Monday, February 5, 2007

Are 9 Pointless Pictures Still Worth 9 Thousand Words?

When one thinks of a business magazine, the words respectable and professional may come to mind. When I examine a magazine such as Forbes or Fortune, I expect to find reputable articles accompanied by well thought of images. I’ve come to realize that I wont always find what I expect.

In a Forbes article titled, Don’t Marry a Career Woman, author Micheal Noer goes over several reasons why men should stay away from those no good, unfaithful career women. What are some of these reasons? According to Noer's sources, marrying a career woman would lead to illness, divorce and a childless home. Although the content in this article is, in my opinion, degrading and patronizing, my task was to examine the articles visual appearance, not its substance. In terms of formatting, font color, and layout, this particular article was quite boring and unimpressive. But, it is not the written portion of this article I want to elaborate on. Instead I want to discuss the selection of photographs that accompany this piece. These images may make readers wonder, “Who chose these pictures? Are they really necessary? And do they belong in this type of magazine?”

Apparently, Forbes wanted to ensure that readers TRULY understood Noer’s message. Therefore, 9 photographs were provided in order to clarify the main idea of the article, that being: Marriage + Career Driven Women = Unhappy Husbands

Each image has a theme. For example, image #1 depicts a freshly married couple, enjoying a blissful and passionate embrace. Their future looks promising. They appear to have it all, love, happiness, and great careers.

Image #2 shows a wedding ring and wedding documents which symbolize a couples commitment and never ending lover for one another. They are destined to live happily ever after …or are they?

Image #3 shows what happens when a successful career women grows tired of her husband. According to this picture, “she covers herself in costume jewelry and cheats on him with every greasy- haired hipster in town.”

Image #4 depicts the beautiful baby that will never be. According to Noer’s sources, working women are less likely to have kids. Because career women are so incredibly selfish, husbands everywhere are forced to live their entire lives miserable and childless.

In the 5th image, we see an Asian women crying. This great photograph is intended to depict that misery, sadness, and dissatisfaction a career women would feel if she DID have children.

Image #6, my favorite image of them all, shows a messy, neglected home. Apparently, somebody went a bit overboard with the goldfish snacks, and because the little woman was off at work, the mess was never picked up. Bad, bad career woman.

The 7th image shows a miserable looking man. Why is he so sad? Isn’t it obvious? It’s clearly because his unfaithful wife has been working all week and has failed to pick up the goldfish snacks he spilled all over the living the room floor.

Image #8 shows a very serious looking wife, who is no longer Asian, but Caucasian. You might be wondering where her sad, goldfish-eating husband could be? Obviously, he’s been replaced by a younger, more interesting looking lover.

And finally, image #9 shows the ex husband, who for some reason aged quite rapidly .The question is: Has he contracted the flu, or is he just really sad? It’s hard to tell with this picture.

These photographs are clearly ineffective and by no means enhance the ideas that Noer is trying to explain. Not only are these images random, and silly, but would be impossible to make sense of if no supporting text was provided. Many times, images are helpful in conveying certain messages, in this case, the article alone would have sufficed.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Thanks for writing this.