Winter is fast approaching and it’s time to invest in a warm and fluffy coat. Because sure, you want to look your party best when “out out” at seasonal festivities, but you don’t want to freeze your extremities off in the process.
Unless you subscribe to Cardi B’s theory that “a hoe never gets cold”.
The rapper first shared her rule for life in 2014 but it is now reaching new audiences thanks to an enterprising PHD psychology student and the medium of – where else? – TikTok.
Roxanne Felig, a postgraduate student in social psychology at the University of South Florida, is one of the authors of a study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology that explains why some women don’t feel cold when they’re on a night out.
The study, titled “When looking ‘hot’ means not feeling cold: Evidence that self-objectification inhibits feelings of being cold” first appeared – somewhat unseasonably – in August, but is having a fresh moment as temperatures drop.
Because, while a journal article is one thing, Felig has now taken to TikTok to share the findings of the study – and even asked Cardi B for her response.
In the TikTok, Felig explains that, yes, her research lab’s starting point really was the Cardi B clip, in which, decked out in a black bra top and skirt, the rapper announced: “It’s cold outside but I’m still looking like a thottie, because a hoe never gets cold.”
“We wanted to test that scientifically,” explains Felig. “And so we did, and it is true.”
In what Felig’s lab called “the Cardi B study” – we applaud them! – the research team tested her theory by surveying women standing outside nightclubs on cold nights in Florida. Turns out it gets chilly there. Who knew?
When temperatures dropped to between 40 and 50°F (4-10°F), researchers asked women to describe their state of self-objectification and how cold they felt. Additionally, they asked them how drunk they felt and how many drinks they’d had. After this, the researchers took anonymous pictures of the outfits these women wore which were coded for the level of skin exposure.
And they found out that Cardi B, broadly, is correct.
“Our hypothesis was supported,” the authors wrote. “Women low in self‐objectification showed a positive, intuitive, relationship between skin exposure and perceptions of coldness, but women more highly focused on their appearance did not feel colder when wearing less clothing.”
As Felig explains in the TikTok, one way to understand Cardi B’s original thottie statement is through the lens of “objectification theory”.
“Objectification theory posits that women take an outside perspective of their body so when women are highly focused on what they look like externally it reduces the amount of cognitive resources they have available to appraise their internal states,” the Florida study explains.
“Self-objectification, the internalisation of an observer’s appearance-based perspective of one’s body, has been theorised and demonstrated to reduce body awareness among women.”
And no, in case you were wondering, women being too concerned with what they look like to think about how cold they are isn’t really a good thing.
“Standards for women’s appearance have prioritised beauty over comfort,” the authors go on to write. “In a culture that prioritises women’s physical attractiveness over all other aspects (ie. an objectifying culture), women commonly self-objectify by internalising an observer’s perspective on their bodily selves. In doing so, women view their body as an object that exists for the pleasure of others, rather than an entity to experience subjectively.”
They conclude: “Women are enculturated to self-monitor, paying close attention to the scrutiny of their body from others, and, in so doing, self-objectify. This external focus is related to a number of consequences (eg. shame and anxiety), and as our study demonstrates, a disconnect from one’s bodily states.”
So, in short, yes, the more you think about what you look like the less cold you’re likely to feel. But we implore you: please wear your coat to the club.