Body Appreciation as a Means to Protect Social Media Users from Body Dissatisfaction
Keywords:Body Appreciation, Social Media, Body Dissatisfaction, Social Appearance Comparison
AbstractWhen young adult women and men are exposed to idealized images in traditional media outlets, they often experience body dissatisfaction. As the use of social media increases, so do the opportunities for appearance-based comparisons. Individuals who are heavy users of social networking sites also tend to exhibit body dissatisfaction. Body appreciation is a personal characteristic that seems to counteract the negative influence traditional media exposure, and it may have a similar effect for social media exposure. The purpose of our research was to investigate the impact of body appreciation on the relationship between social network sites usage and body dissatisfaction with young adult women and men. An online survey method was employed to collect the data. Participants, who were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk, completed a questionnaire featuring previously developed scales. The multi-item scales featured seven-point, Likert-type items. The data were analyzed using the two-step approach to structural equation modeling. The structural model was used to test the hypotheses. All of the hypotheses were supported. Social networking sites usage was positively related to body dissatisfaction. Fortunately, though, body appreciation did reduce body dissatisfaction as a moderating variable. Because usage of social networking sites is ubiquitous in today’s society, understanding the impact that these sites have on users is important. Our findings indicate that negative outcomes, such as body dissatisfaction, can occur as a result of social networking sites usage. Uncovering ways to limit these negative outcomes, including increasing body appreciation, is vital for young adults’ mental health.
Agliata, D., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (2004). The impact of media exposure on males’ body image. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(1), 7-22.
Anderson, J. C. & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 411-423.
Andrew, R., Tiggemann, M., & Clark, L. (2015). The protective role of body appreciation against media-induced body dissatisfaction. Body Image, 15, 98-104.
Aparicio-Martinez, P., Perea-Moreno, A. J., Martinez-Jimenez, M. P., RedelMacías, M. D., Pagliari, C., & Vaquero-Abellan, M. (2019). Social media, thin-ideal, body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes: An exploratory analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(21), 4177.
Avalos, L., Tylka, T. L., & Wood-Barcalow, N. (2005). The Body Appreciation Scale: Development and psychometric evaluation. Body Image, 2, 285-297. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.06.002
Awang, Z. H. (2012). A handbook in SEM for academicians and practitioners (4th ed.). Kualalumpur: Centre for Graduate Studies, University Teknologi MARA Kelantan.
Blond, A. (2008). Impacts of exposure to images of ideal bodies on male body dissatisfaction: A review. Body Image, 5(3), 244-250.
Bollen, K. A. & Long, J. S. (1993). Testing structural equation models. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S. D. (2011). Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(1), 3-5.
Chaffey, D. (2021). Global social media research summary 2021. Smart Insights. Retrieved from https://www.smartinsights.com/social-mediamarketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/
Cohen, R., & Blaszczynski, A. (2015). Comparative effects of Facebook and conventional media on body image dissatisfaction. Journal of Eating Disorders, 3(1), 23. doi:10.1186/s4033701500613
Duggan, M., & Brenner, J. (2013). The demographics of social media users—2012. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Social-media-users.aspx
Fardouly, J., Diedrichs, P. C., Vartanian, L. R., & Halliwell, E. (2015). Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women’s body image concerns and moods. Body Image, 13, 38-45.
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7(2), 117-140.
Frisén, A., & Holmqvist, K. (2010). What characterizes early adolescents with a positive body image? A qualitative investigation of Swedish girls and boys. Body Image, 7, 205-212.
Georgiev, D. (2021). How much time do people spend on social media in 2021? TechJury. Retrieved from https://techjury.net/blog/timespent-on-social-media/#gref
Gioia, F., Fioravanti, G., Casale, S., & Boursier, V. (2021). The effects of the fear of missing out on people’s social networking sites use during the COVID-19 pandemic: The mediating role of online relational closeness and individuals’ online communication attitude. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 1-11. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.620442
Grabe, S., Ward, L. M., & Hyde, J. (2008). The role of media in body image concerns among women: A meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies. Psychological Bulletin, 134(3), 460-476.
Groesz, L. M., Levine, M.P., & Murnen, S. (2002). The effect of experimental presentation of thin media images on body satisfaction: A meta analytic review. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 31(1),1-16.
Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1998). Multivariate data analysis (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Halliwell, E. (2013). The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction: Does body appreciation protect women from negative effects? Body Image, 10, 509-514.
Heider, N., Spruyt, A., & De Houwer, J. (2018). Body dissatisfaction revisited: On the importance of implicit beliefs about actual and ideal body image. Psychologica Belgica, 57(4), 158–173. doi:10.5334/pb.362
Holmqvist, K., & Frisén, A. (2012). “I bet they aren’t that perfect inreality:” Appearance ideals viewed from the perspective of adolescents with a positive body image. Body Image, 9(3), 388-395.
Jarman, H. K., Marques, M. D., McLean, S. A., Slater, A., & Paxton, S. J. (2021). Social media, body satisfaction and well-being among adolescents: A mediation model of appearance-ideal internalization and comparison. Body Image, 36, 139-148. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.11.005
Junco, R. (2012). The relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement. Computer Education, 58(11), 162-171.
Kangur, K. (2021). Top 15 most popular social networking sites and apps. Dreamgrow. Retrieved from https://www.dreamgrow.com/top15-most-popular-social-networking-sites/
Kim, J. W. (2018). Facebook use for profile maintenance and social grooming and young Korean women’s appearance comparison with peers and body image concerns. Social Media+Society, 4(2), 1-11. doi: 2056305118772835
Kim, J. W., & Chock, T. M. (2015). Body image 2.0: Associations between social grooming on Facebook and body image concerns. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 331-339. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.01.009
Kim, S-H., & Chen-Yu, J. (2005) Discount store patronage: A comparison between South Korea and the United States. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 23, 165-179.
