beauty magazines


beauty magazines
When ‘femininity’, ‘fashion’ and ‘beauty’ reappeared in the public discourse of the early reform era, there existed no media devoted to subjects like these. However, the magazines run by the All-China Women’s Federation were already producing occasional pieces on how to dress and behave like a ‘real woman’ in the 1980s. The paper of those magazines was of low quality, greyish and with hand-drawn black-and-white illustrations. In the 1990s the authorities cut magazine subsidies. More ads appeared, and the editors focused on the readers’ wants. Magazines such as Women’s Friend (Nüyou), run by the Shaanxi Provincial Women’s Federation, devoted larger sections to beauty and fashion and increased the sections with colour to glossy paper.
With the aim of developing the textile industry, magazines like Fashion (Shizhuang), published by the branch organization China Silk Import and Export General Corporation and Modern Dress (Xiandai fuzhuang) appeared in the early 1980s. These magazines could not compete in popularity with the more expensive, international, glossy magazines that arrived in the 1990s. The French multinational fashion magazine Elle was the first, published as a joint venture with Shanghai Translation Publishing House.
Elle has three Chinese language editions. The PRC Elle is also called The Garden of World Fashion (Shijie shizhuang zhi yuan) and it fills the magazine mainly with fashion features from Western editions. Cosmopolitan has also entered the Chinese market, teaming up with the Chinese Shishang, a lifestyle and fashion magazine with a distinct East Asian flavour.
Andrews, Julia and Shen, Kuiyi (2002) ‘The New Chinese Woman and Lifestyle Magazines in the Late 1990s’. In Perry Link, Richard Madsen and Paul Pickowicz (eds), Popular China: Unofficial Culture in a Globalizing Society. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 137–62.
Evans, Harriet (2000). ‘Marketing Femininity: Images of the Modern Chinese Woman’. In Timothy Weston and Lionel Jensen (eds), China Beyond the Headlines. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 217–44.
Johansson, Perry (1998). ‘White Skin, Large Breasts: Chinese Beauty Product Advertising as Cultural Discourse’. China Information 12.2/3 (Autumn/Winter):59–84.
——(2001). ‘Selling the New Chinese Woman: Consumer Culture and the Chinese Politics of Beauty’. In Shoma Munshi (ed.), Modern Asian Woman: Global Media Local Meaning. Richmond: Curzon.
PERRY JOHANSSON

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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