Clothes make a difference: The role of self-objectification

Marika Tiggemann, Rachel Andrew

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectification Theory contends that women self-objectify as a result of internalizing an observer's perspective on their physical selves. Self-objectification has been examined as both a stable enduring trait and as a context dependent state. The present study aimed to assess the link between clothing, a neglected area of women's appearance management, and self-objectification. Participants were 102 South Australian female undergraduate students who completed a questionnaire containing a trait measure of self-objectification, as well as four different scenarios varying in clothing worn and setting depicted, followed by state measures of self-objectification, negative mood, body shame, and body dissatisfaction. It was found that the scenarios involving revealing clothing (bathers) led to greater state self-objectification, body shame, body dissatisfaction and negative mood than the scenarios involving more modest clothing (sweater), especially for heavier women. In addition, the dressing room scenarios led to greater state self-objectification but less negative mood than the public scenarios. It was concluded that clothing represents an important contributor to the body and emotional experience of contemporary young women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)646-654
    Number of pages9
    JournalSex Roles
    Issue number9-10
    Publication statusPublished - May 2012


    • Body dissatisfaction
    • Body shame
    • Clothing
    • Objectification theory
    • Self-objectification


    Dive into the research topics of 'Clothes make a difference: The role of self-objectification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this