Sexism & Self-Objectification

In 1997, Fredrickson and Roberts proposed objectification theory as a framework for understanding the effects of sexual objectification on women. Self-objectification, or the internalization of an (objectified) external view of oneself fosters body shame, appearance anxiety, and in turn disordered eating, depressive symptoms, sexual dysfunction, among other consequences.

In recent years, our research has focused more heavily on the self-objectifying experiences of women of colour. We created a skin bleaching behaviour scale (Choma & Prusaczyk, 2018), and study skin tone and hair texture surveillance, as well as the role of internalizing a White ideal (Harper & Choma, 2018; Prusaczyk & Choma, 2018). We also evaluate the effect of beliefs like belief in a just world and colour-blind racial ideology (i.e. beliefs that serve to justify existing oppressive social systems) on connections between self-objectification and outcomes.

Some of our other work in this area has examined how self-objectification impacts compliance with COVID-19 health precautions (Earle, Prusaczyk, Choma, & Calogero, 2021), and experiences of women who have recently had a baby.


Photo Source: Humphrey, I. (n.d.). Power Moves [illustration]. Blush.