“But first let me take a selfie”: U.S. adolescent girls’ selfie activities, self-objectification, imaginary audience beliefs, and appearance concerns

Larissa Terán, Kun Yan, Jennifer Stevens Aubrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While some scholars argue that selfies can be a way for teenage girls, particularly, to showcase their individual identity, others argue that selfie activities can lead to body dissatisfaction and self-objectification, to name a few consequences. Utilizing objectification theory, we examined selfie activities (selfie sharing, selfie editing, and selfie investment) in relation to self-objectification and appearance concerns with Imaginary Audience Beliefs (IABs) tested as a moderator of these relations. Participants consisted of 278 14-17-year-old girls residing in the United States. Results showed that selfie editing and selfie investment were related to self-objectification, and indirect relationships of selfie editing and investment on negative appearance concerns (appearance anxiety, body shame, and negative appearance evaluation) through self-objectification were found. However, only limited evidence of IABs as a moderator was found. The simple matter of posting selfies is not consequential for appearance concerns, but overemphasizing the importance of selfies and self-scrutiny through selfie editing are the practices that are potentially problematic for adolescent girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • appearance concerns
  • imaginary audience beliefs
  • Self-objectification
  • selfies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication

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