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Clothes Make a Difference: The Role of Self-Objectification

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Abstract

Objectification Theory contends that women self-objectify as a result of internalizing an observer’s perspective on their physical selves. Self-objectification has been examined as both a stable enduring trait and as a context dependent state. The present study aimed to assess the link between clothing, a neglected area of women’s appearance management, and self-objectification. Participants were 102 South Australian female undergraduate students who completed a questionnaire containing a trait measure of self-objectification, as well as four different scenarios varying in clothing worn and setting depicted, followed by state measures of self-objectification, negative mood, body shame, and body dissatisfaction. It was found that the scenarios involving revealing clothing (bathers) led to greater state self-objectification, body shame, body dissatisfaction and negative mood than the scenarios involving more modest clothing (sweater), especially for heavier women. In addition, the dressing room scenarios led to greater state self-objectification but less negative mood than the public scenarios. It was concluded that clothing represents an important contributor to the body and emotional experience of contemporary young women.

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... At the present time, the number of body image studies is on the rise because body image is closely connected with certain psychopathologies, such as eating disorders (1)(2)(3)(4)(5). Commonly, these studies have been conducted with women since the prevalence of eating disorders in women is higher than in men (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6). ...
... At the present time, the number of body image studies is on the rise because body image is closely connected with certain psychopathologies, such as eating disorders (1)(2)(3)(4)(5). Commonly, these studies have been conducted with women since the prevalence of eating disorders in women is higher than in men (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6). The way women perceive and give meaning to their body and bodily functions affects psychological factors such as thoughts and emotions. ...
... Uncovering these psychological factors empowers experts working in the mental health area, for instance, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists. These psychological variables might give rise to the development of psychological problems including eating disorders (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6). Studies carried out in Englishspeaking and Western countries are becoming more common, and the Turkish literature has been affected by this research trend, too. ...
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Düşünen Adam Psikiyatri ve Nörolojik Bilimler Dergisi
... For example, cognitive performance was assessed following manipulation of the laboratory environment with subtle objectifying cues such as paying compliments to participants (Tiggemann & Boundy, 2008), and filmmaking of participants by either a man or a woman (Gay & Castano, 2010). The MJCP|7, 2, 2019 Self-Objectıfıcatıon 3 studies that assessed psychological consequences such as body dissatisfaction, body shame, and negative mood manipulated various scenarios comprised of different types of clothing and settings (Tiggemann, 2001;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012), complimenting of participants (Tiggemann & Boundy, 2008;Calogero, Herbozo, & Thompson, 2009), and fat talk (Gapinski, Brownell, & LaFrance, 2003;Salk & Engeln-Maddox, 2011). The overall findings of the studies mentioned above showed that women are more vulnerable than men being affected by selfobjectification and its consequences such as diminished sexual appeal, depression, body shame, and appearance anxiety. ...
... These two items were correlated significantly with the body dissatisfaction subscale of the Eating Disorders Inventory(Garner, Olmstead, & Polivy, 1983). In the study byTiggemann and Andrew (2012), the internal consistency reliability ranged between .79 and . ...
... Mean trait SO of the current sample was -7.52 with a standard deviation of 9.87. Unlike the previous studiesHarper & Tiggemann, 2008;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012), these statistics suggested that ...
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Objectification theory posits that women internalize males’ sexualizing gaze upon them and pay more attention to their appearance than to their feelings. To date, the literature has focused on the differences that males and females arouse in objectification experiences of women. In the current study, a tripartite comparison of the effects of self-gaze, female gaze, and male gaze upon women’s self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, body shame, appearance anxiety, and negative mood was made with Turkish college women. The study utilized a 3x2 repeated measures factorial design with six different imagined scenarios comprised of three types of gaze (self, female, and male) and two types of clothing (swimsuit, and sweater and jeans). All dependent variables were significantly affected by clothing type. Body shame, negative mood, appearance anxiety, and state SO were significantly affected by the type of gaze. Interaction effects were significant for body dissatisfaction and negative mood.
... Research exploring the associations between women's clothing choices and body image is scarce (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012;Tiggemann & Lacey, 2009). This gap in the literature is notable given that selecting specific types of apparel can act as an intentional, public expression of both positive and negative body image. ...
... This gap in the literature is notable given that selecting specific types of apparel can act as an intentional, public expression of both positive and negative body image. For example, women who are less satisfied with their body shape are more likely to select clothing that conceals their body (Butler & Scheetz, 1998;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012;Tiggemann & Lacey, 2009). Similarly, women indicate that when they "feel fat" they are more interested in clothing that camouflages their body (Kwon & Parham, 1994). ...
... Even trying on clothing can be an emotionally loaded experience for women, especially if the clothing is revealing (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). In experimental studies, researchers have demonstrated that trying on a bathing suit increases body shame and state self-objectification in women Hebl et al., 2004). ...
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Article
Using the framework of objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts in Psychology of Women Quarterly 21(2): 173–206, 1997), the current studies explored how often women (vs. men) reported wearing clothing that is painful, distracting, and/or restricting (PDR clothing). Additionally, we examined differences in body surveillance (i.e., chronically monitoring the appearance of one’s body) and body appreciation between those who reported wearing various types of PDR clothing and those who did not. In both a sample of U.S. college students (n = 545) and a broader sample of U.S. adults (n = 252), results indicated that women were substantially more likely to wear PDR clothing than men. Across both samples, the largest differences between men and women were in wearing uncomfortable or painful shoes and in wearing clothing that is distracting because it requires ongoing monitoring or adjusting. Women and men with higher body surveillance were more likely to report wearing PDR clothing. Though some findings pointed toward a negative association between body appreciation and wearing PDR clothing, these results were inconsistent. Overall, results were consistent with the notion that the gendered nature of clothing might reflect and provoke chronic vigilance of the body’s appearance. Gendered differences in the extent to which clothing promotes comfort and movement vs. discomfort and distraction has clear implications for women’s quality of life.
... In that broader literature, small effects (Ferguson, 2013) and mixed findings have led some to investigate whether only some women may be at risk for adverse outcomes of idealized media images of women (Roberts & Good, 2010). When researchers have manipulated situations to induce selfobjectification in particular, several consequences have been found, including body shame (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012), negative mood (Harper & Tiggemann, 2008), and decreased cognitive functioning (Quinn, Kallen, Twenge, & Fredrickson, 2006). However, there are also indications that the effects of self-objectification might not be consistent or strong. ...
... However, there are also indications that the effects of self-objectification might not be consistent or strong. For example, Tiggemann and Andrew (2012) found no effect of objectifying stimuli on women's level of body dissatisfaction. The effect sizes in other studies range from r =.21 for body shame to r = .29 for negative mood (Harper & Tiggemann, 2008;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). ...
... For example, Tiggemann and Andrew (2012) found no effect of objectifying stimuli on women's level of body dissatisfaction. The effect sizes in other studies range from r =.21 for body shame to r = .29 for negative mood (Harper & Tiggemann, 2008;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). While researchers continue to investigate the extent of objectifying images' effects, sexualized and idealized images of women in advertisements have increased in frequency over time (Hatton & Troutner, 2011;Reichert, & Carpenter, 2004). ...
Article
Research on priming self-objectification in women frequently implements product-only control groups or nonhuman control images. This study aimed to clarify whether there was a difference in levels of self-objectification among female participants who viewed objectifying images of women, body-competent images of women, or product-only images. A sample of undergraduate females was primed with one of the above image types, after which they completed the Twenty Statements Test (TST) to examine their preoccupation with their own appearance. Results revealed that those who were primed with objectifying images of women exhibited more self-objectification than women who were primed with either body-competent images of women or product-only images. There was also no significant difference between those who only viewed products and those who viewed body-competent images of women. Results are discussed in the context of self-objectification research methods and implications for visual media artists.
... Thus, these researchers demonstrate that dress and the behaviors engaged in to manage that dress are related to objectification. On the other hand, a few objectification scholars outside the clothing and textiles field have acknowledged or credited the use of clothing (body supplements) in facilitating (Prichard & Tiggemann, 2005;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012) or resisting (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) objectification. In that work, Roach-Higgins and Eicher's (1992) definition of dress was not used. ...
