Advertising, Gender and Health Advice: The Case of Men’s Health in the Year 2000
This article examines the potential influence of advertising in health magazines through detailed analysis of advertisements contained in 12 issues of the US magazine Men's Health from the year 2000, in the context of the articles which surround the advertisements. Tensions are explored between the role of the magazines in constructing male consumers to deliver to advertisers, and the dispensing of genuine health advice. Tensions are particularly apparent when health advice would go against typical images of hegemonic masculinity, for example advice to drink less alcohol, eat less meat, eat less convenience food, or reduce involvement in risky behaviour. The conclusion considers whether in constructing a male consumer, which in itself threatens traditional masculine images since it involves an interest in fashion, shopping and grooming products, there is potential for magazines to compromise health advice by avoiding further threats to traditional masculinity.