We use the sexy selfie is that it is a means to snag a mate, right? Well, according to a new study, we’re very much mistaken.
Because science must understand everything, a new study has revealed the inner workings of the sexy selfie. What they discovered is that women tend to sexualise themselves in environments where the gap in income inequality must be bridged.
The study (published in PNAS) – the research analysed posts across 113 countries. Lead author Dr Khandis Blake stated: “We then looked at where in the world these things happened most. The number one way that psychologists usually look at women’s preoccupation with their appearance is that it happens because of patriarchal pressures – that women live in societies that value their appearance more than their other qualities. The argument is usually that when you see sexualisation, you see disempowerment.”
According to the research, income inequality increases competitiveness and status anxiety amongst people, making us more aware of what wrung of society’s ladder we stand on. In this instance, looking hot af can garner the individual meaningful returns, be it on a monetary, or personal level.
The researchers then found the exact same pattern in real-world spending in other appearance-enhancing areas, also mentioning that the selfie makes sense from in an evolutionary sense.
“In evolutionary terms, these kinds of behaviours are completely rational, even adaptive. The basic idea is that the way people compete for mates, and the things they do to put themselves at the top of the hierarchy are really important. This is where this research fits in – it’s all about how women are competing and why they’re competing…so, when a young woman adjusts her bikini provocatively with her phone at the ready, don’t think of her as vacuous or as a victim. Think of her as a strategic player in a complex social and evolutionary game. She’s out to maximise her lot in life, just like everyone,” Dr Blake concludes.