The Effects of Body Positive Media

Project Description:

Women are too often valued for their beauty and have shifted their focus from character to body improvement (Brumberg, 1998). Objectification theory (Frederickson & Roberts, 1997) posits that sexual objectification socializes females to evaluate themselves based on looks.  Self-objectification is the attempt to control this external perception by monitoring one’s physical appearance. Women are more likely to think “How do I look?” than “What am I capable of?”

Research suggests body-objectifying situations (i.e. trying on a swimsuit) and words can prime state self-objectification (SSO) (Frederickson & Roberts, 1997; Harper & Tiggemann, 2008).  Despite recent attempts of advertising campaigns to challenge the thin ideal by featuring “real women”, the possible effects of positive messaging are unclear (Calogero et al., 2006; Herbozo & Thompson, 2006).  This three-part study examines the influence of positive and negative body-focused makeup commercials on women’s levels of both implicit and explicit SSO, as well as positive and negative affect. The researchers hypothesized that negative body-focused media would lead to more SSO statements, fewere positive feelings and more negative feelings than positive media. Initially-reported levels of trait self-objectification (TSO) were expected to moderate the effects of media. 

How to Get Involved:

The manuscript is in preparation to be submitted by fall 2014.  If you have an interest in objecitification, the body positive movement or other related topics email me.