Author Information

Sophie Serna


In our contemporary appearance culture, media has been complicit in convincing women that the body is a measure of overall happiness and one’s value to society. Because of this it should be viewed as a project that needs constant attention and upkeep. This research explores the way the media, and more specifically, health and fitness magazines, address the body as a project with endless room for improvement. Believing that the human body can be molded and significantly transformed can lead to unrealistic expectations, causing many women to feel negatively about themselves. Through a textual analysis of the U.S. magazine Health, this research examines messages about the way women should think about their bodies. Analysis found that this magazine encourages readers to identify problems in themselves and to seek to fix these on an individual level. These problems are heavily related to the body, appearance, and health. Resolving these problems is viewed as a project involving personal commitment on the path to health and happiness.

Note on the Author

Sophie Serna graduated in May 2018 with a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Management. Her research project was completed in Fall 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Maria Hegbloom (Communication Studies). After graduating, Sophie plans to travel and to pursue a career in the marketing/communications field.

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