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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)
Sources
Abstract
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...
  • References (40)
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#1Leah Boepple (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 3
#2J. Kevin Thompson (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 71
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#1Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick (OSU: Ohio State University)H-Index: 28
Much research has demonstrated negative impacts of idealized-body imagery exposure on body satisfaction. Yet, paradoxically, media with such imagery attract mass audiences. Few studies showed women’s body satisfaction increased due to thin-ideal exposure. The kind of social comparison women engage in (self-evaluation vs. self-improvement) may explain these inconsistent findings and the paradoxical attraction to thin-ideal messages. Across 5 days, thin-ideal messages were presented to 51 women; s...
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#1Marika Tiggemann (Flinders University)H-Index: 76
#2Mia Zaccardo (Flinders University)H-Index: 3
Abstract Fitspiration is an online trend designed to inspire viewers towards a healthier lifestyle by promoting exercise and healthy food. The present study aimed to experimentally investigate the impact of fitspiration images on women's body image. Participants were 130 female undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to view either a set of Instagram fitspiration images or a control set of travel images presented on an iPad. Results showed that acute exposure to fitspiration images led...
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#1Marla E. Eisenberg (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 55
#2Ashley Carlson-Mcguire (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 1
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#1Jannath Ghaznavi (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 2
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#1Marika Tiggemann (Flinders University)H-Index: 76
#2Amy Slater (Flinders University)H-Index: 23
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#1Richard M. Perloff (CSU: Cleveland State University)H-Index: 20
Although there is a voluminous literature on mass media effects on body image concerns of young adult women in the U.S., there has been relatively little theoretically-driven research on processes and effects of social media on young women’s body image and self-perceptions. Yet given the heavy online presence of young adults, particularly women, and their reliance on social media, it is important to appreciate ways that social media can influence perceptions of body image and body image disturba...
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#1Gregory D. Saxton (UB: University at Buffalo)H-Index: 20
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