... In that work, Roach-Higgins and Eicher's (1992) definition of dress was not used. 2 Given that clothing (body supplements) can facilitate objectification (Prichard & Tiggemann, 2005;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012) and theoretically can be used to strategically resist objectification (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), it is of interest to determine the extent to which body supplements play a role in objectification. Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) also argue that women can "opt out of the system of objectification" (p. ...
... According to Tiggemann and Andrew (2012), some objectification researchers may have discounted the role of clothing (body supplements) in objectification. They argue that the role of clothing, within the context of self-objectification, has been understudied. ...
Article
To objectify another person is to dehumanize and treat that person as an object. Objectification has interested dress scholars, and some objectification scholars have acknowledged that clothing and bodies act to facilitate or resist objectification. Research purposes were to determine the extent to which dress had been used to evoke objectification in experiments when objectification was an outcome and to determine whether internal validity had been correctly established. Experimental objectification research was content analyzed using descriptive statistics. A database search resulted in 80 refereed empirical research articles containing 91 experiments. Dress was used to evoke objectification in 57 experiments; yet, many provided no rationale for using dress stimuli or conducted manipulation checks or stimulus pretests. These practices call into question the validity of research results and may explain inconsistent results. Opportunities for dress scholars and recommendations for teaching and for research best practices are offered.
... A substantial body of the literature shows that self-objectification is directly related to women's mental health. Women with a high level of selfobjectification are associated with a high risk of physical anxiety (Tiggemann and Andrew, 2012;Watson et al., 2012), body dissatisfaction (Lindner et al., 2012;Tiggemann and Andrew, 2012;Brock et al., 2021), body shame (Tiggemann and Boundy, 2008;Choma et al., 2009;Baildon et al., 2021), depression (Peat and Muehlenkamp, 2011;Jones and Griffiths, 2015;Register et al., 2015), disordered eating Al-Mutawa et al., 2019;Kilpela et al., 2019;Holmes et al., 2020), and sexual dysfunction (Fredrickson and Roberts, 1997;Tiggemann, 2011). Counselors and therapists can use C-SOBBS to help people deal with issues related to selfobjectification. ...
... A substantial body of the literature shows that self-objectification is directly related to women's mental health. Women with a high level of selfobjectification are associated with a high risk of physical anxiety (Tiggemann and Andrew, 2012;Watson et al., 2012), body dissatisfaction (Lindner et al., 2012;Tiggemann and Andrew, 2012;Brock et al., 2021), body shame (Tiggemann and Boundy, 2008;Choma et al., 2009;Baildon et al., 2021), depression (Peat and Muehlenkamp, 2011;Jones and Griffiths, 2015;Register et al., 2015), disordered eating Al-Mutawa et al., 2019;Kilpela et al., 2019;Holmes et al., 2020), and sexual dysfunction (Fredrickson and Roberts, 1997;Tiggemann, 2011). Counselors and therapists can use C-SOBBS to help people deal with issues related to selfobjectification. ...
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Article
Given the limitations of the existing tools used for measuring self-objectification in China, this study aims to validate the Chinese version of the self-objectification beliefs and behaviors scale (C-SOBBS). In this study, we first translated and culturally adopted SOBBS to the Chinese context. We conducted two wave surveys. In the first-wave survey, we recruited 331 female college students whose age ranged from 18 to 35 (Mage=20.28, SD=2.99) to complete an online survey that included demographic questions, C-SOBBS, and four other scales to assess the validity of C-SOBBS. In the second-wave survey, 76 participants who took part in the first-wave survey completed the C-SOBBS at a two-week interval for the assessment of test-retest stability. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed to validate the factor structure of the C-SOBBS. The relationship between the C-SOBBS, its factors, and four other measures demonstrated that the C-SOBBS has a convergent and discriminant validity. Furthermore, the results of hierarchical multiple regression demonstrated the C-SOBBS’s incremental validity related to the Female Questionnaire of Trait Self-Objectification and Objectified Body Consciousness-Surveillance subscale. Additionally, the internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the C-SOBBS were also verified. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of the C-SOBBS in assessing the self-objectification beliefs and behaviors of young Chinese women within the context of Chinese culture.
... In the definitely sexualized condition, undergraduate students rated the girl as less moral, self-respecting, capable, determined, competent, and intelligent than when she was depicted in either the childlike or the ambiguously sexualized conditions. Thus, wearing sexualized clothing can affect how girls are perceived by others, so it is possible that sexualized clothing could lead to selfobjectification in girls just as in the case of women (Tiggemann & Andrew 2012). ...
... In an experimental study guided by objectification theory, Tiggemann and Andrew (2012) studied the effects of clothing on self-perceptions of state self-objectification, state body shame, state body dissatisfaction, and negative mood. However, unlike studies (e.g., Fredrickson et al. 1998) in which participants were asked to try on and evaluate either a bathing suit or a sweater, Tiggemann and Andrew instructed their participants to "imagine what you would be seeing, feeling, and thinking" (p. ...
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Article
The purpose of this research was to provide a critical review of key research areas within the social psychology of dress. The review addresses published research in two broad areas: (1) dress as a stimulus and its influence on (a) attributions by others, attributions about self, and on one's behavior and (2) relationships between dress, the body, and the self. We identify theoretical approaches used in conducting research in these areas, provide an abbreviated background of research in these areas highlighting key findings, and identify future research directions and possibilities. The subject matter presented features developing topics within the social psychology of dress and is useful for undergraduate students who want an overview of the content area. It is also useful for graduate students (1) who want to learn about the major scholars in these key areas of inquiry who have moved the field forward, or (2) who are looking for ideas for their own thesis or dissertation research. Finally, information in this paper is useful for professors who research or teach the social psychology of dress.
... Every day women enter in and out of multiple contexts, some of which protect them from objectification and others do not. Based on a review of previous research, Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Reynard, Skouteris and McCabe [4] found that a variety of contextual cues such as exposure to beauty magazines, visual inspection by strangers, receiving a body-related comment, being deprived of intimacy in social interactions, being in situations where one's body is exposed, and presence of a stranger or romantic partner can elicit and promote female self-objectification. Besides, type of clothing may be a relatively important contributor to female self-objectification [5]. In daily life, women spend the majority of their waking hours in clothing, particularly in the public domain, so it is important to elucidate the role of clothing type in female self-objectification. ...
... A few years later, Hebl, King and Lin [6] using the same procedure studied ethnic differences in self-objectification in a sample of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian American undergraduate women, and concurred with the previous results held for the Caucasian sample [7]. In a sample consisting of American undergraduates, Quinn, Callen and Cathey [8] found that other than having higher self-objectification, girls wearing swimsuits listed more body-related thoughts during a free response task given after they had re-dressed, which demonstrated the lingering effect of clothing situations on state self-objectification. Tiggemann et al. [5] in their study on Australian female undergraduate students asked the participants to imagine themselves in bathing suits or a sweater with jeans on the beach or in the dressing room. Results revealed that the scenarios involving bathing suits led to greater state self-objectification. ...
... First, women's self-objectification is related to women's mental health. High self-objectification levels are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders (Cohen et al. 2018;Cottingham et al. 2014;Peat and Muehlenkamp 2011;Tiggmann and Williams 2012), body shame (Choma et al. 2009;Fredrickson et al. 1998), body dissatisfaction (Linder et al. 2012;Tiggemann and Andrew 2012), physical anxiety (Tiggemann and Williams 2012;Watson et al. 2012), depression (Jones and Griffiths 2015;Peat and Muehlenkamp 2011;Tiggemann and Andrew 2012), and sexual dysfunction (Dove and Wiederman 2000). Therapists and counsellors can use the FQSO to assist people dealing with such issues. ...
... First, women's self-objectification is related to women's mental health. High self-objectification levels are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders (Cohen et al. 2018;Cottingham et al. 2014;Peat and Muehlenkamp 2011;Tiggmann and Williams 2012), body shame (Choma et al. 2009;Fredrickson et al. 1998), body dissatisfaction (Linder et al. 2012;Tiggemann and Andrew 2012), physical anxiety (Tiggemann and Williams 2012;Watson et al. 2012), depression (Jones and Griffiths 2015;Peat and Muehlenkamp 2011;Tiggemann and Andrew 2012), and sexual dysfunction (Dove and Wiederman 2000). Therapists and counsellors can use the FQSO to assist people dealing with such issues. ...
