Can Women Self-Objectify?

Usually when we talk about objectification, we’re talking about the male gaze – like when advertisements dehumanize women. Objectification is the act of treating a person like a thing or a possession.

But can a woman objectify herself? As feminists, we understand that objectification is a symptom of a much bigger problem – patriarchy and rape culture.

Some people think that means we should criticize women who post sexy pictures of themselves. You may wonder – is she “inviting” objectification onto herself?

Here’s a really smart answer from body acceptance activist and sexuality scholar Melissa A. Fabello. Learn why objectification is harmful and what internalized objectification really means. You may get a whole new perspective on why, in the grand scheme of things, self-objectification isn’t really what you should be worried about if you come across a scantily clad woman on your Instagram feed.

With Love,
The Editors at Everyday Feminism

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Melissa A. Fabello, Co-Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, is a body acceptance activist and sexuality scholar living in Philadelphia. She enjoys rainy days, tattoos, yin yoga, and Jurassic Park. She holds a B.S. in English Education from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Human Sexuality from Widener University. She is currently working on her PhD. She can be reached on Twitter @fyeahmfabello.