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Instagram and body image: Motivation to conform to the “Instabod” and consequences on young male wellbeing

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elena Chatzopoulou, Dr Raffaele Filieri

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Abstract

© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Consumer Affairs published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Council on Consumer Interests. The current paper explores how male Instagram users' (MIU) perceptions of body image and behavior are affected by the exposure to fitness hashtags, and the consequences on their wellbeing. For this purpose, in-depth interviews were conducted with #fitfam MIU with different levels of engagement. Low-engagement MIU with low body-esteem long for the “instabod” and engage in body transformation efforts to follow the fitness trend popularized by Instagram, to emulate peers and Instagram celebrities, to gain popularity and to appear successful. Instagram community members use positive and negative reinforcements to strengthen body internalization. The body transformation effort motivates low-engagement MIU to engage more, which has various effects on wellbeing: on one side, they feel anxious and in competition with other peers which often leads to muscle dysmorphia symptoms; on the other side, they feel more masculine with higher self-confidence, they have higher motivation to stay fit and to eat healthily.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Chatzopoulou E, Filieri R, Dogruyol SA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Consumer Affairs

Year: 2020

Volume: 54

Issue: 4

Pages: 1270-1297

Print publication date: 01/12/2020

Online publication date: 13/07/2020

Acceptance date: 13/07/2020

ISSN (print): 0022-0078

ISSN (electronic): 1745-6606

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/joca.12329

DOI: 10.1111/joca.12329


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