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Article
The present research involved the initial development and validation of the 17-item Female Questionnaire of Trait Self-Objectification (FQSO), which measures Chinese women’s trait self-objectification. In Study 1 (n = 663), an exploratory factor analysis identified two dimensions underpinning the FQSO: Physical Appearance and Physical Competence. In Study 2 (n = 421), results from a confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the two-factor model of the FQSO was superior to a one-factor model. Further, in Study 3 (n = 421), the validity of all FQSO dimensions was supported via their relationship with the Revised Self-Objectification Questionnaire and other body-image measures. Lastly, the results of the Study 4 (n = 32) supported the stability of the FQSO over a 1-month period. Collectively, results indicate that the FQSO demonstrates adequate validity and reliability in assessing self-objectification in Chinese women who express more concerns about facial appearance and skin than about sex appeal, firm/sculpted muscles, or measurements.
... Scores were averaged and higher scores represented higher levels of body monitoring and thinking of one's body in terms of appearance as opposed to how it feels. Acceptable internal consistencies (˛ = .74-.83) were reported for this state adaptation in a previous Australian sample of undergraduate women (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). The internal consistency in the present sample fell within this range (˛ = .82). ...
Article
This study aimed to examine the protective role of positive body image against negative effects produced by viewing thin-idealised media. University women (N=68) completed trait measures of body appreciation and media protective strategies. At a subsequent session, participants viewed 11 thin-ideal advertisements. Body dissatisfaction was assessed before and after advertisement exposure, and state measures of self-objectification, appearance comparison, and media protective strategies were completed. Results indicated that body appreciation predicted less change in body dissatisfaction following exposure, such that participants with low body appreciation experienced increased body dissatisfaction, while those with high body appreciation did not. Although state appearance comparison predicted increased body dissatisfaction, neither state self-objectification nor appearance comparison accounted for body appreciation's protective effect. Trait and state media protective strategies positively correlated with body appreciation, but also did not account for body appreciation's protective effect. The results point to intervention targets and highlight future research directions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
... Scores were averaged and higher scores represented higher levels of body monitoring and thinking of one's body in terms of appearance as opposed to how it feels. Acceptable internal consistencies (˛= .74-.83) were reported for this state adaptation in a previous Australian sample of undergraduate women (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). The internal consistency in the present sample fell within this range (˛= .82). ...
Full-text available
Article
This study aimed to examine the protective role of positive body image against negative effects produced by viewing thin-idealised media. University women (N = 68) completed trait measures of body appreciation and media protective strategies. At a subsequent session, participants viewed 11 thin-ideal advertisements. Body dissatisfaction was assessed before and after advertisement exposure, and state measures of self-objectification, appearance comparison, and media protective strategies were completed. Results indicated that body appreciation predicted less change in body dissatisfaction following exposure, such that participants with low body appreciation experienced increased body dissatisfaction , while those with high body appreciation did not. Although state appearance comparison predicted increased body dissatisfaction, neither state self-objectification nor appearance comparison accounted for body appreciation's protective effect. Trait and state media protective strategies positively correlated with body appreciation, but also did not account for body appreciation's protective effect. The results point to intervention targets and highlight future research directions.
... As with other examples above, Yvette's memory implies objectified body consciousness, observing herself as she imagines others are seeing and judging her. Tiggemann & Andrew (2012) found that when comparing the (imagined) wearing of revealing clothing like bathers with more modest clothing such as a sweater and jeans, bathers lead to a greater state of surveillance or objectified body consciousness. In the present study, some of the painful bather recollections involved others' expectation that the women perform in their bikinis (e.g. by dancing on a tabletop or modelling a sarong). ...
... In that study it is clear what variable is manipulated. We adopt the term revealing dress because it reflects what is manipulated (dress that reveals the body) and also is often used in the objectification literature (Goodin et al., 2011;Graff et al., 2013;Prichard & Tiggemann, 2005;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). ...
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Article
Women are depicted in revealing dress in the media and the depictions have costs such as objectification. Objectification theory explains that women in Westernized cultures are looked at, evaluated, and potentially objectified by others. Accordingly, objectifying gaze (by others) evokes self-objectification which has effects such as habitual body and appearance monitoring. According to the theory being objectified by others precedes self-objectification, which suggests that objectification by others could be more prevalent than self-objectification and potentially just as harmful. Researchers have found that self-objectification and other-objectification can be induced by revealing dress manipulations that vary in tightness or body coverage. We studied Halloween costumes as a site for objectification of others. In Study 1, 124 pairs of men’s and women’s Halloween costumes were content analyzed. Women’s costumes were significantly more revealing than men’s in tightness and body coverage. Since sexual objectification in the media is assessed by the presence of revealing dress in media depictions, we reasoned that women’s revealing Halloween costumes could be sexually objectifying. In Study 2, 295 participants rated women wearing revealing or non-revealing costumes in an online experiment. Women wearing revealing costumes were sexually objectified by participants. Although men rated costumed women higher on the sexually objectifying traits than women, both men and women objectified the costumed women in the revealing dress condition. Dress researchers may wish to apply objectification theory to re-interpret and explain early research on revealing dress.
... Results showed that those who observed their body in a sexualized way, had more subsequent body related thoughts than those in the non-sexualized condition. Similar results emerged in a different experiment that asked female emerging adults to imagine wearing either revealing clothing or more modest clothing (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). Valuing appearance over competence was higher among those who imagined wearing revealing clothing. ...
Article
This longitudinal study (N = 400, 54.5% female) explores the relationships between three components of self-objectification: the internalization of the media's appearance ideals, the valuing of appearance over competence, and body surveillance. The study adds to the self-objectification literature by taking a long-term, developmental approach. The relationships are examined over 6-month intervals during adolescence and a 5-year interval from adolescence to emerging adulthood. Furthermore, this study is the first to examine relationships between different components of self-objectification at the within-person level and, thus, study personal changes over time. Most notably, an increase in internalization during adolescence predicted subsequent increases in valuing appearance over competence and body surveillance five years later, when the respondents had reached emerging adulthood. No evidence for gender differences was found. Implications for the development of self-objectification from adolescence to emerging adulthood and the difference between within- and between-person effects are discussed.
... Of the six studies mentioned above that measured appearance monitoring, four found that it increased in women following the induction of state self-objectification (Calogero and Pina, 2011;and Tiggemann and Andrew, 2012;Ford et al., 2015;Hopper and Aubrey, 2016). Further support for this mechanism is provided by the results of studies that found the effects of state self-objectification to be stronger among women high on trait self-objectification-namely, women who are chronically preoccupied with their appearance (note that being high in trait self-objectification means diverting much attention to one's appearance, not necessarily feeling dissatisfied with it; Frederick et al., 2007;Calogero, 2011). ...
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Article
This paper provides an organizing framework for the experimental research on the effects of state self-objectification on women. We explain why this body of work, which had grown rapidly in the last 20 years, departs from the original formulation of objectification theory (Fredrickson and Roberts, 1997). We compare the different operationalizations of state self-objectification and examine how they map onto its theoretical definition, concluding that the operationalizations have focused mostly on one component of this construct (concerns about one's physical appearance) while neglecting others (adopting a third-person perspective and treating oneself as a dehumanized object). We review the main findings of studies that experimentally induced state self-objectification and examined its affective, motivational, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological outcomes. We note that three core outcomes of this state as specified by objectification theory (safety anxiety, reduced flow experiences, and awareness of internal body states) have hardly been examined so far. Most importantly, we introduce an integrative process model, suggesting that the reported effects are triggered by four different mechanisms: appearance monitoring, experience of discrepancy from appearance standards, stereotype threat, and activation of the “sex object” schema. We propose strategies for distinguishing between these mechanisms and explain the theoretical and practical importance of doing so.
... In particular, we measured the effect of message type on body surveillance, which entails viewing the body as an outside observer; and body shame, which refers to feelings of shame and embarrassment when the body does not conform to size and form expectations. Although these constructs are usually measured as traits (and link to poor self-esteem, disordered eating, and depression; McKinley & Hyde, 1996;Hyde, Mezulis, & Abramson, 2008), here we use previously validated state measures (Calogero & Jost, 2011;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). Thus, using a repeated measures design for a single group of young women, we measured state self-esteem, state body surveillance, and state body shame at baseline, and then again after exposure to each message. ...
