Sex Roles

, Volume 58, Issue 9–10, pp 649–657

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

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-007-9379-x

Cite this article as:
Harper, B. & Tiggemann, M. Sex Roles (2008) 58: 649. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9379-x


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.


Self-objectification Objectification theory Body image Thin ideals Media images 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations