Bodies After Babies: The Impact of Depictions of Recently Post-Partum Celebrities on Non-Pregnant Women’s Body Image

K. Megan Hopper, Jennifer L Stevens Aubrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the notion that the scrutiny of post-partum celebrity bodies by gossip media reinforces the message to all women that their bodies are vulnerable to close, critical scrutiny and that their value is contingent upon their appearance (e.g., Gentile 2011). Using objectification theory (Fredrickson and Roberts 1997) and the media priming framework (Roskos-Ewoldsen and Roskos-Ewoldsen 2009), the present study examined the impact of depictions of post-partum celebrities on never-pregnant young women. College women (N = 127) were randomly assigned to view full-body images and accompanying photo captions depicting recently post-partum celebrities, headshot-only images and captions depicting the same recently post-partum celebrities, or control images and captions featuring home décor and travel destinations. Results revealed that assignment to both the full-body and headshot conditions resulted in higher state self-objectification compared to the control condition. However, those in the headshot condition reported higher body surveillance scores than those in the full-body condition. Results are discussed in light of objectification theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 25 2015



  • Celebrities
  • Objectification theory
  • Post-partum bodies
  • Priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies

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