Magazine Analysis #1 Harper’s BAZAAR

The ideal audience is a female ages 35-45 with a high income. This woman has a disposable income and has a high class, sophisticated fashion sense. The average income of a reader household is over $250,000. She has a high level of education, over 95 percent has completed a college. The demographics is a middle age woman living in the suburbs of a large city or in the city itself, but she works in the city. It doesn’t matter if this woman is single, married or divorced or if she has any kids. She takes vacations to Europe every year in first class and maintains a lavish lifestyle. This is reinforced with the ads, actually the first 44 pages of the magazine is fashion and beauty ads from “Tiffany & Co,” “Celine,” or ageless makeup ads from “Estee Lauder.” The total circulation from most recent data in 2016 is over 761,000 readers.


Mission Statement: “A magazine doesn’t last 150 years by standing still. It endures by continually reinventing itself, always striving to delight, inform, and inspire its readers. That is the story of Harper’s BAZAAR. We are fashion. Both a visual and an unrivaled source of own able style, we turn the unexpected into the coveted. As we have since 1867.” The specific focus is fashion and not just the trends, but itself is always changing with the seasons, I think this is to keep its current audience as well as attract new readers because they are unpredictable. Its identity is fashion like it says in the mission statement. In the issue I bought, almost every other page is covered with clothing ads or is a story about New York Fashion Week. The competition for Harper’s BAZAAR is Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, and L’Officiel. I think one thing that makes it different than the competition is the range of fashion stories that they do, in my issue there is an article about snowboarding and skiing fashion which I would have never expected.


EDITORIAL FORMULA: What type of content appears in this magazine? What are the regular features? Is there a logic and order to the content? What is it?
The type of content that appears in Harper’s BAZAAR is mostly fashion, interviews with celebrities, new health and beauty trends and editorials. The regular features are spreads with high end fashion, these are huge photos with the brands and prices in the corner. The logic and order to the content is just like any other magazine, its mixed within advertisements and the articles are not spread on too many pages. The only thing that stands out are the spreads because they are several pages long.


ORGANIZATION: Harper’s BAZAAR is owned by the Hearst Corporation. The staff according is 11 people according to the top of the 2018 masthead along with 64 other employees including contributors. The Hearst Corporation also owns Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Elle, Elle Décor, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, O, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, Road and Truck, Seventeen, Town and Country, Veranda, Dr. Oz, and HGTV Magazine. The other media that it owns is many television news stations, ESPN, and handful of newspapers among many others.


ADVERTISING/EDITORIAL RATIO: How many total pages does the magazine have? How many of these contain advertising? From this determine the general advertising/editorial ratio (e.g., 1:3).
There is 162 pages including the front cover and back. There is a total of 75 pages of ads. The ratio is 75:87.


I think that it does match the philosophy and the audience well. One article in the magazine was about facials and how they might be doing more harm than good which is something that the audience as middle age women would want to know. This also follows the health, beauty, and fashion aspect of the magazine. It had an interview with Kendall Jenner and an editorial about the wedding of Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter.



The design of the long fashion spreads matches the audience very well, these are women who can look at high end fashion and afford it so they are going to want to know what is exactly in season. There’s a mixture of bold colors, shapes and layouts that follow the unpredictable nature of Harper’s BAZAAR. One thing that stuck out to me was an article about the “Fashion Tale of Peter Rabbit,” it was like the normal spreads, but with Peter the Rabbit and other bunnies and it was written like abstract poem format. I would have never expected this and it was fun to see, it would have been funnier if it was “tail”

Our New World: International High School at Langley Park, Daniel Sass

Daniel Sass coaching the IHSLP boys soccer team.


Daniel Sass is the vice principal at the International High School at Langley Park in Bladensburg, Maryland. Students at the school are new English learners that are trying to navigate the United States. This comes with trials and errors of starting a new school with an entirely new idea, but it comes with success from the students.

New war film “Dunkirk” is under fire for white male cast

In 1940, over 300,000 soldiers were rescued by civilian ships after being stranded at Dunkirk beaches in the north of France. The new Christopher Nolan movie Dunkirk shows the intense reality of the British, French and Belgian soldiers trapped.

The movie so far has been regarded as one of Nolan’s best pictures made yet and even “the greatest war film ever,” but not everyone has fallen in love with it.

