Objectification theory explicates a model in which women are socialized to view their own bodies as objects to be evaluated. In the current study, we used a 2 (self-objectification condition: swimsuit versus sweater) × 2 (gender) factorial design to examine whether body-related thoughts continued after women were removed from a self-objectifying situation. Results showed that, compared to participants in the other three groups, women in the self-objectification condition listed more body-related thoughts during a free response task given after they had re-dressed. The amount of shame experienced during self-objectification mediated the relationship between self-objectification condition and lingering body-related thoughts. This study adds to the understanding of how the process of self-objectification works to maintain women’s focus on their appearance.
- body image