The tools of science have brought us to the moon, saved us from pandemic diseases and warned us of climate change.
Now science attempts to explain why some women take and post sexy selfies.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia analyzed more than 68,000 sexualized self-portraits on social media in an attempt to answer the question if these particular images of female sexualization are a form of gendered oppression or an expression of female competitiveness.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, suggest women are competing with each other for economic and social gains.
Sexy selfie science
Consider the competition on Instagram within one family: the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
Kim Kardashian West can make up to $500,000 per branded post she shares with her 95.1 million followers. The youngest sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, each earn about $400,000 per post.
Sisters Klohe and Kourtney Kardashian don’t have as many followers, yet $250,000 per sponsored post should be enough to keep extreme jealousy at bay.
“Rightly or wrongly, in today’s environment, looking sexy can generate large returns, economically, socially, and personally,” the study’s lead author, Khandis Blake told the Associated Press. “It’s all about how women are competing and why’re they’re competing. (Women) are more likely to invest time and effort into posting sexy selfies online in places where economic inequality is rising, and not in places where men hold more societal power and gender inequality is rife.”
Blake said the woman in provocative poses on her Instagram feed is not a victim, but a “strategic player in a complex social and evolutionary game.”
Scholars are likely to remain divided on what the prevalence of sexy selfies means. The UNSW study looked at 113 countries and compared the images shared on Twitter and Instagram with regional indicators of gender inequality. While income inequality was pervasive, the area of origin was not considered gender oppressive.
In an attempt to validate the finding, researchers determined sexy selfies were made in the U.S. in areas that also had a “greater aggregate sales in goods and services related to female physical appearance enhancement,” from women’s clothing to beauty salons.
Source: Magnet News