Marie Claire reviewer Mehera Bonner had a lot to say about the cast of Dunkirk in the article “I Think ‘Dunkirk’ Was Mediocre at Best, and It’s Not Because I’m Some Naive Woman Who Doesn’t Get It.” It was an “excuse for men to celebrate maleness,” I agree that men do run the media because they’re cast in everything. The reason is that for most of human history men have been the ones fighting in wars. But overly male is what to be expected from a movie about World War II, the soldiers fighting were males.

I haven’t seen Dunkirk yet, but in the trailers it looks very masculine. It seems like your typical war movie filled with suspenseful music, raw imagery, and action packed scenes. This has all of the makings to be a box office hit, which it has been so far. It shows the lives of the soldiers that experienced the battle with three settings: air, sea, and land.

The masculine theme to the film doesn’t make me want to watch it less, it got me really pumped and actually gave me goosebumps. Nolan has a way with grabbing the audience’s attention. Just watching the trailer made me feel like I could do anything and really patriotic, considering that the United States wasn’t involved yet.

It doesn’t have anything different than most war movies, but that’s okay because it works. Nolan used what he knew would be a success and it has. Bonner does bring up valid points “But this war movie isn’t special. At the end of the day, it’s like all the rest of them.”

It would be historically inaccurate for it to not be majority white and male. The countries involved were France, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands. “If Nolan’s entire purpose is breaking the established war movie mold and doing something different, why not make a movie about women in World War II [or marginalized groups]?” Bonner says. I don’t believe the intention of the film was to do anything new or groundbreaking; it was show an iconic battle in a riveting way. Especially with better effects because the original Dunkirk movie was made in 1958.

It would be cool to see a movie from the female perspective and a marginalized group like Red Tails and Wonder WomanRed Tails is about the only African American fighter pilots in WWII and Wonder Woman kicks ass. The male perspective is kind of drawn out these days because it’s been done so many times.

In the 1940s, it was pretty white in the European countries involved so there wouldn’t be many people of color. The minorities that fought during this battle were the Royal Indian Army Service Corp which was under British rule, as well as French soldiers that were from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia all who were on the Dunkirk beach. All of these soldiers were left out of the movie. But because it was a majority white soldiers it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t soldiers of color too, Nolan could have added a few faces of color in it.

Royal Indian Army Service Corp soldiers


The Guardian article“Why the lack of Indian and African faces in Dunkirk matters,”brings up the fact that the minorities that fought are not included in the film that it erases the sacrifices they gave to win the war.

Maybe with the success of Dunkirk, Nolan or other big directors will make movies that show a different side of the war movies genre like the women involved as nurses and the struggles back home and the minorities that fought as well. Dunkirk I believe would be more historically accurate if it had added the non-white soldiers that helped. Even though, a good amount of the soldiers were white we can’t forget the ones who weren’t white males, because their stories matter too.

Here is the trailer below:

Why blockbuster comedies aren’t working anymore

This week I read an interesting article by the Guardian about how the popular comedies that have been ruling the movie world are no longer a success.

The article “The keg party’s over: why gross-out comedies are going down the pan,” by Gwilym Mumford focuses on how comedies with mainstream actors aren’t bringing in crowds like they used to. Moviegoers want something new, not the same Will Ferrell movie with similar jokes.

A new comedy came to theaters recently “The House,” that to the industry was seen to be sure off blockbuster. It had everything; big names attached: Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, a relatable premise: paying off child’s college and a zany solution: an illegal casino. All of this mixed in with some bumps along the way was set to be big, because honestly if it was possible I would open an illegal casino to pay off my mountain of debt.

But with this recipe for success, it still hasn’t returned enough from its $40 million budget to make a profit. In the past month of opening the box office is only at $30 million.

This isn’t the only comedy blunder in 2017 Snatched, Rough Night, Baywatch have all taken hits from the box office and they all had the “recipe” for success.

What is the problem then? Us, the audience, is tired of the same old comedies were are used to, including the same actors. We are craving something new; new jokes, new plots and new faces. This also includes faces that aren’t white.

Shows like “Black-ish” and “Fresh off the Boat” are making a killing in the situational comedy world. Why you ask? Because it shows a different perspective of the USA than we are used to and it relates to a minority.

