Positive Body Image
Although there has been a significant increase in rates of social media use, few studies have explored the role of social networking on body image. The few studies available have varied findings ranging from social media increases, body image and weight satisfaction (Rutledge, Gillmor, Gillen, 2013) to it decreases body image (Tiggerman & Miller, 2010 & Tiggemann & Slater, 2013). There are varying findings on the association between body image and social media. However, prior research suggests a strong relationship between body dissatisfaction and media exposure (Dalley, Buunk, Umit, 2009; Bessenoff, 2006; Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2004; Posavac, Posavac & Weigel, 2001; Van den Berg et al., 2007; Yamamiya, Cash, Melnyk, Posavac & Posavac, 2005). Social media is associated with both increases in body image and body dissatisfaction (Gonzales & Hancock, 2011; Kalpidou, et al., 2011) as such, this study seeks to explore the association between social media and positive and negative body image.
Another variable identified as influencing body image is an individual’s body mass index. Higher BMI’s are associated with higher rates of body dissatisfaction in males and females (Ålgars, et al., 2009; Cortese, 2010 Erbil, 2013; Watkins, Christie & Chally, 2008). While underweight males report higher rates of body dissatisfaction. This trend is not observed in women. Lower BMIs in women are associated with greater positive body image (Swami et al,