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Article
Although women now have access to messaging about body acceptance, the risks and benefits of such messaging are not well-researched. Using a self-determination theory framework, we contrasted need-supportive versus need-undermining messages about body acceptance. One message supported the basic psychological need for autonomy (i.e., personal agency to accept one’s body); one targeted the basic need for body acceptance from others; and one used pressure to elicit body positivity –a need-undermining strategy. We contrasted these messages with one another and with a typical message of thinness idealization. In Experiments 1-4, we found that pressuring pro-body messages were more harmful to body image than messages that used autonomy support and acceptance from others. That is, they produced more pressure, less agency, and lower acceptance. Moreover, Experiments 2-4 showed that need-supportive messages increased state self-esteem from baseline, whereas pressuring body positivity did not. In Experiment 3 message-related self-perceptions mediated the effect of need-supportive messages on state self-esteem. In Experiment 4, need-supportive body acceptance messages reduced body shame and body surveillance, whereas pressure to be body positive did not –and this effect was mediated by body satisfaction induced by the message. We highlight the important difference between need-supportive and need-undermining body positivity.
... Instead researchers may have selected dependent variables as a function of important social issues. For example, researchers focused on the sexual objectification of women (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Reynard, Skouteris, & Mccabe, 2012;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012), sexual harassment (Johnson & Workman, 1992;Workman & Johnson, 1991), and sexual assault (Lewis & Johnson, 1989;Workman & Freeburg, 1999;Workman & Orr, 1996) as a function of information communicated by fashion; then they employed dependent variables relevant to those topics. Other well-represented dependent variables (e.g. ...
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Fashion is the way we wear our clothes, adorn our bodies, and train our bodies to move [Craik (1994)15. Craik, J. (1994). The face of fashion: Cultural studies in fashion. New York, NY: Routledge.View all references. The face of fashion: Cultural studies in fashion. New York, NY: Routledge]. To assess the state of knowledge about the communicative nature of fashion, the goal of this research was to conduct a content analysis of research published after 1986, identifying fashion's effect on perceptions. Articles for analysis (N=115) were identified from online database searches. Coding categories developed by Burns and Lennon [1993. The effect of clothing on the use of person information categories in first impressions. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 12(1), 9–15] and Damhorst [1990. In search of a common thread: Classification of information communicated through dress. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 8(2), 1–12] were used to code dependent variables. Results found that information communicated by fashion was related to potency (35.3%), evaluation (32.1%), physiological and biological traits (11.8%), demographic characteristics (8.3%), miscellaneous (5.3%), dynamism (5.7%), and quality of thought (1.5%). To further analyse information communicated by fashion, we recommend more research on effective coding taxonomies.
... The extent to which appearance comparisons influence the link between selfie-viewing behaviour and facial dissatisfaction may depend on a person's level of self-objectification [33,34]. According to objectification theory, self-objectification can be seen as both a stable personal trait and a context-dependent state [35,36], and in the current study, we conceptualise self-objectification as a stable trait. When we take a specific look at the trait self-objectification; we could argue that when being exposed to sexually objectifying images (e.g., thin ideals and other images that focus overtly on appearance), people may come to take an observers' perspective of themselves and treat themselves as an "object" to be stared at [35,37]. ...
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Article
With the visual turn in online communication, selfies have become common on social media. Although selfies as a way of self-representation provide people with more chances to express themselves, the adverse effects selfies could bring to users’ body image need to be treated seriously. This study tested whether selfie-viewing behaviour on social media was related to facial dissatisfaction and whether appearance comparisons played a mediating role. Moreover, the self-objectification was examined as a moderator between selfie-viewing behaviour and facial dissatisfaction via appearance comparisons. Results showed that more selfie-viewing was associated with higher facial dissatisfaction, and this relationship was mediated by appearance comparisons. The study also found that self-objectification moderated the indirect relation between selfie-viewing and facial dissatisfaction via appearance comparisons. Gender differences were also found to affect the mediation model. Our research provides new insights into the interactions between social media use and perception of body image.
... The relationship between bodily appearance and consumption related practices and perceptions has been investigated in a variety of areas. Specifically, investigations show a relationship between model appearance perceptions and associated product and ad evaluations (e.g., Bian & Wang, 2015;D'Alessandro & Chitty, 2011;Keh et al., 2016), body perceptions and clothing choices (e.g., Frith & Gleeson, 2004;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012), and how culturally shaped dispositions such as cosmopolitanism relate to clothing choices (Gonzalez-Jimenez, 2016). Overall, these studies indicate that there is an inherent link between bodily perceptions and consumption practices and perceptions. ...
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Consumers engage in transformative practices such as cosmetic surgery to shape a new self that satisfies personal and social expectations. Yet, we lack an understanding of how cosmetic surgery and the consequent changes to a consumer's self affect their consumption practices. Building on Diderot unities we explore how cosmetic surgery influenced consumption practices of 10 female consumers postcosmetic surgery. Prior work on Diderot unities suggests that it is a new object inspiring the consumption of additional objects. Extending the notion of Diderot unities, we posit that also a new self brings changes in the constellation of consumption objects. Specifically, cosmetic surgery, the self, and material consumption practices are tied together by an expanded view of Diderot unities as not only involving people and objects, but also adding experiences. A newly surgically enhanced person perceives an imbalance between the assemblage of their self and self‐expressive objects. This imbalance sets off a series of purchases to restore balance by acquiring possessions and experiences that match their new magnificent self. Purchases extend to areas such as fashion objects, grooming objects and experiences, as well as experiences related to personal well‐being, vacation and leisure.
... Participants were told that the experiment was about imagination. After providing informed consent, participants were first exposed to the experimental manipulation of performance-based objectification, which was adapted from prior research (e.g., Newheiser, LaFrance, & Dovidio, 2010;Teng et al., 2015;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). Specifically, participants imagined that they were first-year undergraduate students working as interns at a company. ...
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Do people become more aggressive when they are manipulated as a tool or object that can help others achieve performance goals? Adopting a multi-method approach with Eastern and Western samples, through six experiments (overall valid N = 1070), we tested whether objectification (i.e., being treated as an instrument that aids others in achieving instrumental performance goals) promotes aggression through thwarted perceived control. The results showed that objectified participants had higher levels of aggression than nonobjectified participants (Experiments 1 to 6). Moreover, thwarted perceived control mediated the effect of objectification on aggression (Experiments 3 and 4). In addition, restoring objectified people's perceived control could effectively weaken their aggression level (Experiments 5 and 6). Taken together, these findings highlight the critical influence of perceived control in explaining when and why objectification promotes aggression and how to weaken such an effect. They also highlight the role of perceived control in understanding the consequences of various forms of interpersonal maltreatment in different performance or instrumental settings.
... In particular, we measured the effect of message type on body surveillance, which entails viewing the body as an outside observer; and body shame, which refers to feelings of shame and embarrassment when the body does not conform to size and form expectations. Although these constructs are usually measured as traits (and link to poor self-esteem, disordered eating, and depression; McKinley & Hyde, 1996;Hyde, Mezulis, & Abramson, 2008), here we use previously validated state measures (Calogero & Jost, 2011;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). Thus, using a repeated measures design for a single group of young women, we measured state self-esteem, state body surveillance, and state body shame at baseline, and then again after exposure to each message. ...
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Although women now have access to messaging about body acceptance, the risks and benefits of such messaging are not well-researched. Using a self-determination theory framework, we contrasted need-supportive versus need-undermining messages about body acceptance. One message supported the basic psychological need for autonomy (i.e., personal agency to accept one’s body); one targeted the basic need for body acceptance from others; and one used pressure to elicit body positivity – a need-undermining strategy. We contrasted these messages with one another and with a typical message of thinness idealization. In Experiments 1-4, we found that pressuring pro-body messages were more harmful to body image than messages that used autonomy support and acceptance from others. That is, they produced more pressure, less agency, and lower acceptance. Moreover, Experiments 2-4 showed that need-supportive messages increased state self-esteem from baseline, whereas pressuring body positivity did not. In Experiment 3 message-related self-perceptions mediated the effect of need-supportive messages on state self-esteem. In Experiment 4, need-supportive body acceptance messages reduced body shame and body surveillance, whereas pressure to be body positive did not – and this effect was mediated by body satisfaction induced by the message. We highlight the important difference between need-supportive and need-undermining body positivity.
