This study examined the relationship between Instagram use (overall, as well as specifically viewing fitspiration images) and body image concerns and self-objectification among women between the ages of 18 and 25 from the United States (n = 203) and from Australia (n = 73). Furthermore, this study tested whether internalization of the societal beauty ideal, appearance comparison tendency in general, or appearance comparisons to specific target groups on Instagram mediated any relationships between Instagram use and the appearance-related variables. Greater overall Instagram use was associated with greater self-objectification, and that relationship was mediated both by internalization and by appearance comparisons to celebrities. More frequently viewing fitspiration images on Instagram was associated with greater body image concerns, and that relationship was mediated by internalization, appearance comparison tendency in general, and appearance comparisons to women in fitspiration images. Together, these results suggest that Instagram usage may negatively influence women’s appearance-related concerns and beliefs.
- body image
- social comparison