Women objectify themselves on Facebook - Business Standard

Young women objectify themselves by equating their appearances with images they see on platforms such as Facebook or in magazines, according to a new study.

Though it is widely believed that the media objectifies women, they further diminish themselves by constantly comparing their bodies to others', researchers said.

Regardless of how much time young women devote to viewing television, music videos and using the internet, they will compare their appearances more frequently to photos in magazines and on Facebook, they said.

"Our research shows that spending more time reading magazines and on Facebook is associated with greater self-objectification among young women and these relationships are influenced by women's tendency to compare their appearance to others, particularly to peers on Facebook," researchers said.

Surveying 150 female college students and staff ages 17-25, researchers Jasmine Fardouly from the University of New South Wales, Australia and colleagues also found that magazines, though significantly related to self-objectification, are infrequently read by women.

On average, the women spent about two hours a day on Facebook, accounting for 40 per cent of daily internet use, and check the site every few hours.

Facebook users compare their appearance most often to their own images, then to those of their peers, and rarely to images of family members and celebrities, researchers found.

The researchers also note that self-comparisons may lead to greater self-objectification for women as they look at themselves literally as an observer.

"Furthermore, self-comparisons to images of a previous self might engender a greater focus on specific body parts, also contributing to self-objectification," researchers wrote in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.

To help young women stop comparing themselves and promote wellness, the researchers recommend that young women post fewer images of themselves on Facebook and follow people on Facebook who post photos less frequently.

"This was one of the first studies which shows that appearance comparisons partially account for the relationship between media usage and self-objectification," researchers said.


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