... In support of this finding, style of athletic clothing has been named as a barrier to participation in sport by adolescent girls (Allender et al., 2006), and has been identified as a contributing source of pressure to maintain certain appearance by women athletes (Allen & Owen, 2019). Revealing team uniforms contribute to increased self-consciousness and negative body image (Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012), general discomfort and distractions (Steinfeldt et al., 2013), and may influence motor performance in women (Cox et al., 2020). Further, team uniforms can convey a message of body exclusion where only certain bodies belong in sport (i.e., bodies that fit into available uniform sizes). ...
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Despite the extensive benefits of sport participation, girls consistently participate at lower rates, are more likely to drop out, and report worse sport experiences compared to boys. Body image is a critical factor identified to influence sport participation for adolescent girl athletes. Strategies to mitigate the impact of body image in sport are needed. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify feasible and realistic strategies to mitigate and address body image concerns for adolescent girls involved in team sports at recreational or competitive levels. Seventy-one participants were involved in individual interviews across sport stakeholder groups, including 20 girl athletes, 11 parents of girl athletes, 13 coaches, 13 referees, and 14 sport administrators. Using a thematic analysis approach, 35 actionable strategies were identified that spanned four main themes: eliminating body image stigma, reconsidering uniforms and sport attire, from top to bottom - everyone has a role, and body-positive role modeling. The strategies spanned various systemic, environmental, social, and individual levels that are operationalized within an ecological model. Findings suggest that body image concerns in the sport environment are complex and call for multifaceted strategies that prioritize both the management of body image concerns and fostering of positive body image as a focal outcome.
... Although the athletes were recruited from non-aesthetic sport, there is variability in the degree to which other factors such as uniforms contribute to body talk, self-objectification, and body surveillance across non-aesthetic sports. Uniforms that provide minimal coverage (i.e., bathing suits, volleyball spandex) put more of the body on display for others to evaluate, and therefore may increase body talk, self-objectification, and social comparisons relative to less revealing uniforms (i.e., hockey/basketball jerseys; Lauer et al., 2018;Steinfeldt, Zakrajsek, Bodey, Middendorf, & Martin, 2013;Tiggemann & Andrew, 2012). Volleyball is the most common interactive team-based sports played by girls (Staurowsky et al., 2020), reinforcing that differences in body talk across non-aesthetic sport based on uniforms should be explored. ...
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Introduction Body image concerns may contribute to poor sport experiences and low sport participation in girls. Objectification theory and evidence from studies in non-sport contexts suggests body talk may elicit an environment that fosters negative body image. However, the phenomenon of body talk within adolescent girls sport is not well-understood from an in-depth person-centered perspective. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to explore adolescent girl athletes’ experiences of body talk within sport. Methods Twenty Canadian girl athletes (ages 14–18 years) enrolled in team-based non-aesthetic sports participated in one semi-structured interview. Using a qualitative description approach, an inductive thematic analysis was used to generate three themes. Results “Body talk as a performance tactic” highlighted complimentary and negative body talk pertaining to sport performance came from coaches, opposing players, and parents. “Casual conversations and body talk” reflected body talk from teammates and male spectators that was not specific to sport but occurred in the sport context. “Coping with body talk” reflected strategies athletes used to combat negative body talk from teammates, and reflected the athletes’ perceptions that negativity towards the body is normative. Conclusions Body talk served many purposes within sport; researchers should further explore the diverse motivations and perceived utility of body talk across sport stakeholders. Creating standardized resources and policies to eliminate body talk may foster more positive and supportive sport experiences for girls.
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The purpose of the present study was to examine heart rate (HR) and affective reactions to state self-objectification as a function of gender. We examined negative affect, positive affect, guilt, and HR at 6-second and 5-minute intervals across baseline, control, high objectification, low objectification, and cologne conditions in men (n = 53) and women (n = 57). Mixed factorial MANOVA results indicated a statistically significant Gender x Condition interaction. Both men and women showed a cardiac orienting response to high versus low objectification. Cardiac stress reactions to objectification were higher among women. Negative affective reactions to objectification were more pervasive across conditions among women.
Chapter
This chapter traces the appearance of the body as it has manifest in feminist studies of young women . In particular, the discussion focuses on a shift in emphasis away from young women as passive victims of various forms of cultural determinism to approaches which seek to complicate the relationship of gendered bodies and regimes of signification. These approaches have often radically reconceptualized the role of the body in young women’s practice of self-identity and the social processes which contribute to young women’s subjectivation by emphasizing the active and processual nature of the self-body relation. Such approaches challenge many key aspects of earlier feminist analyses and critiques. Debates concerning the impact of this reconceptualization are assessed, and implications for the study of young femininities are discussed.
Chapter
Job burnout has become a frequently faced problem which cannot be ignored for workers. It brings great damage to the physical and mental health of employees, which is generally caused by the individual’s inability to coordinate the balance of physical, psychological and emotional resources with job demands and pressure. The body is an important carrier of human beings. When the body is not in good condition, it will also have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of individuals and the working state of employees. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of employees’ body dissatisfaction on job burnout and the mediating role of self-efficacy. Specifically, through the theoretical perspective provided by the JD-R model, this paper uses cross-sectional design to collect demographic information, body satisfaction, self-efficacy and job burnout data of employees, and plans to use process mediation analysis to test hypotheses.
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Body Shame scale within the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBCS) in a sample of women living in Puerto Rico. The sample consisted of 117 heterosexual women. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to evaluate the structure of the scale and internal consistency was examined. Findings revealed that the 6-item Spanish version of the Body Shame scale shows better model-data fit than the original 8-item version. The results of the study support the use of the final 6-item version of the Body Shame scale in research and practice, given that it demonstrated appropriate structure and internal consistency. In conclusion, the findings support the use of the 6-item version of the Body Shame scale.
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Representations of tourism subjects, both people and places, extend beyond specifically tourism media. This paper explores the presummer images of swimwear and beach bodies in Australian women's lifestyle magazines. A content analysis of swimwear images confirmed British findings that there was a general uniformity in the characteristics of the women modelling the swimsuits: young, slim, white ethnicity (but tanned) and able-bodied. Critical Discourse Analysis highlighted that the beach body discourse is in many ways contested. On the one hand the beach is a place of abandonment, but women need to work hard to achieve the required normative image. Women's agency and choice is questioned due to the narrow normative image and the neo-liberal, consumerist systems underlying the discourse.
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Our research purpose was to assess research addressing relationships between dress and sex. Our review was focused on a 25 years span (i.e., 1990–2015) and on empirical research utilizing human participants published in refereed journals. Three main areas of research emerged: (1) dress used as cue to sexual information, (2) dress and sexual violence, and (3) dress, sex, and objectification. Our analyses revealed parents do invest their young children with sex-typed dress however sometimes children demand to wear such dress. Some women intentionally use dress to communicate sexual information but inferences about women who wear sexy dress can be misinterpreted and are sometimes negative. Observers link wearing sexy dress to violence including sexual coercion, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and unwelcome groping, touching, and grabbing. Certain items of sexy dress that reveal the body have been linked to self-objectification. The fit of the items may also contribute to the body revealing nature of clothing styles that elicit self-objectification. The use of sexual images of women and children has increased over time and viewing such images is also linked to self- and other-objectification. Suggestions are provided for future research.
Chapter
This chapter examines the language and connotations ascribed to the hashtags #sportswear and #fitnesswear through photographs and textual content on Instagram. The current study was analyzed within a lens for women’s body image.
