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This chapter has provided an overview of the general changes in the advertising landscape and advertising for cosmetic procedures in particular. Significantly, there has been a sharp decline in the number of adverts for cosmetic procedures published in FHM, Marie Claire, and Cosmo. In addition to this decline, the nature and placement of adverts for cosmetic procedures has also changed in some of the magazines in the corpus, which will be explored in the next chapter.

Alongside a discussion of general trends in the marketing materials for cosmetic procedures, this chapter examined the magazines’ editorial content related to cosmetic practices. Interestingly, a difference between the discourses in the various magazines was found; whereas Cosmo

presented a largely critical discussion of the psychological motivations to undergo cosmetic procedures and the unregulated cosmetic surgery industry, Marie Claire and the Gay Times typically juxtaposed any negative aspects with the positive aspects of cosmetic procedures. The articles on cosmetic procedures published in FHM were unlike the ones found in the other magazines, as they included a realistic and explicit depiction, although this was offset by a humorous tone. Moreover, many of the procedures described in FHM were not for the magazine’s male target audience but instead concerned women.


  • 1 Scalp micropigmentation (or medical hairline tattoo) refers to a procedure whereby “natural pigments are applied at the epidermal level of the scalp to replicate the natural appearance of real hair follicles or strands” (Skalp, https://
  • 2 The average total number of pages per year (for the February, June, and October issues) for Marie Claire was 880, compared to 779 for Cosmo, 601 for FHM, and 605 for the Gay Times.
  • 3 See Cosmo June 2006, October 2010, and June 2015 and Marie Claire June 2001, February 2010, June 2010, October 2010, June 2015, and October 2015.
  • 4 See FHM February 2010.
  • 5 When looking at both the core and broad corpus data, Cosmo includes nine articles on cosmetic procedures, Marie Claire includes 12, FHM includes four, and the Gay Times includes two.
  • 6 Lynx is a male grooming brand predominantly targeting young men. Lynx is also known as ‘Axe’ outside of the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • 7 This is similar to an article on penis enlargements in the Gay Times (broad corpus, May 2015: 54-57) in which the alternatives to surgery are discussed before concluding that the “chance of success” of these procedures is either “minimal” or - for the vast majority - “zero” (56).


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