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Analysing media text using the approaches in textual analysis - Essay Example

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Cosmo Covers Miley For anyone who has a complete set of sensorial modalities, there is visual stimulation everywhere he looks. Some stimuli are deliberately designed to capture attention in order to convey its message. An example is a magazine cover which gives a glimpse of what can be read inside its pages with its visual grammar composed of a combination of semiotic resources…
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Analysing media text using the approaches in textual analysis
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Analysing media text using the approaches in textual analysis

The analysis will focus on the image, the multimodal text and the message it conveys to its readers. In order to more critically understand the image presented on the cover, a brief background on the model is necessary. Miley Cyrus is a former child star on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, a character idolized by young girls because of her talent and wholesome personality. Parents were pleased that their children had a good role model in Hannah Montana that they encouraged them to emulate her, patronized her shows and bought her merchandize. However, as Cyrus grew older, she was captured by media in compromising situations that tainted her good reputation as a wholesome character (EOnline, 2013). Her controversial shift in image by exhibiting raunchy acts in public disappointed parents but were helpless in the fact that she was old enough to do what she wants. In March, 2013, she was featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine (see appended image) with short, blond hair wearing a white outfit with an open jacket showing more than her cleavage. Her image stands out from a plain pink background as the most salient element. Pink is usually associated with softness and femininity, which may not suit Miley’s personality, however, Machin (2007) suggests that flat colours connote simplicity, emotions and modernity. Such a background contributes to the salience of the various elements in the cover. As is common in contemporary women’s magazines, the model is positioned at the center of the page with the magazine title on top and titles of articles featured in the magazine surrounding her. With the background colour of pink as base, varying hues of this colour are used in the main heading, some emphasized words in the titles and highlights of some other titles. Lirola (2006) contends that the colour of the background creates a specific context which gives cohesion in the elements. The written text, being influenced by the background colour now becomes part of the visual. Pink is usually associated with young ladies, which Miley Cyrus represents. Lirola also suggests that the colour pink is used to attract the readers’ attention. Since majority of Cosmopolitan readers are females, the colour encourages interaction with them. The close coordination of colours of the titles, the model’s clothes and other objects in the cover page produces an impression of high stylization and a connotation of modern fashionability (Machin & Thornborrow, 2003) which Cosmopolitan is known for. The image of Miley Cyrus is a metaphor in itself. Wearing a white outfit which connotes purity and wholesomeness, she wears nothing inside so a large part of her breasts are showing. Her shoulders are hunched, and her hands grip at the inner ends of her jacket, a tensed pose indicating discomfort in what she is wearing and wants to break free. Metaphorically, she wants to release herself from the pure mould that the Hannah Montana character has created for her and unleash her new image of maturity and sensuality. This is complemented by her facial expression which is neutral, neither smiling nor frowning but her eyes look deeply into the readers’ as if letting them know she is serious in what she wants. Goffman (1979) identified the model’s gaze to be important and suggested that women are usually sights to be gazed upon by others in the image. However, when the model herself gazes into the ... Read More
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