Instagram use and young women’s body image concerns and self-objectification

testing mediational pathways

Jasmine Fardouly, Brydie Willburger, Lenny R. Vartanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1395
Number of pages16
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • body image
  • fitspiration
  • Instagram
  • internalization
  • self-objectification
  • social comparison

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