#BoPo on Instagram

an experimental investigation of the effects of viewing body positive content on young women’s mood and body image

Rachel Cohen, Jasmine Fardouly, Toby Newton-John, Amy Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Body-positive content on social media aims to challenge mainstream beauty ideals and encourage acceptance and appreciation of all body types. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of viewing body-positive Instagram posts on young women’s mood and body image. Participants were 195 young women (18–30 years old) who were randomly allocated to view either body-positive, thin-ideal, or appearance-neutral Instagram posts. Results showed that brief exposure to body positive posts was associated with improvements in young women’s positive mood, body satisfaction and body appreciation, relative to thin-ideal and appearance-neutral posts. In addition, both thin-ideal and body-positive posts were associated with increased self-objectification relative to appearance-neutral posts. Finally, participants showed favourable attitudes towards the body positive accounts with the majority being willing to follow them in the future. It was concluded that body-positive content may offer a fruitful avenue for improving young women’s body image, although further research is necessary to fully understand the effects on self-objectification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1546-1564
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number7
Early online date6 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019



  • body image
  • body positivity
  • Instagram
  • positive body image
  • self-objectification
  • social media
  • social networking sites

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