Advertising is used to sell a brand by depicting a lifestyle or persona that one aspires to attain. We brand ourselves, or self-brand, in accordance to how we want to be perceived by others and to convey a particular message. This study addresses the following research questions: 1) How are men presented in advertisements in gay orientated magazines? 2) How do gay men portray themselves in online dating profiles? 3) Is there a relationship between the portrayal of the male body in advertisements in Out and self-portrayal on online dating profiles? 4) What messages are gay men portraying on online dating profiles? The results indicate a definite correlation between men self-branding and the advertisements in gay targeted magazines. This study is important to recognize how consumers use the Internet as a self-branding tool and to predict trends of future use on social media. A critical visual analysis is implemented and this study is based on using the social construction theory.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Online dating; Gays in advertising; Self-presentation; Branding (Marketing); Online identities

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Andrea Hickerson

Advisor/Committee Member

Grant Cos

Advisor/Committee Member

Jonathan Schroeder


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HQ801.82 .G46 2016


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes