Exposing digital posing

the effect of social media self-disclaimer captions on women’s body dissatisfaction, mood, and impressions of the user

Julianne Livingston, Elise Holland, Jasmine Fardouly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This experimental study examined the impact of attaching self-disclaimer captions (i.e., account holder’s captions about the inauthenticity of their appearance) to idealized and edited social media images on 18- to 25-year-old Australian women’s (N = 201) body dissatisfaction, mood, perceived realism of social media images, appearance comparisons, and impressions of the user. Participants were shown images of either: (1) an attractive woman, (2) the same woman with self-disclaimer captions, or (3) appearance-neutral images. Self-disclaimers did not ameliorate the higher body dissatisfaction and negative mood experienced by women who viewed idealized images. Images with self-disclaimers were also not perceived as less realistic, nor did women compare themselves less to these images than women who viewed the same images without self-disclaimers. The idealized woman in the images was, however, perceived as less warm, but equally moral and competent when viewed with self-disclaimers. These results suggest that self-disclaimers may not be effective at protecting young women from the harmful effects of unrealistic appearance ideals on social media.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020



  • self-disclaimer labels
  • social media
  • body image
  • body dissatisfaction
  • impression formation
  • social comparison

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