Love and looks: A discourse of romantic love and consumer culture
Keywords:Love, Physical appearance, Attraction, Consumer culture, Discourse analysis
This article explores young South African women’s constructions of the relationship between love and physical attractiveness. How these discourses are facilitated by an emerging South African consumer culture and the proliferation of mass media images which has accompanied this cultural change will also be discussed. This research took place among South African women between the ages of 18 and 25. Data was collected using focus groups and semistructured interviews and was analysed using discourse analysis. One of the common ideas structuring the young women’s speech in the interviews and focus groups was the importance of physical attractiveness in romantic relationships both as a prerequisite for feelings of sexual desire and for subjective experiences of self-worth.