The Effect of Thin Ideal Media Images on Women’s Self-Objectification, Mood, and Body Image
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.