These shows are crucial in the minds of young people of color because they are able to actually relate to the characters. The only difference between Modern Family, Black-ish, and Fresh off the Boat is the color of the faces. The problems usually are the same, though with a few changes. In one episode of Black-ish, the parents talk to their kids about police violence something that is unique in that demographic compared to the others. Each show has a normal family with a little bit of quirk to make it seem like your own.

Hollywood needs to catch up with the idea that the USA is becoming multi-cultured, multi-ethnic, multi-racial. National Geographic released a suggestive photograph of what the average American will look like in 2050 and guess what? They aren’t white.

“Hollywood persists in thinking white equals box office might,” according to Craig Detweiler, Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University in an article with Den of Geek. If the film industry can understand that the audience wants new faces then they will make a profit.



national geographic
One of idea of the average American

Newly released cast of “Aladdin” brings mixed feelings from fans

After months of searching, Disney finally released who was going to play Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in the live action remake. Naomi Scott (half white and half Indian) will be Princess Jasmine while Mena Massoud (Egyptian) is Aladdin.

Considering the movie is set in the fictitious land Agrabah, which is ambiguously Middle Eastern at least the actors are from the same region of the continent it’s set in. It’s hard to cast racially correct actors for a fake ethnicity.

Some fans are weary about Scott as Jasmine because she is still half white so it can been seen as Disney keeping the role from a full Middle Eastern actress and whitewashing the role, but I think this a good step in the right direction for Disney.

In the original animated Aladdin, there were no Middle Eastern actors playing the main characters. I mean Aladdin was voiced by Scott Weinger a white actor who at the time was best known in his role in Full House as DJ’s boyfriend.

Recently the most culturally and ethnically true Disney movie is Moana because of the Pacific Islander voice cast, the mythology and history of the story. In the future we should hope that Disney takes the same consideration with their movies based in non-white countries. And if Disney continues producing movies about different culture’s myths they should keep up with path they are heading in.

As for Massoud and Scott in Aladdin, there was only so much the studio could do in casting someone close to the original animated film’s look when it is a fake country. They were never going to find someone who was from Agrabah so they widen the spectrum of the region.

The story Aladdin is adapted from One Thousand and One Tales and Disney just mashed together different aspects of Middle Eastern, Arabian and Indian culture.

Some Twitter users have been angry that actors that aren’t specifically of Arab descent were cast in the lead roles. There has been little backlash with Massoud, but Scott is being doubted because of her mixed ethnicity. She is white and Indian, but many people were supporting Avan Jogia in playing Aladdin even though he is half white and Indian too. Here is a tweet about the mess.

Jade from the girl group “Little Mix” also auditioned for the role of Jasmine and is even of Middle Eastern descent (Yemen and Egyptian), many are wondering how she didn’t get the part.

There still isn’t any word on who will being playing Jafar, the Sultan and all of the other characters according to The Hollywood Reporter, but Genie is going to be Will Smith. I think Smith would be a great Genie and it doesn’t matter what ethnicity he is because the Genie is a non-existestiancial being and he’s also blue.

It’s hard to judge how this live action remake is going to do, but everyone will just have to wait until trailers are released to see how Massoud and Scott do with the roles.


Disney’s quest to find a perfect Aladdin

So Disney just released another update about the live action remake of the film Aladdin, they still can’t find someone to play the leads. This is pushing the production back to August, it was supposed to start in July.

Despite that over 2,000 actors have participated in the open casting call, Disney still can’t find someone that fits the charming street-rat.

It could be a good thing in the long run that Disney still hasn’t found an Aladdin, it shows that they are trying to find someone that accurately represents the story. The description of the role is “20 year old of Middle Eastern or Indian descent who can act and sing,” which is very specific. Luckily, this represents the original movie because it was set in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, so naturally the characters would be of that descent.

I hope the effort put into Aladdin will be the new normal for the other movies Disney will release in the future. The bad reception from the Dr. Strange casting must have brought with Tilda Swinton as “The Ancient One.”

Because Disney hasn’t found an Aladdin yet, they haven’t cast anyone as Princess Jasmine. They want to find someone who has chemistry with Aladdin. There has been speculations that Disney is looking at Tara Sutaria and Naomi Scott, two actresses of Indian descent.

In a Hollywood Reporter video, they can’t understand how Disney has gone to India, Saudi Arabia, London and Egypt, but still haven’t found anyone. Disney has had success with the lengthy casting calls in the live action remakes like Cinderella and the recent Star Wars movies.

