Thin-ideal, parody and body-positive Instagram posts: effects on women’s positive body image and body satisfaction

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O’Hagan, Déirdre
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The current study sought to examine the impact of viewing different types of images (body positive, thin-ideal celebrity model, parody or travel) on Instagram on women’s body satisfaction, body appreciation and broad conceptualisation of beauty. An experimental design was employed, whereby 394 female participants were exposed to a set of Instagram images as part an online survey. Measures of the dependant variables were gathered pre- and post-exposure. Findings indicated that exposure to body positive posts increased state body satisfaction and body appreciation, while viewing parody posts increased state body appreciation. Viewing images of thin-ideal celebrity models decreased state body satisfaction. Overall, levels of those who body appreciation and body satisfaction were higher in those exposed to body positive content than in those exposed to thin-ideal model content. These effects were moderated by tendency towards physical appearance comparison. The results have implications for media literacy interventions and informed social media usage.