Social media thinspirational images can depress women

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Social media thinspirational images can depress women

Posted: 05/11/2015 01:32 PM IST
Social media thinspirational images can depress women

The thin women images on facebook and other social media sites can trigger body dissatisfaction and eating disorders among women, according to the study.

To prove this fact, doctoral candidate Jannath Ghaznavi and associate professor Laramie Taylor in the Department of Communication examined about 300 photographs from Twitter and Pinterest postings that used the terms "thinspiration" and/or "thinspo" to tag images and ideas promoting extreme thinness and often casting eating disorders in a positive light.

"Imagine a teenage girl or even a young woman looking for inspiration using terms such as 'attractive,' 'fit,' or 'pretty,'" Ghaznavi said. "She will likely find images of headless, scantily clad, sexualized women and their body parts." Images from Twitter, popular among younger audiences, were most likely to be cropped to remove heads and focus on specific body parts compared to Pinterest, according to the study.

"A young woman looking at these image may think that's what she should look like," Ghaznavi said. "That could prompt these girls and women to resort to extreme dieting, excessive exercise or other harmful behaviors in order to achieve this thin ideal."

Their paper "Bones, body parts, and sex appeal: An analysis of thinspiration images on popular social media" was recently published in Body Image: An International Journal of Research.

By Lizitha

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