This content analysis examines the representations of minorities in the two most popular teen beauty magazines: Seventeen and YM. Nine issues for 2003 constituted the sample frame yielding a total of 620 advertisements containing human models. After setting up a theoretical framework of the new racism and White beauty, this study investigates the portrayals of minority models. Overall, when compared with earlier studies the number of minority models used in mainstream magazine advertising rose and the portrayals of minority models in prominent roles increased. Yet, the subtle nature of the new racism was reinforced in the following findings: Prominent models were more likely to be light skin than medium skin or dark skin; Black and Hispanic models appeared in more expensive advertisements than Asians and Whites; minority models were less likely to be seen in the workplace than whites but more likely to be portrayed in leisure places and school than whites. Chi-square analysis (p< .000) revealed a significant difference between a model's skin tone and body exposure. A textual analysis reinforced the findings of the new racism in teen magazine advertising. It also led to additional perspective on racial hierarchy, long standing stereotypes in the mass media and the White standard of beauty. Although a content analysis cannot be used to determine media effects, this study adds to the body of research on the portrayals of minorities in advertising, White beauty and the new racism. It suggests a number of further issues to examine.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





beauty, content analysis, portrayals, minorities, teenagers, teens, white beauty, models, black, asian, hispanic, native, magazines



Included in

Communication Commons