WAYS MALAYSIAN WOMEN ARE PORTRAYED IN THE IMAGES PRESENTED IN THE HEALTH ADVERTISEMENTS IN MALAYSIA’S PROMINENT WOMEN’S MAGAZINES

The field of semiotics that seeks to depict the rhetorical significance of sign-making became popular since it had been used in theatre, puppetry, television, tourism and now advertisements and the Internet. Even though visual social semiotic is closely related to semiotics but is broader, encompassing the entire visual ways humans try to communicate, including examining the relationship between images and texts. Hence, the purpose of this study in using the visual social semiotic is to find out the ways utilized by local image-makers in health advertisements found in prominent local women’s magazines, in order to represent women in health advertisements in the prominent local women’s magazines to provide realization as well as insight to many Malaysians especially the Malaysian women. This study utilizes a composite theoretical framework which consists of the representational, ideational, textual and compositional metafunctions to identify these ways. Data analysis in this qualitative, descriptive and exploratory natured research relied heavily on successive approximation which involves repeated iterations or cycling steps, moving toward a final analysis. The analysis has revealed that majority health advertisements have affronted Malaysian women. Besides, the research has suggested that advertisement producers make use of images and ways of presenting it especially those involving women portrayal, appropriately to avoid gender stereotyping and discrimination.