Research Goal

The representation of African women in an era of globalization in 4 top African women’s magazines- Genevieve, New African Woman, Drum and True Love.

Photo Source: Jennifer Enujiugha (Pexels)

Key Research Questions

  • What was the dominant hair type represented in the magazine covers and was there anydifference found in the hair types by magazine?
  • What was the dominant skin tone represented in the magazine covers and was there any difference found in the skin tones by magazine?
  • What was the dominant body size represented in the magazine covers and was thereany difference found in the body sizes by magazine?


Used Dyer’s concept of whiteness and a visual content analysis approach.

  • Phase 1: Conduct Online analysis about the magazines and literature reviews.
  • Phase 2: Assess story population (N=514).
  • Phase 3: Define Sample size (n= 376) using a systematic sampling method, with confidence level of 95% and 5% margin of error.
  • Phase 4: 2 months categorization, data analysis and reporting

Intercoder Reliability

Scott’s Pi was used to establish inter-coder agreement of .80 to .92. Specifically, Skin tone was estab-
lished at .80, Body size .86 and Hair type .92. Chi square test for independence (in SPSS 23 software) was
used to analyze the relationships between variables. Frequencies and percentages in
tables were used to report the findings. The test of significance was set at p < .05.


  • African magazines’ portrayal of beauty is not representative of diverse body sizes, skin tones, and hair types common among African women.
  • The image of beauty is rooted in white/western/Eurocentric beauty standards.


  • Women’s magazines as influential artifacts for shaping cultural narratives and beauty definitions.
Photo Source: Aline Viana Prado (Pexels)

Next Step

  • Consider other magazines and media formats.ournalists and editors to determine more perspectives.
  • Consider a possible shift over time in narrative about the representation of “African” beauty in women’s magazines that feature Black women.


Beauty; globalization; visual content analysis; Nigeria; South Africa

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