A Critique of Candy Magazine

Article excerpt

Candy magazine, a teen-consumer monthly publication published by the Summit Media Company, a member of the Gokongwei Group of Companies, is aimed at 13- to 16-year-old girls from the AB and upper C economic strata . It is available in bookshops, convenient stores, supermarkets, hotel lobby shops, and malls in Metro Manila, and key cities such as Baguio, Cebu, Davao, and San Fernando.

Dare to be you!

The August 2002 issue of Candy had the tagline "Dare to be you!" Inside the 96 pages (including the front and back covers) are 17 articles meant to help the reader identify and analyse her personality. All of these enjoin the reader to take pop quizzes to identify her colours, daily get-ups, makeup and hairstyles, role in the family, ice cream flavours, handwriting, decade, pop star and animal. The reader's choices have corresponding interpretations intended to help her discover her real self.

In addition to the feature articles, Candy has the following regular sections also found in most women's magazines:

1. note from the editor called ed's scrapbook;

2. caught on Candy, which features the letters to the editor;

3. a Candy store gallery of products--T-shirts, bags, etc.--presented in a quiz format where the choice of T-shirt colour and bag style is supposed to correspond to a certain personality;

4. beauty, a column that is actually a quiz that encourages the reader to make a decision on whether or not she should go for a make over. The August 2002 issue asks the reader to choose a lipstick shade that has a corresponding personality profile. A side bar to this column is an article that provides advise on skin care;

5. ask whatever, the equivalent of an advise column;

6. body buzz, a combination pop quiz and health column;

7. candy rap, a personality analysis/advise column based on a quiz that inquires into one's celebrity crush, favourite movie character, book or music CD;

8. candy can, another personality analysis/advise column which, for the August 2002 issue, employs favourite bedroom accessories;

9. bond, girl!, yet another personality analysis/advise column, but focused on friendship;

10. oops!, embarrassing stories contributed by Candy readers;

11. Candy candor, the equivalent of a person-on-the-street poll. For the August 2002 issue, the question is: "What's one thing you wish your parents would say?";

12. eye candy, a matching quiz. In the August 2002 issue, it is the correspondence of celebrities with their favourite pets. eye candy also features photos of various prom parties;

13. horoscope column sponsored by "Hello Kitty," a cartoon-character novelty shop;

14. candyrectory, a listing of all the shops from which items used or worn by the models featured were sourced. This section is similar to an advertising index in other magazines; and

15. anything goes, an extension of the regular "letters to the editor" section where readers ask and contribute their thoughts on what seems to be anything under the sun. In this issue, anything goes features trivia about Alicia Silverstone, anniversary greetings, tips in preparing for an exam, advise on where to purchase doggie stuffed toys, and a thank-you message for inviting someone's crush to Candy's anniversary party.

Critique

Media is a central issue in the women's movement. The second wave of Western feminism in the late 1960s to the early 1970s was a major political current that began addressing questions related to the media (Marris & Thornham, 1996, pp. 11-12). The intense lobby and advocacy work around the impact of media on women's status led to the identification of "Women and Media" as a critical issue in all four United Nations world conferences on women.

From its beginnings, feminism has regarded ideas, language and images as crucial in shaping women's (and men's) lives. …