Investigating the role of self-compassion in protecting body image against self-objectification and social comparison
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Body image is a multifaceted construct comprised of evaluative self-perceptions about one’s physique. Western societies’ portrayals of women as objects of perfection provoke feelings of inadequacy and trigger social comparison, which can contribute to body dissatisfaction and body shame. Self-compassion involves relating to oneself with mindfulness and kindness while honoring one’s common humanity. Being self-compassionate is connected to enhanced well-being and improved body image. The proposed experiment asks participants to make appearance comparisons to an idealized body and subsequently complete a writing task and body image surveys. This study will explore whether a self-compassionate writing task mitigates the negative body image outcomes associated with social comparison and self-objectification. Statistical analyses will be performed using multiple regression. Proposed results suggest the need for evaluation of a self-compassion based body image program.