allen poses wearing fashionable clothing and is presented performing a subtle modelled pose. The typeface used on the cover is minimal and elegant and only varies between black and white. The overall look of the cover is modernistic, whilst the use of the two toned colour scheme in the text and the use of large Serif fonts gives it a timeless appearance. .
The large title at the top presented in a semi transparent white around Lily Allen's face aims the magazine at young women aged around 16-30 who are interested in the latest fashion and beauty trends. The cover boasts a similar layout to other popular fashion magazines such as 'VOGUE,' but its simplicity and use of sophisticated fonts shows its interest in fashion-based content over pop culture and other content often found in the likeness of 'VOGUE.' The other features of the magazine's front cover support this to create ideologies of power and pushes the magazine to act as a role model for its readers.