These lengthy casting calls however have been called “messy,” according to an agent and that the process was up to two weeks.

Their thoughts on how Disney hasn’t possibly found the perfect Aladdin. Some users have been posting their own pictures asking to be Aladdin or Jasmine.

The names Dev Patel and Avan Jogia are being tossed around a lot. I personally believe Jogia would be a great match for the role. He can sing, dance and act seen in his time on the show Victorious and with his recent work it shows he is an adaptable actor. One popular tweet shows Will Smith (who is signed to play the Genie) next a picture of Jogia.

People have expressed their anger with Disney not finding an actor of Middle Eastern or Indian descent when it is so easy to cast someone of that ethnicity for a stereotypical role like a terrorist.

But the studio is thinking of a fresh face for Aladdin according to The Hollywood Reporter. I guess that is the reason for the worldwide casting call. They haven’t found anyone yet for Jafar and Holes actor Khleo Thomas has expressed interest.

Hopefully, with all of the trouble Disney is going to in finding the best fit, they will do this with all minority roles and not give it to someone like Emma Stone or Scarlet Johannsen.


Death Note Trailer

A topic that has divided the anime community, Death Note, has finally released the first trailer for the Netflix Original readaption about a smart student Light Yagami who finds the book that can control how a person dies.

Light Yagami is a schoolboy in Japan, he is super smart but very aloof to his peers. One day, a book called Death Note falls from the sky right next to Light. If you write a name in the book and know what the person looks like then you can kill this person, and you can even specify how a person will die. Light decides to use the book to kill all of the criminals in his city, but the media thinks that whoever is killing all of these people is bad too. It becomes a huge deal.

This show has been a fan favorite with its intense plot and Light’s cunning wits to do what he can to rid the world of evil and save himself, but people were worried once the show’s cast was public for the live action. Like recent readaptions such as The Last Airbender, Dragonball Z it has flopped.

Originally the show is set in a futuristic Japan, but now has white actors for the major roles something that was originally Japanese in the anime. The main character’s name is Light Yagami for goodness gracious. It doesn’t bring to mind the image of Nat Wolff as a Japanese schoolboy.

Fans of the show have been waiting to see how this casting choice would turn out once filming has started. After watching the live action trailer you can see the differences between the original and the new show for one it is no longer set in Japan, its in Seattle, Washington now, but the Shinigami death gods are still Japanese…(which makes total sense…) Light Yagami is now Light Turner because of course the only way to sell something is to make it relate-able and white… not.

From what I can tell so far in the trailer, Wolff’s character doesn’t have the same intensity as the original, you never knew what Light was going to do and he was usually so calm. In the trailer it seemed like Light was on edge, which is not what the anime was like. In one of the trailer scenes, he even says “We’re the bad guys now,” something that Light would have never had said, despite what happened in the show Light always thought he was in the right.

I truly believe that if the show had been closer to the original it would be more authentic because the fact that Light is Japanese just adds to his character and his personality. In a rant on Twitter, the director Adam Wingard  tries to justify the his reasoning for his blatant whitewashing of the show, by saying it is totally different from the original. He says in a series of tweets “There is no conspiracy to remove Japanese culture from Death Note. Its a fresh version of the story set in Seattle. When moving the setting of Death Note to America we of course made the movie about America. Its not just a copy and paste situation here,” if this was the case why use a story for Japan with the same title, if it is a new story use a new plot and name. Of course people will be mad if it doesn’t reflect the original. In an interview with IGN, Wingard says “Probably the only character that comes off as the same way as he does in the anime is Ryuk.”

We will see August 25 how the Netflix show sizes up to the original because at the moment it isn’t looking so good. One fan made a parody video with the anime show watches the trailer and at the end, Light writes “Death Note: Neflix Original,” in the book. Hopefully it won’t have that kind of reaction.

Watch the trailer and let me know what you think of the casting choices in Death Note.

Rashard Davis: The Podcaster

If Rashard Davis could describe himself in one word, it would be “different.”

Different in the sense of having an open mind and being willing to try new things, the 22-year-old Joppatowne native said.

Different is the concept of Strange Flavors, the weekly podcast Davis is a member of. You’d think the podcast is about food, but that’s not the case.

“It’s whatever you want to classify us as,” Davis said.

They discuss serious topics like current news, but also touch on entertainment, music and sports. They try to have a broad range of topics in the show that interests everyone.

