Portrayal of females in magazine advertisements in Hong Kong

Kara K W Chan*, Yolanda Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


A content analysis was conducted to examine the portrayal of beauty types and occupational roles of female figures in magazine advertisements. A systematic random sample of 215 advertisements from a popular lifestyle magazine in Hong Kong was analyzed. Results provide evidence of gender role stereotypes. Two thirds of the advertisements adopted classic/feminine beauty type. The other two common beauty types were sex kitten and casual. Over-representation of Caucasian models was found as one-third of the female figures were Caucasian and other minorities. Caucasian models were more likely to be portrayed in trendy beauty type. Over half of the advertisements portrayed females in decorative roles and thirty percent portrayed females as celebrities. Recreational roles and professional roles were featured less frequently. Advertisements for products target females were more gender stereotyped than advertisements for products target males and females. The lack of variety in beauty types and occupational roles among female figures were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-96
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Communication
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Asian stereotypes
  • Content analysis
  • Cultivation
  • Gender portrayal
  • Print advertisements


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