The magazine was founded in 1977. Acquired by Werner Media in 1986, it currently has a circulation of 1.7 million, and a web site that has approximately 2 million unique hits a month. Upon first glance of U.S. Weekly, the reader is bombarded with images of fashion, stereotypical beauty, and often current scandals in the entertainment world. Glamorous ideals promoting the everyday lives of the wealthy, and advertisements centered on makeup, lingerie, acne medication, and ads for television shows that are marketed to woman as well, make up the majority of the sponsors. On the cover of issue 629 March 5, 2007, there were three main pictures on the front cover. One was of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie walking their newly born and adopted children in dual strollers through the streets; below this was a picture of a very glamorous and happy looking newly coupled Kate Moss and Owen Wilson, both with bright blond hair, shiny white teeth and blues eyes. Next to these two small photos, was a huge leading photograph of Britney Spears with a partly shaved head and a lead title statement saying, Help Me. This cover page gives perfect insight into the magazines ideology, in that it shows what ideals the editors promote as well as what goes against their values.
By U.S. By U.S. Weekly degrading Britney Spears for shaving her head, as apposed to putting it in a positive light, or doing any genuine investigative/informative journalism on her motives, the magazine takes a definite stance. Using Spear's image in this way is a combination of exploitative scandal, and the magazines way of taking a finite stance against her fashion decision, but it takes it even further. The fact that she cuts her hair is not treated as just a fashion mistake, but as a sign that she needs psychological analyses. Her personal and family life is put in question and she is virtually crucified by the magazine for simply cutting her hair. Of course, the hair she cut was the key representation of the American dream. Britney Spears first came on to the American scene as a catholic school girl, her evermore seductive and promiscuous persona has been likened to that of Madonna and Marilyn Monroe. These are icons who have had the power to dictate fashion and influence young women all over the world. One would think that they have the power to make whatever fashion decisions they decide, U.S. Weekly proves that they operate within misogynistic and stereotypical expectations that can be tested, but never abruptly crossed. When Britney Spears cut her hair she crossed this line, and U.S. Weekly signified their publication as a defender of this status quo.
U.S. Weekly revolves around a foundation that is based on wealth. Britney Spears is heckled and exploited by the magazine due to her fame and wealth. If one were to flip through it they would find article titles like: Star's Valentines day dates, Hot Hollywood Pics, and of course Inside Britney's Breakdown. These articles are intertwined with polls done to estimate which photos of actresses men and women consider to be most attractive. These photos are used to promote excessively expensive clothing lines and glamorous lifestyles beyond the means of the reader, but the majority of these views promote capitalism. This is the main trait U.S. Weekly has in common with The Source. Though they may both cater to different demographics and emphasis differing cultural ideals, ultimately the magazines are