Cameron Diaz thinks that every woman like to be objectified.
While this may raise the eyebrows for more than a few women across the globe, a study published in Psychology Today may prove the 40-year-old actress right.
Researchers began by explaining a term called “self-objectification.” This is what Psychology Today presumes Diaz was referring to when she talks about stripping for photographers: “I’m not some young girl with the photographer going, ‘Will you take your clothes off?’ I’m like [mimes stripping], ‘How does this look?’ They’re like, ‘Today we’re not going to put anything other than bras and heels on you,’ and I’m like, ‘These heels are not high enough.’ ”
Self-objectification centers on how one internalizes objectification to effect how a women views herself. For example, she begins to look at herself the way she imagines other people are looking at her.
Researchers interested in finding out how everyday experiences of self-objectification gave a group of female college students a palm pilot, and asked them to answer programmed questionnaires throughout the course of two weeks.
“Surprisingly,” notes study author Juliana Breines, Ph. D., “we found that some participants seemed to benefit from their daily experiences of self-objectification.” Those who tended to base their self-worth on their looks were getting a boost because they tended to feel more attractive “in those moments when they self-objectified.” Those with high self-esteem not based on their lever of attractiveness felt the same boost.
However, those appearance-contingent students who had low self-esteem experienced the biggest drop in well-being because “they were more likely to feel unattractive in those [self-objectifying] moments.”
In other words, for people who base their self-worth on how others view them, self-objectification may be a “double-edged sword,” since it feels great to get positive attention, but well-being can plummet when the attention is negative.
Did we really need a scientific study to tell us that?
Diaz didn’t. “I think every woman does want to be objectified,” the actress told The Sunday Times. “There’s a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think it’s healthy.”
For Diaz, she’s comfortable objectifying herself, as long as she’s in control of it:
“I’m a woman, I know how to handle myself. I know what I feel comfortable doing and I know my sexuality,” Diaz comments, noting that she is comfortable with objectification as long as she is in control.
Do you think objectification is good for women?