Smooth bodywork in cars and women

Some have asked questions along the lines of : ‘Is smoothness a semiotic resource in which consumption-oriented superficiality interfaces with ideologically gendered images of women and cars on magazine covers?’  Take for example Dr. Mehita Iqani, who is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and who has written a paper addressing such issues. It’s entitled : ‘Smooth bodywork: the role of texture in images of cars and women on consumer magazine covers’.  (Social Semiotics, Volume 22, Issue 3, 2012). The author, whose work is rooted in a critical agenda that seeks to engage with questions about how power, the public and identity are manifested and negotiated in media texts and systems in consumer societies in late modernity, points out that “The newsstand is a textured space. In particular, smooth, shiny and glossy materials abound.” And, by way of an online glossy resource, she maintains a dedicated website displaying 36 shiny news-stand photos, as well as faces, bodies, gaps (see photo above), and much more.






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