Perpetuating Beauty Ideals through Health and Beauty Claims in TV Promotional Segment

© Media Watch 10 (3) 597-613, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 E-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i3/49694

Perpetuating Beauty Ideals through Health and Beauty Claims in TV Promotional Segment

Zatil Hidayah Abdullah, Juliana Abdul Wahab, Shuhaida Md Noor, & Noor Hafizah Selamat
University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia


Health and beauty have been proposed as mutually inclusive physical and psychological constructs, mediated by one’s own personal emotional and spiritual state of well-being. While it has been widely accepted that health and beauty are interrelated in the sense that beauty reflects one’s inner health, there has been a worrying trend in which health is exploited in peddling beauty products and vice versa. In understanding how health has been commoditized in the beauty market, this study examines the manner health in the name of beauty, have been constructed in propagating beauty ideals and hegemonic values in a popular daily television program in Malaysia, Wanita Hari Ini (WHI). The findings concluded that within the prevalent capitalist hegemony, health had been turned into an apparatus in selling beauty. For the product owners, it is not about promoting health in gaining beauty, but rather about capitalizing on health because it can sell beauty.

Keywords:   Beauty ideals, gender, health and beauty claims, TV promotional segment


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Zatil Hidayah graduated with Master Degree in Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia.  Her research interests include gender studies and advertisement.

Juliana Abdul Wahab (Ph.D., University of Glamorgan, Wales, 2002) is a senior lecturer at the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her research areas include media studies, specifically television and radio, audience studies, popular culture, gender studies, script writing, documentary, and public service announcement production.

Shuhaida Md. Noor (Ph.D., The University of Sydney, Australia, 2009) is a senior lecturer at the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia.  Her research, publication, supervision, and interest include areas in branding, tourism marketing communication, integrated marketing communication, and consumer psychology.

Nor Hafizah Selamat (Ph.D.,  Edinburgh, Scotland, 2001) is a social anthropologist at the of School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. She is also a senior academic and research fellow at the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her specialized area is the anthropology of tourism, and her research interests include gender and hospitality, gender entrepreneurship, and community development.