Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines

Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines

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Description

Americans are obsessed with celebrities. While our fascination with fame intensified throughout the twentieth century, the rise of the weekly gossip magazine in the early 2000s confirmed and fueled our popular culture's celebrity mania. After a decade of diets and dates, breakups and baby bumps, celebrity gossip magazines continue to sell millions of issues each week. Why are readers, especially young women, so attracted to these magazines? What pleasures do they offer us? And why do we read them, even when we disagree with the images of femininity that they splash across their hot-pink covers? Andrea McDonnell answers these questions with the help of interviews from editors and readers, and her own textual and visual analysis. McDonnell's perspective is multifaceted; she examines the notorious narratives of celebrity gossip magazines as well as the genre's core features, such as the "Just Like Us" photo montage and the "Who Wore It Best?" poll. McDonnell shows that, despite their trivial reputation, celebrity gossip magazines serve as an important site of engagement for their readers, who use these texts to generate conversation, manage relationships, and consider their own ideas and values.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Polity Press
  • United Kingdom
  • 9780745684550

Table of contents

Introduction: Celebrity Gossip Magazines in American Popular Culture 1. Gendering Celebrity Gossip 2. All About Us: Celebrity Gossip Magazines and the Female Reader 3. Stars on Earth: The Paradox of Ordinary Celebrity 4. Making Morality Meaningful 5. Ambiguously Truthful Conclusion: On Pleasure and the Popular Appendices Referencesshow more

Review quote

''Andrea MacDonnell's sympathetic study of celebrity magazines brings a fresh and original approach to what she calls 'the feminine popular'. With humor and understanding she shows what the magazines mean to their twenty-something readers as they engage with the challenges and contradictions of being female at that particular moment in their lives. An essential read for all students of gender and popular culture.''Paddy Scannell, University of Michigan''Andrea McDonnell's book is a real treat. Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines offers a much needed integration and update of the study of women's popular culture by integrating reader, writer and textual perspectives in a strong analysis.''Joke Hermes, University of Amsterdam''Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines is an outstanding analysis of the explosive rise and appeal of celebrity magazines in the early 21st century. Exceptionally well-written, thoughtful and nuanced, this study breaks new ground in identifying the types of visual strategies the magazines deploy, identifies which kinds of normative messages are most salient in them, and why these magazines, despite being recognized as "trashy," have enormous appeal to young women. Highly recommended.''Susan Douglas, University of Michigan "Andrea McDonnell's sympathetic study of celebrity magazines brings a fresh and original approach to what she calls 'the popular feminine'. With humor and understanding she shows what the magazines mean to their twenty-something readers as they engage with the challenges and contradictions of being female at that particular moment in their lives. An essential read for all students of gender and popular culture." Paddy Scannell, University of Michigan "Andrea McDonnell's book is a real treat. Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines offers a much needed integration and update of the study of women's popular culture by integrating reader, writer and textual perspectives in a strong analysis." Joke Hermes, University of Amsterdam "An outstanding analysis of the explosive rise and appeal of celebrity magazines in the early twenty-first century. Exceptionally well-written, thoughtful and nuanced, this study breaks new ground in identifying the types of visual strategies the magazines deploy, which kinds of normative messages are most salient in them, and why these magazines, despite being recognized as 'trashy', have enormous appeal to young women. Highly recommended." Susan Douglas, University of Michigan -Andrea McDonnell's sympathetic study of celebrity magazines brings a fresh and original approach to what she calls 'the popular feminine'. With humor and understanding she shows what the magazines mean to their twenty-something readers as they engage with the challenges and contradictions of being female at that particular moment in their lives. An essential read for all students of gender and popular culture.- Paddy Scannell, University of Michigan -Andrea McDonnell's book is a real treat. Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines offers a much needed integration and update of the study of women's popular culture by integrating reader, writer and textual perspectives in a strong analysis.- Joke Hermes, University of Amsterdam -An outstanding analysis of the explosive rise and appeal of celebrity magazines in the early twenty-first century. Exceptionally well-written, thoughtful and nuanced, this study breaks new ground in identifying the types of visual strategies the magazines deploy, which kinds of normative messages are most salient in them, and why these magazines, despite being recognized as 'trashy', have enormous appeal to young women. Highly recommended.- Susan Douglas, University of Michiganshow more

About Andrea McDonnell

Andrea McDonnell is Visiting Assistant Professor at Emmanuel College, Boston.show more