This study aimed to examine the ways in which Vogue communicates beauty standards to women and to analyze cultural differences in American and French concepts of beauty by comparing their respective versions of the magazine. Because previous research has demonstrated that beauty can affect American and French women on both private and social levels, in terms of self-evaluation, social comparisons, employment, and romantic relationships, it is important to be aware of how beauty standards are communicated and what those standards are. Results indicate four distinct beauty messages: the first is that wealth is directly correlated with physical attractiveness; the second is that women should endeavor to appear effortlessly beautiful while at the same time appearing to have made an “appropriate” amount of effort; the third is that thin is always better; and the fourth is that feminine features are generally preferred (though the French are more accepting of androgynous features). Findings also indicate that Americans tend to focus on health and exercise as a means of achieving beauty ideals, while the French emphasize fashion and the notion of miracle products.


Clayton, Susan

Second Advisor

Durham, Carolyn


French and Francophone Studies; Psychology


Arts and Humanities | Social and Behavioral Sciences


beauty standards, beauty ideals, attractiveness, Vogue, French culture, American culture

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Natalie D. Minklei