Start Date

30-4-2021 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Social Work

Faculty Mentor

Rachel Casey, PhD, MSW

Keywords

Fatphobia, Social Media, Body Image, Generation X, Weight Stigma, Body Image Dissatisfaction, Facebook, Social Comparison, Eating Disorders, Midlife

Abstract

Social media has been found to directly affect body image dissatisfaction (BID), which is defined as a discrepancy between how a person views their weight, shape and size, and what is indicated by objective measures (Silva et al., 2011). Previous studies on body image and social media have mostly been limited to women and girls (Ginsberg et al., 2015), and little research is available for individuals past early adulthood. The current study surveyed individuals from Generation X, defined as anyone born between 1965 and 1980. In addition, this study recruited participants from all genders, asking participants to self-identify as male, female, or non-binary. Our team hopes to fill in current gaps in the literature relative to the study of BID in an older generation and among people of all genders. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three mock Facebook pages; one containing body positive posts, one depicting fatphobic media, and a third with neutral images to act as a control group. Pre and post tests were used to gather information about participants’ BID before and after viewing the Facebook pages. We hypothesized that individuals exposed to the fatphobic page would report higher levels of posttest BID when compared with their pretests. Additionally, we expected that individuals in the neutral and body positive conditions would show less variation between pretest and posttest BID.

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Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Impact of Viewing Fatphobic Messages on Facebook in Generation X

Social media has been found to directly affect body image dissatisfaction (BID), which is defined as a discrepancy between how a person views their weight, shape and size, and what is indicated by objective measures (Silva et al., 2011). Previous studies on body image and social media have mostly been limited to women and girls (Ginsberg et al., 2015), and little research is available for individuals past early adulthood. The current study surveyed individuals from Generation X, defined as anyone born between 1965 and 1980. In addition, this study recruited participants from all genders, asking participants to self-identify as male, female, or non-binary. Our team hopes to fill in current gaps in the literature relative to the study of BID in an older generation and among people of all genders. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three mock Facebook pages; one containing body positive posts, one depicting fatphobic media, and a third with neutral images to act as a control group. Pre and post tests were used to gather information about participants’ BID before and after viewing the Facebook pages. We hypothesized that individuals exposed to the fatphobic page would report higher levels of posttest BID when compared with their pretests. Additionally, we expected that individuals in the neutral and body positive conditions would show less variation between pretest and posttest BID.

 

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