"Travel Selfies on Social Media as objectified self presentation" Seong Ok Lyu

Seong Ok Lyu completed a study on the pyschological impacts of "travel selfies." The study uses a sample of Korean female tourists.

Earlier research (e.g., Aubrey, 2006; Tiggemann & Williamson, 2000) revealed that women are more sensitive to having others' look at their appearance than men. The objectification theory provides a holistic picture for understanding how women treat their appearance as objects that are evaluated by others' perspectives (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). A large proportion of women who are engaged in self-objectification, which results from internalizing sociocultural beauty ideals, habitually monitor their appearance and perceive shame about their physical selves (McKinley & Hyde, 1996). Self-objectification is also known to lead to several problematic outcomes like depression, eating disorders, and self-harm behaviors (Calogero, Davis, & Thompson, 2005).

The purpose of the study was to determine the effects that travel selfies can have on the minds of those who take the pictures, and those who view the pictures.

Some examples of Travel Selfies

Lyu (2016) found the purpose of travel selfies to be, "While posing in front of a land- mark, most tourists take travel selfies to constitute the concrete proof of ‘I've been there’, which transform intangible experience into tangible reality" (185). Therefore our understanding of the Travel Selfie is to place a specific person to a specific location, proving the moment.

women continually adopt others' gaze on their physical selves for successful socialization

The study finds that women attempt to edit their appearances to receive positive feedback on their selfies, this includes the backgrounds of their travel selfies (Lyu, 2016 p. 191-92). The study concludes by stating that females are more susceptible to societal pressures when posting images on social media platforms, therefore females attempt to present their best self in their selfies by adjusting the image. To create a persona that is desirable by anyone who may view the image, females tend to accentuate the location of the travel selfie in an effort to increase their value.

Lyu (2016) notes that this kind of research is new, and that it is a psychological phenomenon that researchers should be looking into (186). Society has helped Selfies bloom from a passing fad to a permanent camera angle. Since we know that Selfies are here to stay we should be learning more about any impacts they may be leaving behind.

Lyu, S. O. (2016). Travel selfies on social media as objectified self-presentation. Tourism Management, 54185-195. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.11.001

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