Broadening the Scope of Social Media Effect Research on Body Image Concerns

Broadening the Scope of Social Media Effect Research on Body Image Concerns The article “Social media effects on young women’s body image concerns: Theoretical perspectives and an agenda for research” by Perloff (2014) extends the study of media effects on women’s body image concerns by including social media. His article is important because of the increasing use and unique nature of social media, and it can provide an avenue for future research. The main focus of this commentary is to critically examine the arguments of Perloff (2014) and to provide suggestions on how to extend his model. We begin by emphasizing the importance of culture on body image and provide a theoretical extension based on the theoretical construct of self-construal. Next, we propose to differentiate social media use as motivated by general social media use (e.g., socializing and entertainment) from that driven by specific needs related to body image concerns (e.g., pro-eating disorder sites). In addition, we suggest differentiating mere exposure to content from the active use of social media, such as commenting and posting. Finally, we recommend advancing the research on body image beyond the thin ideal because body dissatisfaction can be related to various body parts (e.g., breast size, skin color, and eye shape), and we recommend including participants beyond adolescence, integrating multiple methods, and conducting research on interventions. The aim of this commentary is not to provide a framework for specific cultures or social contexts, but to offer suggestions that encourage researchers to broaden the scope of research on body image concerns. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Broadening the Scope of Social Media Effect Research on Body Image Concerns

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-014-0406-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The article “Social media effects on young women’s body image concerns: Theoretical perspectives and an agenda for research” by Perloff (2014) extends the study of media effects on women’s body image concerns by including social media. His article is important because of the increasing use and unique nature of social media, and it can provide an avenue for future research. The main focus of this commentary is to critically examine the arguments of Perloff (2014) and to provide suggestions on how to extend his model. We begin by emphasizing the importance of culture on body image and provide a theoretical extension based on the theoretical construct of self-construal. Next, we propose to differentiate social media use as motivated by general social media use (e.g., socializing and entertainment) from that driven by specific needs related to body image concerns (e.g., pro-eating disorder sites). In addition, we suggest differentiating mere exposure to content from the active use of social media, such as commenting and posting. Finally, we recommend advancing the research on body image beyond the thin ideal because body dissatisfaction can be related to various body parts (e.g., breast size, skin color, and eye shape), and we recommend including participants beyond adolescence, integrating multiple methods, and conducting research on interventions. The aim of this commentary is not to provide a framework for specific cultures or social contexts, but to offer suggestions that encourage researchers to broaden the scope of research on body image concerns.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 22, 2014

References

  • Effects of exposure to thin-ideal media images on body dissatisfaction: Testing the inclusing of a disclaimer versus warning label
    Ata, RN; Thompson, JK; Small, BJ
  • Exposure to sexually objectifying media and body self-perceptions among college women: An examination of the selective exposure hypothesis and the role of moderating variables
    Aubrey, JS
  • Television, disordered eating, and young women in Fiji: Negotiating body image and identity during rapid social change
    Becker, AE
  • Age is no barrier to wanting to look good: Women on body image, age and advertising
    Borland, H; Akram, S
  • Gender and age group differences in mass media and interpersonal influences on body dissatisfaction among Chinese adolescents
    Chen, H; Jackson, T
  • Appearance culture in nine- to 12-year-old girls: Media and peer influences on body dissatisfaction
    Clark, L; Tiggemann, M
  • The widespread use of skin lightening creams in Senegal: A persistent public health problem in West Africa
    Giudice, P; Yves, P
  • Cosmetic surgery: A common and accepted form of self-improvement
    Delinsky, SS
  • Body image concerns in young girls: The role of peers and media prior to adolescence
    Dohnt, HK; Tiggemann, M
  • Re-vision of older television characters: A stereotype-awareness intervention
    Donlon, MM; Ashman, O; Levy, BR
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    Ferguson, C; Muñoz, M; Garza, A; Galindo, M
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    Furnham, A; Dias, M; McClelland, A
  • Portrayals of overweight and obese individuals on commercial television
    Greenberg, BS; Eastin, M; Hofschire, L; Lachlan, K; Brownell, KD
  • Body dissatisfaction: Can a short media literacy message reduce negative media exposure effects amongst adolescent girls
    Halliwell, E; Easun, A; Harcourt, D
  • Ageing and the pursuit of slimness: Dietary restraint and weight satisfaction in elderly women
    Hetherington, MM; Burnett, L
  • Fat stigmatization in television shows and movies: A content analysis
    Himes, SM; Thompson, JK

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