Body Image, Self-Objectification, and Appearance Maintenance Among College-Aged Women Direct Original Research

Main Article Content

Grace White
Cianna Piercey
Alejandra Medina Fernandez


body dissatisfaction, non-hygienic grooming, objectification theory


Introduction: Perceptions about one’s body can have a significant impact on social activities, quality of life, and overall psychological well-being. Women by far bear the brunt of negative psychological outcomes associated with poor body image. Little is known about the investment in appearance maintenance behaviors that women may engage to attain an idealized body standard. The current study investigated the connection between self-objectification, body image, and the time and money women invest in their appearance.   

Methods:  450 college-aged (M= 20.23) women completed an online survey that assessed self-objectification, body image, and appearance maintenance (e.g., non-hygienic grooming) behaviors.

Results: Higher self-objectification scores were significantly correlated with body dissatisfaction (r = .41, p < .001).  Self-objectification was also correlated with the amount of time (r = .17, p < .001) and money (r = .21, p < .001) that women invested in grooming. These associations suggest that women who engage in self-objectification tend to spend more time and money on appearance. There was also a significant association between grooming and body dysphoria (r = .11, p = .039).

Conclusions: Overall, these findings provide initial support that women who self-objectify invest more time and money in their appearance and tend to have fewer positive feelings towards their bodies.

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