Toronto Metropolitan University
Johnson_Jennifer_L.pdf (4.44 MB)

Consuming figures: a comparative study of visual conventions in fashion, advertising, and pornography

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posted on 2021-05-22, 08:37 authored by Jennifer L. Johnson
This thesis is concerned with the complex relations between consumerism, visual representations, and sex evident in the comparison of pornography and mainstream fashion advertising. Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy are the primary materials used to identify representational tactics unique to, and common between, pornography and fashion magazines. Multiple methods are used to analyze and engage with the visual conventions found in examples of each genre's source materials. Claims of diffusion between the genres are assessed through quantitative content analysis, which is in turn examined through semiotics, and ultimately interpreted through artistic practice. This is in order to gain general insight into how desire and meaning are transmitted through the photographic imagery popularized by each genre. The purpose of this study is to illuminate how sexualized images are reproduced and manipulated to stimulate, satiate, and direct desire for divergent commercial purposes.





  • Master of Arts


  • Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis Project