Self-Objectification, Social Media and Mental Health



The paper presents a review of foreign studies on social and psychopathological consequences of self-objectification. The chief provisions of self-objectification theory, which is briefly discussed in the paper, includes the subject’s disposition to regard one’s body from the point of view of an external spectator, when one’s value is defined solely by one’s physical attractiveness in the eyes of others (B. Fredrickson, T. Roberts). Social networks are considered the ever-growing source of objectification and self-objectification due to the high popularity of sexualized content and the wide spread of selfie posting, which urges girls and women to regard their bodies from the point of view of the outside observer. The paper describes the consequences of self-objectification for mental health. Self-objectification is closely linked to body image disturbances, body shame, guilt, low self-esteem, appearance-related worry and emotional problems. It also has an impact on the emergence and persistence of eating disorders, depression, and suicidal and self-injurious behaviors. Self-objectification is more pronounced in women due to sexualizing beliefs about female bodies that are highly prevalent in modern society. Women start to evaluate their bodies and their attractiveness in the eyes of others early in their lives, and it often happens to the detriment of their own experiences and needs.

General Information

Journal rubric: Medical Psychology

Article type: review article


Received: 13.12.2022


For citation: Polskaya N.A., Novikova Ya.D. Self-Objectification, Social Media and Mental Health [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 83–92. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2023120308. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Natalia A. Polskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Associate Professor, Professor of the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Department, Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Public Health, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Yana D. Novikova, Student, Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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