Negative comparisons about one's appearance mediate the relationship between Facebook usage and body image concerns

Jasmine Fardouly*, Lenny R. Vartanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Use of social media, such as Facebook, is pervasive among young women. Body dissatisfaction is also highly prevalent in this demographic. The present study examined the relationship between Facebook usage and body image concerns among female university students (N= 227), and tested whether appearance comparisons on Facebook in general, or comparisons to specific female target groups (family members, close friends, distant peers [women one may know but do not regularly socialize with], celebrities) mediated this relationship. Results showed a positive relationship between Facebook usage and body image concerns, which was mediated by appearance comparisons in general, frequency of comparisons to close friends and distant peers, and by upward comparisons (judging one's own appearance to be worse) to distant peers and celebrities. Thus, young women who spend more time on Facebook may feel more concerned about their body because they compare their appearance to others (especially to peers) on Facebook.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalBody Image
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • Social media
  • Drive for thinness
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Appearance-related social comparison
  • Comparison target group

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