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Table of Contents
Introduction: 2
Literature Review: 6
Purpose, Objective and Hypothesis
Purpose: 12
Objective: 12
Hypothesis: 13
Methods: 14
Discussion: 18
Limitations and Strengths: 18
Conclusion: 19
References: 21
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Introduction
The prevalence of social media use in the past decade is associated with various
psychological well-being variables. Statistics from Pew Research Center, (2020) reveal that
96% of teenagers aged between 12 and 17 years old own or have access to a smartphone. The
reports indicate that 85% of these populations use Instagram while 49% use Snapchat. Various
studies suggest that access to social media negatively affects body image perceptions,
especially in young women (Taylor-Jackson & Moustafa, 2021; Fardouly & Vartanian, 2016).
Exposure to social media content subconsciously defines and sets standards of beauty for the
users and effectively causes a user to compare themselves with influencers and other users of
social media. A study in the UK found that about 90% of women compared themselves to
women on social media, and 45% were reported to get depressed due to maladaptive body
comparison (Statista, 2019). In that regard, this study aims to establish that the deep
comparison of physical appearance among young women has psychological consequences on
the woman’s body image. More importantly, it investigates the interventions for healthy
communication and behavior change that would effectively address maladaptive body
comparison in young women. The research will be divided into age, geographic distribution,
and gender of the most vulnerable population in relation to social media and body image
contexts.
“Body Image” is a concept that has varied definitions in the literature. In this research,
body image refers to an individual’s reflection of body appearance. Body image entails body
dissatisfaction, self -objectification, and a drive for masculinity or even for thinness (Hawi &
Samaha, 2017). Social media is an online interactive platform where people from diverse
backgrounds, appearances, and different gender interact (Taylor-Jackson & Moustafa, 2021).
Various social media platforms include Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok.
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Reports by statistics in 2019 estimated that more than 46 million people aged between 12 and
24 years had active Snapchat accounts. Followed by 20 million Instagram and 2.6 million
Facebook users (Statista, 2019). These social media platforms have specific features that
allow the instantaneous sharing of personalized images and short videos. Thus, more and
more people are prompted to interact on these social media platforms to view or share short
videos and photos. The photos and short videos shared on these platforms can inherently set
appearance standards, leading social media users to engage in a maladaptive body comparison
process.
The issue of social media and body image is salient among young women. Social media
portrays less curvy, tall, thin women as ideal. Even though this physique is unrealistic to
achieve, most individuals pursue it at the expense of healthy eating leading to eating disorders
in women. The women’s most affected age group is those between thirteen and twenty-four
years old (Taylor-Jackson & Moustafa, 2021). Men are also affected by social media as the
ideal body type is to be muscular and strong. Thus, the vulnerable population is people who
are not proud of their appearances. The most affected population are those influenced by
western cultures. The most affected demographics are female and male students in high school
or those in undergraduate programs (Taylor-Jackson & Moustafa, 2021).
According to Fardouly & Vartanian, 2016), UK hospital admission cases caused by
eating disorders have doubled from 8000 in 2012. This UK-based report coincides with an
analysis of eating disorders between 2000 and 2006 in the USA (Saiphoo & Vahedi, 2019).
The data showed an exponential increment in eating disorders by 18% (Saiphoo & Vahedi,
2019). Interestingly, these reports overlap with the emergence of social media in 2000. The
problems of body image lead to low self-esteem and may cause depression. A study showed a
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high correlation between social media use and increased feelings of loneliness, isolation,
degraded self-concept, and anxiety ( Farrell & Sood, 2020). As the mental issues related to
social media and body image continue to increase, several psychologists have recommended
the need to disconnect from social media and have a positive mindset when reflecting on one’s
body. However, these interventions cannot address the undermining issue that causes people
to compare themselves with strangers on social media.
In an overview of Social Media and Body Image Concerns conducted by Fardouly and
Vartanian (2016), correlational studies revealed an association between social media use and
boy image in both men and women. This association was expected to strengthen over time, as
established by longitudinal studies. However, experimental evidence revealed that exposure to
one personal Facebook did not negatively affect a young woman’s perceptions of appearance.
The research does not, however, provide the aspects of social media that are influential on
people’s body image. In another study, Hawi & Samaha (2016) investigated the relationships
between social media addiction and self-esteem and life satisfaction among university
students. The Rosenberg self-esteem scale and satisfaction life scale were used alongside
questionnaires to collect data through the online survey. Pearson correlation and regression
were also used to analyze data. The data revealed a negative relationship between social
media addiction and self-esteem, mediating life dissatisfaction. Even though the study
establishes a concrete connection between social media use and negative self-esteem, it does
not investigate therapeutic or preventive strategies to address the problem.
Social media use in the last decade has increased concern about psychological
well-being. Exposure to social media content subconsciously affects how a person defines
beauty. Consequently, social media content affects our perception of body image. Body image
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concerns lead to an eating disorder, low self-esteem, and depression. Existing research has
established how the impact of social media affects individuals’ body image across age and
gender and how the problem of body image is related to psychological issues of low
self-esteem and depression. However, there is no knowledge of social media aspects that
influence body image. Also, no preventive strategies have been put forth to protect the effect of
social media on body image. The current study aims at understanding aspects of social media
that influence body image and approach interventions for healthy communication and behavior
change.
Literature Review
The emphasis on appearance and body type has not just begun. It has been around for a
long time in all of our communities. It is possible to say that the history of beauty and body form
dates back a very long period. Research has since been done to examine the cultural and social
elements that influence the development of an ideal body image. According to the study’s
findings, western civilization significantly contributed to developing a slender ideal body image.
Social media and other forms of media, such as mass media, promote this ideal body image. The
transmission of the thin-ideal body image can be linked to websites, television shows, and
fashion and beauty publications. This essay investigates how social media affects how people
perceive the ideal body image, particularly among women.
Recent changes in social media have had a significant influence on the 21st century.
Social media makes people feel less confident in themselves and how others see them (Kleemans
et al., 2018). Web-based media has negatively affected society, making people feel that they are
not attractive enough, especially young women and girls. However, many campaigns have been
launched via online media to dispel the notion that people must modify their appearance to fit in
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and be seen as attractive. The researchers discovered a link between media use and ideal body
image development. Additionally, a poll of college-aged women was conducted to gather data,
and it was discovered that social media motivates one to modify their physique. The researchers
discovered weak associations between these variables.
The precise effects of social media have recently been the subject of several studies and
analyses by scholars. Most studies on the impact of social media on the development of an ideal
body image have focused on how little young girls and women are affected by the use of online
media and the objectives it sets. People can also explore their self-perception through online
platforms by making cruel and disrespectful comments about those who upload their images.
People who use social media for good frequently explain how online media inhibits
self-perception and forces people to reconsider their beauty: The internet has created a sense of
secrecy where people believe it is OK to make comments about the appearance of others. By
posting the images online so that anybody may view them for themselves, it appears as though
the words are harmless and that they were requested. Analysts frequently see a social comparison
among users of internet media, which can make people feel as though they are not good enough
in their own eyes. Researchers conclude that the comparison between social image and
physicality alludes to psychological assessments that people make about their credentials
compared to others. Young women and women frequently visit wellness sites on social media,
that include images of women of every size who are thought to have “beautiful bodies,” which
they get by exercising and eating less (Burnette, Kwitowski, & Mazzeo, 2017). Even when they
occasionally practice appropriate tendencies, it is only when the camera is pointed in their
direction that their body seems more attractive and gorgeous.
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Naturally, girls and women want to look their best. However, they usually approach this
goal incorrectly by making nutritional mistakes and considering less healthy, quicker ways to
lose weight. Social media users explain in detail how web-based media may affect people’s
beliefs about the ideal self-perception; kids need to look for variation while using online media.
Chronic phases must demonstrate your preferences, and once they have thought about what you
would desire, they typically carry on as normal to satisfy you. They decide which offers or pages
to propose to you, depending on your preferences. Let us say someone loves and comments on
the sites of people with conventional tastes. In that situation, you will only be shown comparable
pages that support your “standard” and never with images or thoughts that go against it. Due to
gender stereotypes and the role that sexual orientation plays, young women and women tend to
assume that outer beauty takes precedence over internal qualities. With this common societal
misunderstanding, more young women and women can adapt to the generalization of genuine
interest. With the increased use of online media, the stereotypes have only gotten worse, leaving
younger girls and children wondering if they are good enough for society.
With the growth of social media, it has become more difficult to ignore the various
celebrities who constantly publish stunning photos showcasing what is unquestionably the ideal
physique and flawless faces. Scientists explain how women who browse online media feel that
other women who post are better than they are because the images in online media postings are
the most distinctive and alluring. These pictures are updated often and do not always represent
how the person will look. Little girls and women are left with uneasy feelings about themselves
when they view images on web media, especially those that hotshot their real credits (Mills et al.,
2018). This demonstrates how social media may lead to both mental and nutritional problems,
which may discourage women and erode their self-confidence. Many young women and ladies
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are being influenced by factors like TV and movies, models, and celebrity endorsements to
admire new body images. When you consider that young people are used in adult advertisements
without the “problem” of muscle vs. fat or wrinkles and that bodies are artificially glamorized,
you can see how difficult it is for your child to maintain a positive self-perception. One wonders
how we might address this troubling issue because of the huge impact that superstars and internet
media have on how young women view their bodies. The use of all these elements in social
media impacts young women and women whose bodies they adore to be sculpted in the same
way.
The study found that some young women and girls affected by body photos on social
media go to plastic surgeons to have their bodies molded into the perfect shape they desire. As a
result, these plastic surgeons have significantly impacted how women view their bodies.
Recently, plastic surgeons have shown off how they alter bodies by clamping off fat and carving
genuine ascribes on websites like Snapchat and Instagram (Ryding & Kuss, 2020). These experts
spread the false notion that you can buy the physique you want through social media. While
plastic surgery can be useful in extreme instances, many women currently have the operation
done when all they need is a change in their way of life. The paper “Web-based Media and the
Plastic Surgery Patient” discusses how plastic surgeons are starting to videotape their medical
operations and post them on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. While using
internet media as a teaching tool, these professionals also use it as a marketing strategy to inform
the general public about their medical treatments. However, using online platforms to promote
their practice as plastic surgeons may harm young women. Body-upgrading medical operations
are the ones that are typically performed on video and posted to social media. Ladies are curious
as to what their bodies would seem like if they visited the professionals they see in the media.
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Twenty-five percent were highly interested in seeing when images were shown for the top three
materials on a plastic specialist’s website, while fifty-five percent were curious. The study of
what people are required to see is how experts alter bodies by removing fat, contouring hips and
buttocks, and adding breast size. More cosmetic surgeons are using internet media, creating a stir
and increasing the number of plastic surgeries. Additionally, this leads more women to compare
their bodies to others, making them believe that their bodies are underdeveloped and require
more modeling.
As individuals utilize their bodies for social comparison, particularly among women,
social media has had far too many negative effects on how people view their bodies. However,
several recent initiatives encourage young girls and women to appreciate their bodies as they
have developed. Top fashion manufacturers have made it their business to use models with a
wide range of body types to provide a more accurate representation of what women look like.
The focus of the purpose is on helping people embrace their identities and learn to love their
bodies through online media. Researchers explain how important it is for young people to have
body inspiration to believe they are attractive (Hogue & Mills, 2019). It also emphasizes how
young people do not need to attain the flawlessness shown in the media since such representation
is inaccurate. In the same way, self-perception is explored through online media when users can
berate and belittle others who share their images. Scientists continue to explain how internet
media undermines self-perception and causes users to continually question their greatness. The
internet has created a sense of secrecy where people believe that it is acceptable to make
comments about the appearance of others. As if posting the images online would “request it,” as
if the words were harmless and everyone could decide for themselves. Even though
self-perception mostly focuses on body weight, it also encompasses many other characteristics
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that make people unique, such as skin color, real abnormalities, and the list. Through online
media, the body-positive goal continues to grow and may provide people with a positive example
to follow.
In conclusion, there is a strong connection between social media and body image. Social
media has altered people’s conceptions of their bodies, and they hold these conceptions to be
ideal. Social media frequently misleads individuals by portraying an idealized image of a
beautiful physique. Our bodies in real life differ from the body pictures we see on social media.
Most young women and girls are influenced by and aspire to the social media representation of
how to mold their bodies and seem. To define what constitutes a beautiful body, many people
have started attempting to compare their bodies to those displayed on social media. Many people,
especially young women and girls, seek body alterations from cosmetic surgeons due to their
impression of the ideal physique when they contrast it with others on social media. Some people
have modified their diets to incorporate extracurricular activities to achieve the ideal body image
they aspire to. As a result, awareness efforts about the body have occasionally grown to show
how social media misleads people about what constitutes a beautiful physique. Social media
provides many advantages, but individuals should only use it for things that will benefit
everyone, not for things that will affect our lives.
Purpose
The purpose of a study on the effects of social media on perception of body image is to
understand how social media may influence an individual’s perception of their own body and
appearance. Body image is an individual’s subjective perception of their own body and how it
looks to them. Social media has become a major platform for individuals to present and compare
their own appearance to others, and it is thought that this may have an impact on an individual’s
body image. Some research suggests that social media may contribute to negative body image, as
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individuals may compare their own appearance to the highly edited and often unrealistic images
they see on social media. On the other hand, social media can also be a source of support and
positive body image, as individuals can connect with others who have similar body types and
share their experiences and positive messages about body image. By studying the effects of
social media on perception of body image, researchers can gain a better understanding of how
these platforms may influence individuals’ self-perception and body image, and identify potential
strategies for promoting positive body image on social media.
Objectives
The objective of a study on the effects of social media on perception of body image may
be to identify the specific ways in which social media influences an individual’s perception of
their own body and appearance. This may involve examining how social media usage, content
consumption, and interactions with others on social media platforms may impact body image.
The study may also aim to understand how individual differences, such as age, gender, and
preexisting body image concerns, may influence the relationship between social media and body
image. Additionally, the study may aim to identify potential moderating factors, such as the use
of filters or editing tools that may influence the relationship between social media and body
image. Overall, the objective of a study on the effects of social media on perception of body
image may be to gain a better understanding of the complex relationship between social media
and body image, and to identify potential strategies for promoting positive body image on social
media. This includes identifying factors that contribute to negative body image on social media
and developing interventions and strategies to mitigate their impact; identifying factors that
promote positive body image; May include facilitating use on social media.
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Hypothesis
There are a few potential hypotheses that could be tested in a study on the effects of
social media on the perception of body image. Social media use is associated with negative body
image: This hypothesis suggests that individuals who use social media more frequently or who
are more active on social media platforms are more likely to have a negative body image. This
could be because they are exposed to more images of thin, attractive, or otherwise idealized
bodies on social media, leading them to feel self-conscious or dissatisfied with their own
appearance. Social media use is associated with positive body image: This hypothesis suggests
that individuals who use social media more frequently or who are more active on social media
platforms are more likely to have a positive body image. This could be because they are able to
connect with others who have similar body types or experiences and find support and acceptance
through these online communities. Social media use moderates the relationship between body
image and self-esteem: This hypothesis suggests that social media use may influence the
relationship between an individual’s body image and self-esteem. For example, people who use
social media frequently are more likely to have negative body images when exposed to more
idealized bodies on social media, but who are supported and accepted by online communities.
When you feel like that, your self-esteem can also increase. Social Media Use Moderates the
Relationship between Body Image and Mental Health: This hypothesis suggests that social media
use may reduce a person’s body image and mental health outcomes such as depression and
anxiety. Suggest that it can affect relationships. For example, high social media users are more
likely to have negative body images when exposed to idealized bodies on social media but are
more likely to be supported and accepted by their communities by their online selves. Feeling
better may also improve mental health outcomes.
