Skinny Is Not Enough: A Content Analysis of Fitspiration on Pinterest

Published on May 4, 2017in Health Communication1.846
· DOI :10.1080/10410236.2016.1140273
Courtney C. Simpson6
Estimated H-index: 6
(VCU: Virginia Commonwealth University),
Suzanne E. Mazzeo31
Estimated H-index: 31
(VCU: Virginia Commonwealth University)
ABSTRACTFitspiration is a relatively new social media trend nominally intended to promote health and fitness. Fitspiration messages are presented as encouraging; however, they might also engender body dissatisfaction and compulsive exercise. This study analyzed fitspiration content (n = 1050) on the image-based social media platform Pinterest. Independent raters coded the images and text present in the posts. Messages were categorized as appearance- or health-related, and coded for Social Cognitive Theory constructs: standards, behaviors, and outcome expectancies. Messages encouraged appearance-related body image standards and weight management behaviors more frequently than health-related standards and behaviors, and emphasized attractiveness as motivation to partake in such behaviors. Results also indicated that fitspiration messages include a comparable amount of fit praise (i.e., emphasis on toned/defined muscles) and thin praise (i.e., emphasis on slenderness), suggesting that women are not only supp...
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