Knobloch-Westerwick, S. (2015). Thinspiration: Self-improvement versus self-evaluation social comparisons with thin-ideal media portrayals. Health Communication, 30(11), 1089-1101.
Mabe, A., Forney, K. J., & Keel. P. (2014). Do you “like” my photo? Facebook maintains eating disorder risk. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47, 516-523.
Marcoulides, G. A. & Hershberger, S. L. (1997). Multivariate statistical methods. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Maskarinec, G., Novotny, R., & Tasaki, K. (2000). Dietary patterns are associated with body mass index in multiethnic women. The Journal of Nutrition, 130, 3068-3072.
Mason, W., & Suri, S. (2012). Conducting behavioral research on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 1-23.
McFarland, M. B., & Petrie, T. A. (2012). Male body satisfaction: Factorial and construct validity of the Body Parts Satisfaction Scale for men. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(2), 329-337.
Mingoia, J., Hutchinson, A. D., Wilson, C., & Gleaves, D. H. (2017). The relationship between social networking site use and the internalization of a thin ideal in females: A meta-analytic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1-10. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01351
Mulgrew, K. E., & Hennes, S. M. (2015). The effect of functionality- and aesthetic-focused images on Australian women’s body satisfaction. Sex Roles, 72, 127-139. doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0440-2
Nouri, M., Hill, L., & Orrell-Valente, J. (2011). Media exposure, internalization of the thin ideal, and body dissatisfaction: Comparing Asian American and European American college females. Body Image, 8, 366-372.
Perloff, R. M. (2014). Social media effects on young women’s body image concerns: Theoretical perspectives and an agenda for research. Sex Roles, 71, 363-377. doi 10.1007/s11199-014-0384-6
Pew Research Center. (2013). Social networking fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/
Pew Research Center. (2019). Share of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/10/shareof-u-s-adults-using-social-media-including-facebook-is-mostlyunchanged-since-2018/.
Pew Research Center. (2021). Social media fact sheet. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/?menuItem=45b45364-d5e4-4f53-bf01-b77106560d4c
Ryding, F. C., & Kuss, D. J. (2020). The use of social networking sites, body image dissatisfaction, and body dysmorphic disorder: A systematic review of psychological research. Psychology of Popular Media, 9(4), 412.
Sagioglou, C., & Greitemeyer, T. (2014). Facebook’s emotional consequences: Why Facebook causes a decrease in mood and why people still use it. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 359-363.
Smith, A. R., James, J. L., & Joiner, T. E. (2013). Status update: Maladaptive Facebook usage predicts increases in body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 149(1-3),235-240.
Spettigue, W., & Henderson, K. A. (2004). Eating disorders and the role of the media. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 13(1), 16-19.
Stice, E., & Shaw, H. E. (2002). Role of body dissatisfaction in the onset and maintenance of eating pathology: A synthesis of research findings. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 53(5), 985-993.
Steiger, J. H. (1990). Structural model evaluation and modification: An interval estimation approach. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 25, 173-180.
Stronge, S., Greaves, L. M., Milojev, P., West-Newman, T., Barlow, F. K., & Sibley, C. G. (2015). Facebook is linked to body dissatisfaction: Comparing users and non-users. Sex Roles, 73, 200-213.
Tankovska, H. (2021). Facebook: Number of daily active users worldwide 2011-2021. Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/346167/facebook-global-dau/
Thompson, J. K., Heinberg, L., & Tantleff, S. (1991). The Physical Appearance Comparison Scale (PACS). The Behavior Therapist, 14, 174.
Thompson, J. K., van den Berg, P., Roehrig, M., Guarda, A. S., & Heinberg, L. J. (2004). The Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Scale-3 (SATAQ-3): Development and validation. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 35(3), 293-304. doi:10.1002/eat.10257
Tiggemann, M., & McGill, B. (2004). The role of social comparison in the effect of magazine advertisements on women’s mood and body dissatisfaction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(1), 23-44.
Tiggemann, M., & Miller, J. (2010). The internet and adolescent girls’ weight satisfaction and drive for thinness. Sex Roles, 63(1), 79-90.
Tiggemann, M., & Slater, A. (2013). NetGirls: The Internet, Facebook, and body image concern in adolescent girls. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46(6), 630-633.
Tosun, L. (2012). Motives for Facebook use and expressing “true self” on the Internet. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(4), 1510-1517.
Trekels, J., & Eggermont, S. (2017). Beauty is good: The appearance culture, the internalization of appearance ideals, and dysfunctional appearance beliefs among tweens. Human Communication Research, 43(2), 173-192.
Tufekci, Z. (2008). Grooming, gossip, Facebook and MySpace: What can we learn about these sites from those who won’t assimilate? Information, Communication & Society, 11, 544-564.
Tylka T. L., & Wood-Barcalow, N. L. (2015). The Body Appreciation Scale-2: Item refinement and psychometric evaluation. Body Image, 12, 53-67.
Wang, Y., Fardouly, J., Vartanian, L. R., & Lei, L. (2019). Selfie-viewing and facial dissatisfaction among Chinese adolescents: A moderated mediation model of general attractiveness internalization and body appreciation. Body Image, 30, 35-43.
Wood-Barcalow, N. L., Tylka, T. L., & Augustus-Horvath, C. L. (2010). “But I like my body:” Positive body image characteristics and a holistic model for young-adult women. Body Image, 7(2), 106-116.
Yao, L., Niu, G., & Sun, X. (2021). Body image comparisons on social networking sites and Chinese female college students’ restrained eating: The roles of body shame, body appreciation, and body mass index. Sex Roles, 84(7), 465-476.