Social Media May Lead Women to Objectify Their Own Body

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Social media is a relatively new paradigm , not even two decades old. Various social media outlets include twitter, instagram, tumblr, facebook, dating sites, kik, and many more.  So what do all of these outlets have in common? Researchers are continuously studying how  women evaluate their body images through social media.

Since the start of Myspace and Facebook , researchers wanted to know how much time do people actually spend on these sites. Now, studies are leaning more towards how women compare their bodies to other women because of the excessive picture posting.

In the Sage Journal, “Psychology of Women Quarterly”, Psychologists Jasmine Fardouly, along with her team wrote,

“Given the large number of images posted to Facebook (currently over 250 billion images; Facebook, 2013), as well as the appearance-related comments they often receive from others, Facebook may well be considered an appearance-focused media type.

Alone women spend an average of 2 hours a day on Facebook. So it’s no surprise that in between those hours of the day, women are loading pictures and often times scrolling through their timelines lurking on images of other women or their own photos.

Researchers  Slater and Tiggemann (2015) found that the amount of time spent on social networks was associated with greater self-objectification.

Women have a long history of being objectified in the media from television, music videos, and print magazines, why would the objectification just stop at these mediums and not social media? And why are women self objectifying themselves?

Some can argue  low self esteem, vanity, or insecurities. Women have been known to compare themselves to other women, whether short, skinny, tall, plus size, short hair or long hair. It’s just something women do—that is—label themselves in comparison to others.

When a person  compares their own inner or self image to an image  that has been filtered on social media it can pose the threat  to self objectification and self absorption. When self comparisons take place that person looks at themselves as the spectator or observer.

One researcher suggests, “Self-comparisons to images of a previous self might engender a greater focus on specific body parts, also contributing to self-objectification.”

Researchers give tips on how to avoid becoming self objectified and harming one’s self esteem. Here are the tips :

Post fewer images of self on social media

Follow people on Facebook   or (social media ) who post photos less frequently

Guess I’ve lost the battle to this fight!  Let us know how you feel about this study?

Sources:

Author  Rick Nauert PhD, Young Women Compare Themselves on Social Media”

Author Rebecca Adams The Huffington Post “How Facebook Stalking Could Lead Women To Objectify Their Own Bodies”

Fardouly, J., Diedrichs, P.C., Vartanian, L.R., Halliwell, E. (2015). ‘The Mediating Role of Appearance Comparisons in the Relationship Between Media Usage and Self-Objectification in Young Women’, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Sage Journal , p 34 doi: 10.1177/036168431558184

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