A picture is worth a thousand words: A content analysis of women's body representations on The North Face and Patagonia's Instagram pages

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan L. Stevens (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Callie Spencer Schultz

Abstract: This thesis studies ways women’s bodies are represented via The North Face and Patagonia’s Instagram pages. As the outdoor world is becoming more diverse, the way it is shown (through advertising and marketing) has yet to diversify itself. Women, specifically, are used in image-based marketing as a way to sell objects or clothes rather than stories or experiences. These projections of women lead to an implication that the outdoors is only for women who look, dress or take pictures a certain way. This “certain way” is reinforced by major brands who (knowingly or not) use images that project gender normative habits. This thesis preforms a media content analysis of The North Face and Patagonia’s Instagram pages, exploring themes that evolve from within the results. These themes, including physical representations and poses embody the ideas from French philosopher Michel Foucault (1975) about discipline, power and self-surveillance. This thesis aims to bring body representation awareness to the content The North Face and Patagonia are sharing online. This content analysis is used to analyze the images from The North Face and Patagonia and create space for dialogue around the ways women’s bodies are used to represent the outdoors.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Experiential Education, Instagram, Outdoor, Patagonia, The North Face, Women
Body image in women
Women in advertising
Outdoor recreation industry
Internet marketing
North Face (Firm)
Patagonia, Inc.

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