Davis finds his inspiration for podcasting is his favorite morning radio show “Mike and Mike.” He loves the sports commentary between the two hosts on the ESPN show.

His personal goal is to become a reporter for the Baltimore Sun in the sports section or work at as a sports analyst at ESPN.

“I would like to start doing podcasting in journalism because it helps me be prepared and it makes my stories stronger,” Davis said. “I think podcasting goes hand in hand with journalism. It makes me be a better writer and listener.”

Strange Flavors started when Faras Aamir, 21, and a friend of Davis, came to him in early 2017 with the idea. Podcasting was a new opportunity for Davis, so he decided to jump into the idea along with Brandon ___ and Dani ___.

“It has been a learning experience that none of us had done before,” Davis said. They had trial sessions filled with practice interviews and jokes before they made it official.


The favorite aspect of the show for Davis is the interviewing and interacting with new people each week.

“It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone and what they are into might not be the most interesting, but it expands your horizons,” Davis said.

One week on the podcast, Davis interviewed one of his friends, Uchenna Ifeacho, who was born in Nigeria. Davis and the rest of the podcast crew learned a lot about the journey Ifeacho made to the United States and how hard it was to adjust to a new language and culture.

“Everyone has something unique about them,” Davis said.

Strange Flavors tries not to get into politics on the show, but “my dream interview would be former President Barack Obama about the hardships in the office and his life now,” Davis said.

“The simple fact is that he was the first black president,” Davis said.

When he’s not podcasting, Davis raps under the name “Davi$,” and his work can be found on Soundcloud.

“Whatever I’m feeling at the moment, I just start writing lyrics and then I have a song,” Davis said.

The goal for the future of Strange Flavors is to attract a larger audience not just young people.

“We want to show people we have different ways of thinking, we’re adults, but we still have fun,” Davis said.

For people who are interested in podcasting, just be creative Davis said.

“Don’t be afraid to express your opinions,” he said. “Everyone has a voice so use it to inspire others.”

Maria Centeno, aspiring lawyer

Maria Centeno’s family moved to the United States from Costa Rica when she was six years old to seek better opportunities.

It was her mom’s idea to move for the “American Dream,” it wasn’t bad in Costa Rica, but definitely better in the United States she said.

She moved to Hattsville in Prince Georges Maryland when she moved to the United States. Maria transferred from Prince Georges Community College to Towson.

When she first moved here, there was a change in her personality she said. “I didn’t know anything, everything was opposite. It was a 180 degree flip and everything I knew changed,” said Maria.

It was difficult making friends she said and always was made fun of because she didn’t know English.  She went to English as a Second Language program in school until she was in 2nd grade. It didn’t help that she switched schools very often after she first moved, so she was the new kid over and over again.

“Fire drills give me anxiety,” she said. One time when she was in elementary school, there was a fire drill and a girl lied saying there was an actual fire happening.

This reminded her of the common earthquakes that happen in Costa Rica. “It’s like how earthquakes happen in California, it’s very frequent,” Maria said.

Maria keeps in touch with her Latin roots with the Latin American Student Organization or LASO for short at Towson. The club is centered on the Latin, Hispanic and Caribbean cultures and holds educational events.

“I haven’t gone back to Costa Rica,” said Maria, instead her family visits her here. Like most Latin families, relatives visit up to a few weeks or months. The school system in Costa Rica is flipped compared to the United States, so when they have winter break it’s summer vacation here.

Last New Year’s in 2016, it was the first time Maria had seen her abuela in 14 years.

“I was super excited to see her,” said Maria. Her mom however, got annoyed after a while because her abuela was always trying to do things her own way and she stayed for over a month.

Maria was always interested in theatre, but her parents don’t like acting because of the unpredictable financial stability. Mass communication was the “next best thing,” at Towson Maria said.

“I tried out, but I can’t sing,” Maria said about the plays at Towson, there are mostly musicals.
Her dream job is to be a T.V producer, because they have a lot of control with casting, directing and ideas. She thinks it would be a very rewarding job that would gain her respect from others.

At first, Maria was a psychology major, then pre-law, theatre, international relations and finally mass communications. She hopes to go to law school after undergrad.

“I want to be an immigration lawyer or judge,” Maria said. She previously made a website and blog about the Dream Act.

“Immigration laws suck,” Maria said. She hopes to help people who want to become citizens just like she did.

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