The Media's Influence on Self-Objectification and Perfectionism in Women
Bauer, Kelly C.
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Studies on the media have found television shows, movies, advertisements, newspapers, and magazines to instigate self-objectification in women. Self-objectification causes symptoms such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-criticism, and negative mood. The symptoms of perfectionism result in similar problems. Using the format of a previous experiment, this study examines the media's effects on perfectionism in relation to self-objectification (Harper & Tiggemann, 2008). This experiment utilizes magazine advertisements to determine their influence on perfectionism responses in undergraduate, female students. The 180 undergraduate, female participants were randomly placed into one of three groups: the control group, the Female group, and the Female-Male group. The control group media consisted of 20 advertisements featuring products without the use of human models that were selected from 5 of the 10 most popular fashion magazines of 2009. The Female Group media consisted of 20 advertisements featuring only thin, female models and the Female-Male Group consisted of20 advertisements featuring thin, female models getting attention from a male model. The participants' perfectionism score was then measured using an Almost Perfect Scale-Revised Short form (APS-R short form) before and after being subjected to the advertisements. The participants' self-objectification score was also measured using The Self-Objectification Questionnaire before and after being subjected to the advertisements (Harper & Tiggemann, 2008). Implications of the potential results for future research will be discussed.