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An ethological model of human procreative well-being is proposed and the goodness-of-fit of pornography’s script to that model is considered. Deducing an evolutionary template for procreative well-being from an ethological analysis links attachment dynamics to procreative success. Alongside parent–child attachment, pair-bond attachment in the procreative couple looms large as an element of optimal procreative relationship structure and quality. Key elements of pair-bond attachment are documented. Turning next to an empirical examination of the sexual behavioral system in humans, we see evidence of an evolutionary design supportive of attachment as well as reproductive exigencies of procreative well-being. Sexual system mechanisms promoting both reproduction and attachment are evident in the evolutionary design. We next employ script theory to identify key elements of the sexual script promulgated by pornography. Joining these two analyses, we compare the evolutionary, attachment-based template for procreative success in juxtaposition to pornography’s sexual script to evaluate the goodness-of-fit of pornography use to attachment success and, by extension, procreative well-being. We conclude that there is an ethological case to be made for considering pornography use as a public health risk. Implications of the model of procreative well-being for the practice of couple therapy are given mention.
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Women’s body dissatisfaction and shame has been found to increase in the premenstrual phase of the cycle and to be associated with premenstrual distress. However, the factors involved remain little understood. In the present study, 116 women completed an online survey including standardized measures of premenstrual distress, body shame, menstrual shame, and self-objectification, and open-ended questions about premenstrual embodiment. Eight participants completed a semi-structured interview. Significant positive correlations were found between premenstrual distress, body shame, and menstrual shame. Self-objectification was significantly negatively correlated with body shame. Thematic analysis identified internalization and resistance of unrealistic cultural constructions of feminine beauty, concealment of the body, and reduced engagement in body-management behaviors. The implications of the findings for understanding women’s premenstrual distress and embodiment are discussed.
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This research investigates how female students choose their graduation outfit and how clothing affects observers’ judgments. In Study 1, we manipulated the students’ graduation outfit so as to look professional or sexy. Female peers, adults, and professors formed a first impression about the students, their thesis work and guessed their graduation scores (thesis points and final mark). All participant groups judged the professionally dressed students as more competent, as having put more effort in their thesis, and as having obtained better scores than when the same students dressed sexy. In Studies 2 and 3 we replicated previous findings by using photos portraying real students in their actual graduation outfits. We found that sexy clothing, considered inappropriate for the occasion, affected estimated and actual graduation scores negatively and that this effect was mediated by perceived incompetence. Results are discussed with respect to women’s evaluation on the basis of their appearance.
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According to the life history theory, fast life history strategists are more likely to prioritize mating efforts and concentrate on appearance to match mate preferences. This mate preference may have become the social ideal through sexual selection, thus causing body shame in women. Currently, the relationship between body shame and life history strategies, and how online interpersonal sexual objectification experiences as an external environment influence these relationships should be clarified. In the current study, a sample of 710 Chinese women participants completed self-report measures of life history strategies, body shame, body surveillance, and online interpersonal sexual objectification experiences. Results showed that life history strategies indirectly affected body shame through body surveillance. Furthermore, online interpersonal sexual objectification experiences played a moderating role. These findings emphasize the evolutionary factors of body shame from a life history theory perspective and the interactive effects of the external environment.
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This article offers objectification theory as a framework for understanding the experiential consequences of being female in a culture that sexually objectifies the female body. Objectification theory posits that girls and women are typically acculturated to internalize an observer's perspective as a primary view of their physical selves. This perspective on self can lead to habitual body monitoring, which, in turn, can increase women's opportunities for shame and anxiety, reduce opportunities for peak motivational states, and diminish awareness of internal bodily states. Accumulations of such experiences may help account for an array of mental health risks that disproportionately affect women: unipolar depression, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders. Objectification theory also illuminates why changes in these mental health risks appear to occur in step with life-course changes in the female body.
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Objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) holds that American culture coaxes women to develop observers' views of their bodies. The present study was designed to test whether a state of self-objectification can be automatically activated by subtle exposure to objectifying words. A state of self-objectification or of bodily empowerment was primed by the use of a scrambled sentence task. Women's ratings of negative emotions were higher and their ratings of the appeal of physical sex lower when primed with self-objectification than when primed with body competence. Men's ratings were unaffected by the primes. The results of this study suggest that mere exposure to objectifying media can play a significant role in the initiation of a self-objectified state along with its attendant psychological consequences for women.
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Objectification theory (B. L. Fredrickson & T. A. Roberts, 1997) demonstrates how sociocultural variables work together with psychological variables to predict disordered eating. Researchers have tested models that illustrate how certain constructsof objectification theory predict disordered eating, but a more comprehensive model that integrates a combination of constructs central to the theory (i.e., sexual objectification; self-objectification; body shame; poor interoceptive awareness of hunger, satiety, and emotions) has not yet been examined. In this study, we incorporated these variables within an inclusive model based on the assertions of B. L. Fredrickson and T. A. Roberts (1997) and examined it with 460 college women. Structural equation modeling analyses suggested that the model provided a good fit to the data and supported most propositions set forth by objectification theory and the eating disorders literature.
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Research suggests that cultural shifts in the ways men's bodies are represented lead men to feel increasingly dissatisfied with their appearance. Clothing is an ideal but underresearched mechanism for appearance management; however, little is known about men's presentation of their bodies through clothed displays. This article explores the ways in which men's subjective feelings about their bodies influence their clothing practices. Thematic analysis revealed 4 key themes: practicality of clothing choices, lack of concern about appearance, use of clothing to conceal or reveal the body, and use of clothing to fit cultural ideals. This article demonstrates the pervasive and mundane role of clothing in men's self-surveillance and self-presentation and the range and complexity of the processes involved in clothing the body. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study reports results from the first International Body Project (IBP-I), which surveyed 7,434 individuals in 10 major world regions about body weight ideals and body dissatisfaction. Participants completed the female Contour Drawing Figure Rating Scale (CDFRS) and self-reported their exposure to Western and local media. Results indicated there were significant cross-regional differences in the ideal female figure and body dissatisfaction, but effect sizes were small across highsocioeconomic-status (SES) sites. Within cultures, heavier bodies were preferred in low-SES sites compared to high-SES sites in Malaysia and South Africa (ds = 1.94-2.49) but not in Austria. Participant age, body mass index (BMI), and Western media exposure predicted body weight ideals. BMI and Western media exposure predicted body dissatisfaction among women. Our results show that body dissatisfaction and desire for thinness is commonplace in high-SES settings across world regions, highlighting the need for international attention to this problem.
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Objectification theory (B. L. Fredrickson & T. Roberts, 1997) posits that American culture socializes women to adopt observers' perspectives on their physical selves. This self-objectification is hypothesized to (a) produce body shame, which in turn leads to restrained eating, and (b) consume attentional resources, which is manifested in diminished mental performance. Two experiments manipulated self-objectification by having participants try on a swimsuit or a sweater. Experiment 1 tested 72 women and found that self-objectification increased body shame, which in turn predicted restrained eating. Experiment 2 tested 42 women and 40 men and found that these effects on body shame and restrained eating replicated for women only. Additionally, self-objectification diminished math performance for women only. Discussion centers on the causes and consequences of objectifying women's bodies.
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The relationship between repeated body checking and its impact on body size estimation and body dissatisfaction is of interest for two reasons. First, it has importance in theoretical accounts of the maintenance of eating disorders and, second, body checking is targeted in cognitive-behavioural treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of manipulating body checking on body size estimation and body dissatisfaction. Sixty women were randomly assigned either to repeatedly scrutinize their bodies in a critical way in the mirror ("high body checking") or to refrain from body checking but to examine the whole of their bodies in a neutral way ("low body checking"). Body dissatisfaction, feelings of fatness and the strength of a particular self-critical thought increased immediately after the manipulation among those in the high body checking condition. Feelings of fatness decreased among those in the low body checking condition. These changes were short-lived. The manipulation did not effect estimations of body size or the discrepancy between estimations of body size and desired body size. The implications of these findings for understanding the influence of body checking on the maintenance of body dissatisfaction are considered.
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Music videos are a particularly influential, new form of mass media for adolescents, which include the depiction of scantily clad female models whose bodies epitomise the ultra-thin sociocultural ideal for young women. The present study is the first exposure experiment that examines the impact of thin models in music videos on the body dissatisfaction of 16-19-year-old adolescent girls (n=87). First, participants completed measures of positive and negative affect, body image, and self-esteem. Under the guise of a memory experiment, they then either watched three music videos, listened to three songs (from the videos), or learned a list of words. Affect and body image were assessed afterwards. In contrast to the music listening and word-learning conditions, girls who watched the music videos reported significantly elevated scores on an adaptation of the Body Image States Scale after exposure, indicating increased body dissatisfaction. Self-esteem was not found to be a significant moderator of this relationship. Implications and future research are discussed.