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Methods
Social media have permeated all aspects of our life. We use it to interact with friends and
family, to stay up to date on news and information, and even to purchase. It is no wonder,
therefore, that social media influences our body image. The connection between social media
and body image is complicated. On the one hand, social media may help connect with others and
feel more connected to the world. Social media, on the other side, may be a negative factor,
contributing to body image concerns such as eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and
body shaming. This research aims to look at the connection between social media and body
image.
This investigation will specifically look at the various ways social media might influence
body image and the elements that contribute to these impacts. A correlational research strategy
will be used in this investigation. Participants will thus be separated into two groups: individuals
who use social media and those who do not. The IV will reflect the social media platforms used,
while the DV will reflect opinions on body image. Once for the study’s measurement of views on
body image. The social media type is the moderator variable, while self-objectification is the
mediating variable (Mills et al., 2018). A control group will not exist. Participants will act as
their supervisors. Compensation for this study will take the form of a $50 Amazon gift card.
Participants will be recruited through online forums and social media platforms. This research
has the potential to provide light on the interaction between social media and body image.
Understanding the many ways social media may influence body image and the elements that
contribute to these impacts allows us to create treatments to assist people at risk for body image
concerns.
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The target population for this study is university students in the United States. The
participants in this study will be 1000 adults recruited from online panels. The response rate for
this study is inapplicable. The demographic composition of the sample is as follows: female
(45%), male (%), white (40%), African American (5%), Hispanic (2.5%), Asian (3.5%), and
other (4%). The sample is 18 to 24 years (Kelly et al., 2018). The convenience sampling
approach was used for this investigation. The inclusion criteria for this study are that participants
must be university students in the United States, aged 18-25, and use social media. The exclusion
criteria for this study are that participants cannot have any diagnosed mental health conditions
and who are not university students in the United States. Before participating in the study, all
participants will complete an informed consent form.
The instruments that will be used in this study are surveys and questionnaires. The
surveys and questionnaires will measure social media use and body image. The study will be
conducted online. Participants will be recruited through social media and other online platforms.
Once recruited, participants will be given a link to the online survey. The survey will take
approximately 20 minutes to complete (Mills et al., 2018). The questionnaire on social media use
will assess participants’ use of various social media sites. The body image questionnaire will
assess participants’ body satisfaction and body image issues. The self-objectification
questionnaire will assess individuals’ proclivity for self-objectification. The social media use
questionnaire will include questions concerning the participants’ social media use and their
feelings about it. The body image questionnaire will ask participants about their body satisfaction
and body image concerns. The self-objectification questionnaire will ask participants about their
predisposition for self-objectification. The online questionnaire will be housed on a secure
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server. All information will be gathered and stored in a secure database. The data will be
accessible only to the researchers. The information will be kept private and anonymous.
The research will be divided into two sections. Participants will be asked to complete
measures of social media use, body image, and self-objectification in the first half. These
measures’ data will be utilized to analyze the association between social media use and body
image. Participants will be asked to complete a follow-up body image assessment in the second
section. This metric will determine if social media use affects body image over time (Keles et al.,
2020). The study will use a within-subjects design, with social media use and body image as the
dependent variables. The independent variable will be self-objectification. The study will use
SPSS to analyze the data. The p-value that will be used to indicate statistical significance is 0.05.
The participant characteristics that will be collected are age, gender, and social media use.
Descriptive statistics will summarize the data (Kelly et al., 2018). Pearson’s correlation
coefficient will be used in the study to investigate the association between social media use and
body image (Aalbers et al., 2019). A multiple regression analysis will investigate the moderating
function of self-objectification in the link between social media use and body image. The new
study has several advantages. First, questionnaires will allow for the collection of detailed data
on participants’ usage of social media, body image, and self-objectification. Second, using a
within-subjects design reduces the possibility of confounding factors.
Third, using SPSS will enable the implementation of complex statis

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