music, body image, media, music video, body esteem


The current article used 3 studies to examine the impact of listening to body positive music on both explicit and implicit measures of body esteem in women. Study 1 found that women who viewed a mainstream popular body positive music video reported higher levels of body esteem than those who viewed a popular body objectifying music video. In Studies 2 and 3, we wrote and recorded our own songs to keep the musical features apart from the lyrics constant (e.g., rhythm, melody, and singer identity). Study 2 also found that women showed higher levels of implicit (but not explicit) body esteem when watching music video portraying body positive lyrics as compared with objectifying lyrics. Study 3 added a neutral song and examined a number of moderators. There were few differences between those listening to the body positive and neutral lyrics, but those who listened to objectifying compared with neutral lyrics had lower body esteem. Moderation revealed that women who had preexisting low body esteem showed lower implicit body esteem ofter listening to any appearance-related music compared with those who listened to neutral lyrics. Thus, we recommend that women choose to listen to body positive lyrics over objectifying ones and to avoid appearance-related songs if they are prone to body esteem concerns.

Original Publication Citation

Coyne, S. M., Davis, E. J., Warburton, W., Stockdale, L., Abba, I., & Busby, D. M. (2020, March 2). Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Effect of Listening to Body Positive Music on Implicit and Explicit Body Esteem. Psychology of Popular Media. Advance online publication.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Psychology of Popular Media




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor