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The Impact of Different Forms of #fitspiration Imagery on Body Image, Mood, and Self-Objectification among Young Women
Abstract
The present study experimentally examined the impact of different forms of inspirational fitness images (“fitspiration”) on women’s body image. Australian female participants (n = 152, 17–30 years-old; M age = 21.55, SD = 3.94) were randomly assigned to view fitspiration media which depicted the body in a functional (performing exercise) or non-functional (posed) way, with or without accompanying appearance-focused text. There were no main effects of image type or text presence for body satisfaction, mood, or state self-objectification. However, state body satisfaction decreased and negative mood increased over time following exposure to the fitspiration images. Trait self-objectification moderated the impact of image type and text on state body satisfaction, such that viewing functional images presented with appearance-focused text resulted in poorer body satisfaction for women with higher trait self-objectification, but not for those with lower self-objectification. The findings demonstrate that irrespective of focus or presence of text, exposure to fitspiration images decreases body satisfaction and increases negative mood, highlighting the potential negative consequences of engaging with fitspiration media.

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  • References (37)
  • Cited By (6)
2015 in Body Image [IF: 3.60]
Marika Tiggemann72
Estimated H-index: 72
(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...
82 Citations Source Cite
Sarah Grogan24
Estimated H-index: 24
Introduction. Culture and Body Image. The Idealization of Slenderness. The Basis of Body Shape Ideals. The Diet Industry. Recent Cultural Trends. Summary. Women and Body Image. Assessment of Body Image. Behavioural Indicators of Body Dissatisfaction. Social Construction of Femininity. Summary. Men and Body Image. Assessment of Body Image. Behavioral Indicators of Body Dissatisfaction. Social Construction of Masculinity. Summary. Media Effects. Surveys Relating Media Exposure to Body Image. Studi...
896 Citations Source
Eric Stice5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Arizona State University),
Heather Shaw32
Estimated H-index: 32
Although researchers have postulated that the thin-ideal body image portrayed in the media contributes to eating pathology among females, little research has directly examined the effects of these images on women. The central aim of the present study was to experimentally assess the effects of exposure to the thin-ideal on women's affect, body satisfaction, and endorsement of the thin-ideal stereotype. The secondary aim was to link these putative mediators to bulimic symptomatology. Female under...
558 Citations Source Cite
2015 in Body Image [IF: 3.60]
Catherine Benton2
Estimated H-index: 2
(College of Wooster),
Bryan T. Karazsia14
Estimated H-index: 14
(College of Wooster)
Abstract A substantial body of research documents that exposure to images depicting a “thin ideal” body figure effects women's state-oriented body satisfaction. However, there is evidence that the societal ideal body figure of females is evolving to be not just thin, but also muscular or toned. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to test the effect of exposure to ideal body figures that are both thin and muscular on female state body satisfaction. Researchers recruited female participant...
23 Citations Source Cite
2012 in Body Image [IF: 3.60]
Kristin J. Homan9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Grove City College),
Erin McHugh1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Grove City College),
Daniel Wells1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Grove City College)
... more
Abstract Modern ideals of female attractiveness include an extremely toned and fit appearance in addition to extreme thinness. Although viewing thin models has a negative effect on women's body image, research has not tested the effect of exposure to the ultra-fit physique separate from the thin-ideal. This randomized, posttest-only experiment tested the effects of the athletic aspect of the current ideal by exposing 138 undergraduate women to thin and athletic models, normal weight athletic mod...
65 Citations Source Cite
Stephanie M. Noll4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Duke University),
Barbara L. Fredrickson63
Estimated H-index: 63
(University of Michigan)
This study tests a mediational model of disordered eating derived from objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). The model proposes that the emotion of body shame mediates the relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating. Two samples of undergraduate women (n = 93, n = 111) completed self-report questionnaires assessing self-objectification, body shame, anorexic and bulimic symptoms, and dietary restraint. Findings in both samples supported the mediational model. A...
524 Citations Download PDF Cite
2004 in Eating Disorders [IF: 1.35]
Nicole Hawkins1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
P. Scott Richards25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Brigham Young University),
H. Mac Granley2
Estimated H-index: 2
... more
The purpose of this study was to experimentally examine the effects of exposure to the thin-ideal body image on women's affect, self-esteem, body satisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, and level of internalization of the thin-ideal. College women (N = 145) were randomly exposed to photographs from popular magazines containing either thin-ideal images or neutral images. Exposure to thin-ideal magazine images increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood states, and eating disorder symptoms and d...
154 Citations Source Cite
2015 in Psychological Assessment [IF: 3.37]
Lauren M. Schaefer8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of South Florida),
Natasha L. Burke4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of South Florida),
J. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(University of South Florida)
... more
74 Citations Source Cite
Lisa M. Groesz1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Kenyon College),
Michael P. Levine29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Kenyon College),
Sarah K. Murnen24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Kenyon College)
Objective The effect of experimental manipulations of the thin beauty ideal, as portrayed in the mass media, on female body image was evaluated using meta-analysis. Method Data from 25 studies (43 effect sizes) were used to examine the main effect of mass media images of the slender ideal, as well as the moderating effects of pre-existing body image problems, the age of the participants, the number of stimulus presentations, and the type of research design. Results Body image was significantly m...
1,140 Citations Source Cite
Rachel M. Calogero27
Estimated H-index: 27
(University of Kent),
Sylvia Herbozo11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of South Florida),
J. Kevin Thompson70
Estimated H-index: 70
(University of South Florida)
Little is known about the effects of receiving compliments about appearance. An ethnically diverse sample of 220 college women completed self-report measures of appearance commentary, trait self-objectification, body surveillance, and body dissatisfaction. Results indicated that the impact of appearance criticisms and compliments, but not their frequency, predicted higher body surveillance and more body dissatisfaction. Moderated mediation analyses indicated that increased body surveillance part...
79 Citations Source Cite
  • References (37)
  • Cited By (6)
2018 in Frontiers in Psychology [IF: 2.09]
Rotem Kahalon2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Tel Aviv University),
Nurit Shnabel15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Tel Aviv University),
Julia C. Becker19
Estimated H-index: 19
(University of Osnabrück)
This paper provides an organizing framework for the experimental research on the effects of state self-objectification on women. We explain why this body of work, which had grown rapidly in the last 20 years, departs from the original formulation of objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). We compare the different operationalizations of state self-objectification and examine how they map onto its theoretical definition, concluding that the operationalizations have focused mostly on ...
1 Citations Source Cite
Ian P. Bigley (University of Nevada, Reno), James M. Leonhardt1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Nevada, Reno)
Source Cite
2018 in Gender & Society [IF: 2.36]
Sangeetha Madhavan20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Maryland, College Park),
Shelley Clark17
Estimated H-index: 17
(McGill University),
Yuko Hara (University of Maryland, College Park)
In most contexts, emotional support is crucial for the well-being of low-income single women and their children. Support from women may be especially important for single mothers because of precarious ties to their children’s fathers, the prevalence of extended matrifocal living arrangements, and gendered norms that place men as providers of financial rather than emotional support. However, in contexts marked by economic insecurity, spatial dispersion of families, and changing gender norms and k...
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2018 in BMC Public Health [IF: 2.42]
Michelle Raggatt (Burnet Institute), Cassandra J. C. Wright5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Monash University),
Elise R. Carrotte7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Burnet Institute)
... more
Background Fitspiration is a popular social media trend containing images, quotes and advice related to exercise and healthy eating. This study aimed to 1) describe the types of fitspiration content that users access and how they engage with content, 2) investigate the disordered eating and exercise behaviours and psychological distress of individuals who access fitspiration, and 3) understand the perceived influence of fitspiration on health and wellbeing.
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2018 in Body Image [IF: 3.60]
Scott Griffiths13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Melbourne),
David Castle56
Estimated H-index: 56
(University of Melbourne),
Mitchell Cunningham (University of Sydney)... more
Abstract Thinspiration and fitspiration are classes of social media content characterised by idealised depictions of excessively thin and overtly fit/lean bodies, respectively. It is currently unknown whether and how exposure to thinspiration and fitspiration relates to symptom severity within high-risk clinical populations. Thus, in a clinical sample of individuals with eating disorders, we evaluated a model explaining how exposure to thinspiration and fitspiration relates to eating disorder sy...
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2018 in Fat Studies
Jennifer B. Webb11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of North Carolina at Charlotte),
Erin Vinoski Thomas (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Courtney B. Rogers1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
... more
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