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Idealised media images: The effect of fitspiration imagery on body satisfaction and exercise behaviour

Published on Sep 1, 2017in Body Image3.12
· DOI :10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.06.001
Lily Robinson1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Flinders University),
Ivanka Prichard11
Estimated H-index: 11
(RMIT: RMIT University)
+ 3 AuthorsMarika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University)
Cite
Abstract
Abstract Recent studies have documented a shift in the cultural ideal of physical attractiveness, with women subscribing to a visibly toned ideal that emphasises health and fitness. The present study experimentally investigated the impact of athletic and muscular fitness-idealised images compared to traditional thin ideal images on women’s body dissatisfaction and exercise behaviour, under the framework of Social Comparison Theory. Participants were 106 female undergraduate students randomly assigned to view one of three sets of images (thin ideal, athletic ideal, or muscular ideal) followed by a bout of exercise. Acute exposure to athletic ideal and thin ideal images led to increased body dissatisfaction, but exposure to muscular ideal images did not. Relative to thin ideal images, fitness-idealised images did not motivate participants to engage in higher levels of exercise suggesting that this type of fitness inspiration might not motivate actual exercise behaviour.
  • References (43)
  • Citations (17)
Cite
References43
Newest
Published on Jul 1, 2018in Journal of Health Psychology2.26
Marika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University),
Mia Zaccardo3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Flinders University)
‘Fitspiration’ is an online trend designed to inspire viewers towards a healthier lifestyle by promoting exercise and healthy food. This study provides a content analysis of fitspiration imagery on the social networking site Instagram. A set of 600 images were coded for body type, activity, objectification and textual elements. Results showed that the majority of images of women contained only one body type: thin and toned. In addition, most images contained objectifying elements. Accordingly, w...
Published on May 4, 2017in Health Communication1.85
Courtney C. Simpson6
Estimated H-index: 6
(VCU: Virginia Commonwealth University),
Suzanne E. Mazzeo30
Estimated H-index: 30
(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 Cognit...
Published on Mar 29, 2017in Journal of Medical Internet Research4.95
Elise R. Carrotte8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Burnet Institute),
Ivanka Prichard11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Flinders University),
Megan S. C. Lim20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Burnet Institute)
Background: “Fitspiration” (also known as “fitspo”) aims to inspire individuals to exercise and be healthy, but emerging research indicates exposure can negatively impact female body image. Fitspiration is frequently accessed on social media; however, it is currently unclear the degree to which messages about body image and exercise differ by gender of the subject. Objective: The aim of our study was to conduct a content analysis to identify the characteristics of fitspiration content posted acr...
Published on Nov 1, 2016in Leisure Studies1.38
Stephanie T. Jong2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Flinders University),
Murray Drummond16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Flinders University)
AbstractWhile previous studies have investigated online health communities and health-seeking behaviours, less attention has been directed at the growing impact of the online fitness movement. This paper draws on the concept of biopedagogies to examine the messages transmitted within fitness culture on social networking sites (SNSs), and their role as a channel for health and fitness information. To explore this, a multi-method approach was conducted. The two methods included a netnography (onli...
Stephanie T. Jong2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Flinders University),
Murray Drummond16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Flinders University)
ABSTRACTAt an age identified as the period with the most intense focus on appearance, and where young girls are establishing their identity, it appears that social networking site (SNS) interactions are playing a pivotal role in determining what is, and what is not, socially endorsed. This paper draws on data obtained during five separate focus group interviews with a total of 28 middle school aged girls from three South Australian schools. Results indicated that feedback from other SNS users wa...
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Body Image3.12
Leah Boepple3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USF: University of South Florida),
Rheanna N. Ata5
Estimated H-index: 5
(USF: University of South Florida)
+ 1 AuthorsJ. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(USF: University of South Florida)
Abstract “Fitspiration” websites are media that aim to inspire people to live healthy and fit lifestyles through motivating images and text related to exercise and diet. Given the link between similar Internet content (i.e., healthy living blogs) and problematic messages, we hypothesized that content on these sites would over-emphasize appearance and promote problematic messages regarding exercise and diet. Keywords “fitspo” and “fitspiration” were entered into search engines. The first 10 image...
Published on Mar 1, 2016in Body Image3.12
Robin A. Ramme2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Griffith University),
Caroline L. Donovan17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Griffith University),
Hayley S. Bell2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Griffith University)
Abstract The tripartite model has been an important and empirically supported theoretical model positing that the influence of peers, family, and media leads women to internalise the thin societal body ideal. This internalisation in turn leads women to experience body dissatisfaction. Recently, a new societal ‘athletic ideal’ for women has emerged, which promotes a body frame with pronounced lean muscle mass. This study tested the role of the athletic ideal in the tripartite model of influence w...
Published on Jan 1, 2016in International Journal of Eating Disorders3.52
Leah Boepple3
Estimated H-index: 3
(USF: University of South Florida),
J. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(USF: University of South Florida)
Objective “Pro-ana” or Thinspiration websites are internet sites that support weight loss and eating disorders. Fitspiration websites are a newer type of site that supposedly advocates a fit and healthy lifestyle. Method The first 10 images from a sample of 50 Fitspiration and 50 Thinspiration websites, chosen using a standard internet search protocol, were rated on a variety of weight, eating, and appearance characteristics. χ2 analyses were conducted to compare website content. Results Thinspi...
Published on Sep 1, 2015in Body Image3.12
Marika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University),
Mia Zaccardo3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Flinders University)
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...
Published on Jul 31, 2015
Linda Smolak40
Estimated H-index: 40
(Kenyon College),
Michael P. Levine30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Kenyon College)
Cited By17
Newest
Published on Oct 1, 2019in Computers in Human Behavior4.31
Cheng-Ting Peng , Tai-Yee Wu1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 1 AuthorsDavid J. Atkin24
Estimated H-index: 24
Abstract This study examines the effects of Instagram fitspiration images on male viewers' work out intention by integrating the processes of social comparison and social cognitive theory. The results from 1428 Instagram users in Taiwan, with the directions of comparison (upward, lateral, and downward) manipulated, indicate that upward comparisons with attractive models would strengthen self-improvement motives related to working out. In addition, pleasant affective responses to the images and o...
Published on Sep 1, 2019in Body Image3.12
Ar’Reon Watson , Sarah K. Murnen24
Estimated H-index: 24
Abstract Recent evidence suggests that the ideal female body has shifted from an ultra-thin image toward one that is both thin and toned, or muscular. Furthermore, the ideal male body may be more athletic, characterized by moderate muscularity combined with leanness, than bodybuilder-muscular. Thus, we experimentally examined women’s ( n = 92) and men’s ( n = 106) cognitive processing style in response to idealized body types, i.e., thin images, athletic images (thin and muscular), or hyper-musc...
Published on Sep 1, 2019in Body Image3.12
Scott Griffiths14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Melbourne),
Ashleigh Stefanovski (University of Melbourne)
Abstract We used experience sampling to examine thinspiration and fitspiration in the everyday lives of women and men. Undergraduates ( N = 108, 21% men) completed a 1-week smartphone-facilitated experience sampling protocol containing self-report measures of thinspiration and fitspiration exposure, body satisfaction, and affective functioning. Multi-level, gender-adjusted models examined the unique and interactive associations of exposure to thinspiration and fitspiration. Women reported a week...
Published on Sep 1, 2019in Body Image3.12
Vivienne M. Hazzard1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UM: University of Michigan),
Lauren M. Schaefer9
Estimated H-index: 9
+ 5 AuthorsJ. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(USF: University of South Florida)
Abstract This cross-sectional study explored similarities and differences between heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women in levels of, and relationships between, the following constructs using a Tripartite Influence Model framework: family, peer, and media appearance pressures, thin- and muscular-ideal internalization, and eating disorder (ED) pathology. Self-identified heterosexual ( n = 1,528), bisexual ( n = 89), and lesbian ( n = 278) undergraduate women completed the Sociocultural Attitu...
Gustavo González-Calvo4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Valeria Varea4
Estimated H-index: 4
This article explores the intersectionalities of masculinity, fatherhood, and physical activity in relation to a Physical Education teacher who has been diagnosed with an illness. In so doing, we draw on autobiographical narratives to delve into how embodied subjectivities are constructed to advance knowledge on a new embodied way of being a man and a PE teacher that can be accepted and embraced. The results are organised into three main themes: (1) narratives of continuation: the “before” of ch...
Beth T. Bell6
Estimated H-index: 6
(York St John University),
Nova Deighton-Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(LBU: Leeds Beckett University),
Megan Hurst3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Sussex)
Adolescents access information about fitness, including content labelled as #fitspiration, through social media. Seventy-seven adolescents (M age = 12.49; SD = 0.55; Girls = 27) participated in semi-structured focus groups to explore their perspectives on #fitspiration and fitness more broadly. Through inductive thematic analysis, four themes were developed: (1) Fitness enhances physical function and appearance, but these are not always linked, (2) Fitness is transformative but requires hard wor...
Published on Feb 6, 2019in New Media & Society4.80
Rachel Cohen3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UTS: University of Technology, Sydney),
Jasmine Fardouly9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Macquarie University)
+ 1 AuthorsAmy Slater21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of the West of England)
Body-positive content on social media aims to challenge mainstream beauty ideals and encourage acceptance and appreciation of all body types. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of vi...
Published on Jun 13, 2019in Journal of Health Psychology2.26
Priyanjali Ratwatte (UCB: University of Buckingham), Emily Mattacola (UCB: University of Buckingham)
The ‘Fitspiration’ movement may endorse problematic body image and behaviour. This study aims to expand the understanding of ‘fitspiration’ by examining its presence on YouTube. Analysis was conduc...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Body Image3.12
Diana E. Betz3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Loyola University Maryland),
Natalie J. Sabik6
Estimated H-index: 6
(URI: University of Rhode Island),
Laura R. Ramsey9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Bridgewater State University)
Abstract Body dissatisfaction and self-objectification can arise when women view idealized thin bodies, as well as idealized athletic or curvy bodies. State-level social comparisons have been shown to mediate such effects, with mixed evidence for the moderating role of trait-level social comparison. An experiment tested the hypotheses that viewing messages idealizing thin, athletic, and curvy bodies would be associated with greater state social comparison as compared to a body acceptance conditi...