Article
One hundred and thirty-nine women viewed television commercials that contained either Appearance-related commercials (demonstrating societally-endorsed images of thinness and attractiveness) or Non-Appearance-related advertisements. Pre-post measures of depression, anger, anxiety, and body dissatisfaction were examined. Participants were blocked by a median split on dispositional levels of body image disturbance and sociocultural attitudes regarding appearance. Individuals high on these measures became significantly more depressed following exposure to the Appearance videotape and significantly less depressed following a viewing of the Non-Appearance advertisements. In addition, individuals high on the level of sociocultural awareness/internalization became more angry and participants high on body image disturbance became more dissatisfied with their appearance following exposure to commercials illustrating thinness/attractiveness. Participants who scored below the median on dispositional levels of disturbance either improved or showed no change on dependent measures in both Appearance and Non-Appearance video conditions. The findings are discussed in light of factors that might moderate media-influenced perturbations in body image.
Article
The contemporary ideal standard offemale beauty in the Western world is based on thinness, attractiveness, and fitness. Women are enculturated to monitor these personal characteristics, and to construct their appearances to meet these normative expectations. Because most body image research to date has focused on quantitative methods of assessing the complex interrelationships among variables, women's "lived experiences" were examined through a qualitative study of 95 college women to explore the subjective nature of body satisfaction, the extent to which agency and control influence the construction of appearance, and what appearance-management behaviors are typically practiced andlor advisable. Nine themes emerged from the written essays. The most common theme was risky appearance-management behaviors that were practiced in response to gendered social norms, indicating the prevalent feeling that the body is malleable and considered to be under individual control. Common socio-cultural constructs were social comparison, world view, and influence of others. Essays attested to the centrality of body image in the lives of college women, and provide evidence that social comparison and ensuing appearance-management behaviors were ways in which young women exhibit agency or control over their lives.
Article
Objective The purpose of the current study was to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons that adolescent girls give 1) for ceasing participation in sports and other physical activities and 2) for why they do not participate as much as boys.Methods6 focus groups were conducted with adolescent girls (n = 49) aged between 13 and 15 years old. The focus groups were conducted at two metropolitan, co-educational public high schools in Adelaide, South Australia.ResultsThe girls generated a number of different reasons for ceasing to play sport, including losing interest, lack of competence and insufficient time. Girls also reported feeling like they were crossing traditional gender boundaries when playing sport, particularly for sports traditionally classified as ‘masculine’. Additional concerns related to team-mates and teasing as well as concerns about appearance and image while playing sport.Conclusions The findings identify a number of gender-specific reasons for girls’ declining rates of participation in sport and physical activity and therefore suggest a number of strategies for improving girls’ participation rates.
Article
Three hundred twenty-seven undergraduatemostlyEuropean American women and men were surveyed totest whether feminist theoryabout how women come to viewtheir bodies as objects to be watched (Objectified Body Consciousness or OBC) can be useful inexplaining gender differences in body esteem. The OBCscales (McKinley & Hyde, 1996) were demonstrated tobe distinct dimensions with acceptable reliabilities for men. Relationships between bodysurveillance, body shame, and body esteem were strongerfor women than for men. Women had higher surveillance,body shame, and actual/ideal weight discrepancy, andlower body esteem than did men. Multiple regressionanalysis found that gender differences in body esteemwere no longer significant when OBC was entered into theequation, supporting feminist theory about women's body experience.
Article
This study began with three objectives. The first was to identify clothing functions for two different affective states: (a) when one feels fat or feels one has gained weight (Fat State), and (b) when one feels more slender or feels one has lost weight (Slender State). The second objective was to investigate the differing motivations behind, and clothing functions given, the two states. The third objective was to investigate the relationships between clothing functions given each state and subjects' feelings about their size and weight (Weight Factor from Mahoney and Finch's body cathexis instrument). The principal axis factor analysis of the data collected from 172 working females and 172 college females resulted in five factors that contribute to clothing functions: fashion, camouflage, assurance, individuality, and comfort. Significant differences were found between clothing functions for the Fat and Slender States, indicating that the motivations concerning clothing functions for the two states are basically different. When subjects perceived themselves to be fat, scores for camouflage, comfort, individuality, and assurance were negatively correlated with Weight Factors. However, when subjects felt slender, the only significant association was a low negative correlation of camouflage scores with Weight Factors.
Article
Objectification theory contends that women self-objectify as a result of internalizing an external observer's perspective of their physical selves. Self-objectification has been examined as both a stable enduring trait and as a context dependant state. The present study attempted to trigger state self-objectification by relatively subtle manipulation of the immediate physical and social environment. Participants were 96 female undergraduate students who completed questionnaire measures and cognitive tasks in a 2 (a subtle objectifying environment versus a standard environment) x 2 (an appearance compliment versus no comment) x 2 (high versus low trait self-objectification) design. It was found that, for women high on trait self-objectification, the objectifying physical environment enhanced state self-objectification, and the appearance compliment enhanced body shame. The findings demonstrate that subtle situational factors not requiring women to explicitly focus attention on their own bodies can elicit self-objectification and its proposed consequences, particularly among women high in trait self-objectification.
Book
This volume reviews and elucidates diverse concepts of body image, body-image development, psychosocially dysfunctional deviations from normal appearance, and methods of facilitating body-image change. The major questions addressed by the book are these: What are the meaningful parameters or components of the body-image construct and how are they best measured? What are the physical, developmental, social, and cultural determinants of the unfolding of these facets of body image? How do gender and objective attributes of appearance influence the subjective experience of the body? What are the roles of body images in the development and change of personality and psychopathology? How do deleterious changes in physical appearance and physical competence affect body images? How can one promote adaptive body-image change through the self-management of physical aesthetics, through medical-surgical procedures, and through various psychotherapeutic and somatopsychic interventions? (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study extends the literature on eating disorder symptomatology by testing, based on extant literature on objectification theory (B. L. Fredrickson & T. Roberts, 1997) and the role of sociocultural standards of beauty (e.g., L. J. Heinberg, J. K. Thompson, & S. Stormer, 1995), a model that examines (a) links of reported sexual objectification experiences to eating disorder-related variables and (b) the mediating roles of body surveillance, body shame, and internalization of sociocultural standards of beauty. Consistent with hypotheses, with a sample of 221 young women, support was found for a model in which (a) internalization of sociocultural standards of beauty mediated the links of sexual objectification experiences to body surveillance, body shame, and eating disorder symptoms, (b) body surveillance was an additional mediator of the link of reported sexual objectification experiences to body shame, and (c) body shame mediated the links of internalization and body surveillance to disordered eating. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study extends the research on objectification theory by examining the effect of anticipating a male or female gaze on appearance-related concerns in 105 female undergraduates. Gaze anticipation was manipulated by having participants believe they would be interacting with a man or woman before completing several self-report measures. Results demonstrated that anticipating a male gaze produced significantly greater body shame and social physique anxiety than anticipating a female gaze, while no differences were observed for dietary intent. Discussion centers on the pervasiveness of the experience of self-objectification and the implications of these findings for future research.
Article
Using feminist theory about the social construction of the female body, a scale was developed and validated to measure objectified body consciousness (OBC) in young women (N= 502) and middle-aged women (N= 151). Scales used were (a) surveillance (viewing the body as an outside observer), (b) body shame (feeling shame when the body does not conform), and (c) appearance control beliefs. The three scales were demonstrated to be distinct dimensions with acceptable reliabilities. Surveillance and body shame correlated negatively with body esteem. Control beliefs correlated positively with body esteem in young women and were related to frequency of restricted eating in all samples. All three scales were positively related to disordered eating. The relationship of OBC to women's body experience is discussed.
Article
In this study we aimed to test the complete model proposed in objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) as it applies to disordered eating. Two samples of women, 50 former students of classical ballet and 51 undergraduate psychology students, completed questionnaire measures of self-objectification and its proposed consequences. It was found, as predicted, that former dancers scored more highly on self-objectification, self-surveillance, and disordered eating, with the differences on disordered eating accounted for by the objectification measures. For both samples, the relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating was mediated by body shame but not by appearance anxiety, flow, or awareness of internal states. It was concluded that the findings provide strong support for objectification theory.
