Does Facebook Make Women Feel Bad About Their Bodies?
The mediated version of what women should look like has always been under scrutiny, particularly looking at actresses and fashion models. But what about body image from social networks and friends? A recent study by researchers in the United Kingdom and United States, found that more time on Facebook could lead to more negative feelings and more comparisons to the bodies of friends.
Petya Eckler, University of Strathclyde; Yusuf Kalyango Jr., Ohio University; and Ellen Paasch, University of Iowa will present their findings at the 64th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Seattle, WA.
The researchers surveyed 881 college women about their Facebook use, eating and exercise habits, and body image. They were able to predict how often women felt negatively about their own bodies after looking at someone else’s photos or posts, and how often women compared their own bodies to those of their friends.
The findings also showed that more time spent on Facebook was associated with more negative feelings and more comparisons to the bodies of friends. They also found that for women who want to lose weight, more time on Facebook led to more attention being paid to physical appearance. This included attention to one’s body and clothing.
Previous studies have examined college or adolescent girls and the effect of Facebook on users’ body image over non-users’. However, this is the first study to link time spent on Facebook to poor body image.
Number of breast implant surgeries performed in 2010
Number of those surgeries performed on patients 65 and older
Number of those surgeries performed on patients 18 and younger
Percentage of patients with breast implants who will need them removed within ten years because of rupture, hardening of the tissue around the implant, and other complications (according to a recent FDA report)
Number of nose jobs performed last year
Number of nose jobs performed on patients 18 or younger
Percentage of potential nose job patients who have moderate to severe symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder (according to a recent study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery)
Number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on patients 65 and older in 2010 (including 26,635 facelifts and 24,783 cosmetic eyelid operations)
Percentage of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on women in 2010
Number of members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in 1967 (the year it was founded)
Number of members today
Percentage of members of ASAPS who are women
Dollars that Americans spent on cosmetic procedures in 2010
Unless otherwise noted, numbers are from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Facebook linked to poor body image?