Depending on your worldview, Facebook is either great or the devil incarnate. For some reason The ‘Book has created this weird social behavior where people show their true colors by harping things that seem pretty petty in the real world. Maybe because we’re just so damn married to Facebook these days, since you don’t even need a computer to scroll through a feed of friends sharing engagement pics, bitching about politics, and blabbering about their kids.
Anyway, a researcher at Oregon State University wanted to analyze how young women perceive and judge each other on Facebook, based purely on physical appearance. The findings of the social experiment are like something from a high school cafeteria: Turns out women do not like it when other women look “sexy” on Facebook. Via Oregon State:
For the study, Daniels created two mock Facebook profiles for the fictitious 20-year-old Amanda Johnson. In both versions, Amanda liked musicians such as Lady Gaga, books such as “Twilight,” and movies like “The Notebook,” that would be appropriate for a person her age.
The only difference between the two was the profile photo. The photos were actual high school senior portrait and prom photos of a real young woman who allowed the photos to be used for the experiment.
In the sexy photo, “Amanda” is wearing a low-cut red dress with a slit up one leg to mid-thigh and a visible garter belt. In the non-sexy photo, she’s wearing jeans, a short-sleeved shirt and a scarf draped around her neck, covering her chest.
Study participants were 58 teen girls, ages 13-18, and 60 young adult women no longer in high school, ages 17-25. They were randomly assigned one of the profiles and asked questions based on that profile.
The participants were asked to assess Amanda’s physical attractiveness (I think she is pretty), social attractiveness (I think she could be a friend of mine), and task competence (I have confidence in her ability to get a job done) on a scale from 1-7, with one being strongly disagree and 7 being strongly agree.
Here’s the conclusion:
In all three areas, the non-sexy profile scored higher, indicating that those who viewed that photo thought Amanda was prettier, more likely to make a good friend and more likely to complete a task. The largest difference was in the area of task competence, suggesting a young woman’s capabilities are really dinged by the sexy photo, Daniels said.
Mean Girls 2 in the Facebook era really needs to happen. Meanwhile, ladies… Like, Don’t be so petty?