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Classified Beauty: Goods and Bodies in Brazilian Women’s Magazines

This article analyzes women’s images in Brazilian magazines aiming to understand the logic behind the construction of notions of female beauty, health, and wellbeing. More precisely, it investigates how magazines associate an extensive array of goods to women’s bodies, sustaining a permanent logic of consumption. At the explicit level of images, magazines express novelty, promote innovations, and offer ever-new possibilities for readers to accomplish strong, slim, and forever young bodies. However, the analysis suggests the existence and operation of an underlying recurrent pattern that intends to classify products and services according to female body fragments in a process analogous to the system known as totemism. Finally, this work indicates that the ideological project of magazines is to create an unreachable woman model forever translated into consumer goods.