Article
This study tests a mediational model of disordered eating derived from objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). The model proposes that the emotion of body shame mediates the relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating. Two samples of undergraduate women (n= 93, n= 111) completed self-report questionnaires assessing self-objectification, body shame, anorexic and bulimic symptoms, and dietary restraint. Findings in both samples supported the mediational model. Additionally, a direct relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating was also observed. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
Article
This study was designed to investigate self-objectification, its theoretical consequences, and its relationship to reasons for exercise within a fitness center environment. Sixty female aerobic instructors and 97 female aerobic participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 45 years, completed questionnaire measures of self-objectification, reasons for exercise, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. Increased self-objectification (and self-surveillance) was related to disordered eating symptomatology, body dissatisfaction, and appearance-related reasons for exercise. Aerobic instructors scored significantly lower on self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating than did aerobic participants, and they exercised more for enjoyment and less for appearance-related reasons. For aerobic participants, location of exercise (inside or outside the fitness center) moderated the relationship between frequency of exercise and self-objectification, such that exercising within fitness centers was associated with relatively higher self-objectification. Higher levels of self-objectification were also related to wearing tighter exercise clothing. These results support the general model of Objectification Theory, and provide practical implications for women who exercise within objectifying environments.
Article
Objectification theory (Fredrickson and Roberts, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173–206, 1997) contends that experiences of sexual objectification socialize women to engage in self-objectification. The present study used an experimental design to examine the effects of media images on self-objectification. A total of 90 Australian undergraduate women aged 18 to 35 were randomly allocated to view magazine advertisements featuring a thin woman, advertisements featuring a thin woman with at least one attractive man, or advertisements in which no people were featured. Participants who viewed advertisements featuring a thin-idealized woman reported greater state self-objectification, weight-related appearance anxiety, negative mood, and body dissatisfaction than participants who viewed product control advertisements. The results demonstrate that self-objectification can be stimulated in women without explicitly focusing attention on their own bodies.
Article
Theoretical models suggest that body checking is linked to biased cognitive processing. However, this link has not been investigated in any systematic way. The present study examined the influence of body checking on attentional bias for body-related cues by manipulating body checking behaviors in nonclinical participants. 66 women were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: body checking, body exposure, or control. A body visual search task was used to measure attentional bias. Participants in the body checking condition showed speeded detection of body-related information compared to participants in the exposure and control conditions. No evidence was found for increased distraction by body-related information. Furthermore, participants in the body checking condition reported more body dissatisfaction after the manipulation than participants in the body exposure and control conditions. These results are the first to experimentally establish the link between body checking and attentional bias toward body-related cues.
Article
The present study aimed to investigate the link between clothing and body experience in women of different ages. Participants were 162 female clothes shoppers between the ages of 18 and 55 who completed questionnaire measures of body image, functions of clothing, self-esteem, and enjoyment of clothes shopping. It was found that clothing was worn primarily for assurance and fashion by women of all ages. On the other hand, BMI and body dissatisfaction were related to the use of clothing for camouflage purposes and to a more negative clothes shopping experience. Both components of appearance investment were related to choice of clothes for fashion and assurance. However, the self-evaluative salience component was negatively related, while the motivational salience was positively related, to enjoyment of clothes shopping. It was concluded that although clothing is an under-researched aspect of body image, it represents an important part of women's appearance management, whatever their age.
Article
A weight-height index of adiposity should indicate the relative fatness of subjects of differing height unless obesity is itself correlated with height. The average body fat among adult women attending a hospital outpatient clinic for obesity was 40.5 percent of body weight. The height of an unselected series of 286 of these outpatients was found to be similar to that of the general population of women of similar age, which indicates that obesity in adult women is not significantly related to height. Body composition was measured by body density, body water and body potassium in a series of 104 female and 24 male subjects aged 14-60 years. In both sexes density, water and potassium gave progressively higher estimates of body fat (kg), and there was a significant difference between the values by different methods. The average of the estimates by these three methods was taken to be the 'true' value for each individual (F kg). Regression of F/H2 on W/H2 (Quetelet's index) gave a correlation coefficient of 0.955 for women and 0.943 for men. The deviation of the body fat estimated from Quetelet's formula from the 'true' value was not much greater than that when density, water or potassium were used as a basis for estimating body fat. It is concluded that Quetelet's formula is both a convenient and reliable indicator of obesity.
Article
The aim of the study was to investigate the interaction between personal and situational variables in the determination of body satisfaction. Participants were asked to imagine themselves in each of four hypothetical scenarios while completing measures of body image. A main effect for situation was found on both global body dissatisfaction and body esteem, whereby participants rated themselves as more dissatisfied in the body-focused situations (Beach, Dressing room) than in the non-body-focused situations (Refectory, Home). In addition, there was a main effect of self-esteem. Of more interest, there were also significant Situation x Body Mass Index (BMI), Situation x Dietary Restraint, and Situation x BMI x Social Comparison interactions. This study has demonstrated situational effects, person effects, and Person x Situation interactions within the one framework. As such, it contributes to an increasingly complex and dynamic view of body image.
Article
The study aimed to extend tests of objectification theory into the realm of depression. The theory's applicability to men was also investigated. A cross-sectional study. A sample of 115 men and 171 women completed questionnaire measures of self-objectification, depressed mood, disordered eating, as well as the proposed mediating variables of body shame, appearance anxiety, flow and awareness of internal states. For women, it was found that depressed mood and disordered eating were both predicted by self-objectification and its corollary of habitual self-surveillance. Path analysis gave strong support to the mediational relationships of the theoretical model. With one major exception (the role of self-objectification), the pattern of relationships was similar for men. Objectification theory provides a useful framework for identifying predictors of depressed mood.
Article
Objectification Theory proposes that membership in sexually objectifying Western societies gradually socializes women to adopt an observer's perspective on their physical self. This leads to negative consequences, including body shame and restricted eating behavior. The authors extend this framework to investigate a subgroup of men, namely gay men, who also exist in a subculture that emphasizes and values physical appearance. Study 1 investigated trait differences in self-objectification and body image among gay and heterosexual men. Analyses indicated that gay men scored higher on self-objectification, body shame, body dissatisfaction, and drive for thinness. In Study 2, the authors experimentally manipulated state self-objectification and found that for gay men, increasing state self-objectification resulted in greater body shame and dissatisfaction and more restrained eating. Together, these results offer strong support to Objectification Theory as a useful framework from within which to view the experience of gay men.
Article
Laboratory experiments and surveys show that self-objectification increases body shame, disrupts attention, and negatively predicts well-being. Using experience sampling methodology, the authors investigated self-objectification in the daily lives of 49 female college students. Building on the predictions of objectification theory, they examined associations between internalizing an observer's perspective on the self and psychological well-being, and examined the moderating roles of trait self-esteem and appearance-contingent self-worth. Within-person increases in self-objectification predicted decreased well-being, but this association was moderated by trait self-esteem and trait appearance-contingent self-worth; high self-esteem, highly appearance-contingent participants reported increased well-being when they self-objectified. Furthermore, perceived unattractiveness partially mediated the main effect and the three-way interaction: high self-esteem, highly contingent participants experienced smaller drops in well-being when they self-objectified, in part because they felt less unattractive. These results suggest that in daily life, some women receive a boost from self-objectification, although most women experience decreases in well-being when self-objectifying.
Repeated measures multiple regression An experimental analysis of body checking
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Body checking induces an attentional bias for body-related cues The attractive female body weight and female body dissatisfaction in 26 countries across 10 world regions: Results of the International Body Project I
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Shopping for clothes: Body satisfaction, appearance investment and clothing selection in female shoppers Objectification theory as it relates to disordered eating among college women
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The objectified body consciousness scale: Development and validation doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402 Roles of sexual objectification experiences and internalization of standards of beauty in eating disorder symptomatology: A test and extension of objectification theory
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Repeated measures multiple regression
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Ruscher, J.B. (2009). Repeated measures multiple regression. Retrieved from http://www.tulane.edu/~PsycStat/ruscher/Psyc611/Psyc611.htm
Using multivariate statistics
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