Kathryn Bell



Document Type



Social media has grown in popularity over the past few years and seems to be almost everywhere in society. This research analyzes connections between the increased available social media outlets and one’s own perception of their body in relation to what they are seeing in social media messages and images. The main focus is on female body image and whether or not social media causes negative body image and body dissatisfaction. A survey was constructed to collect data on current female college students and their perceptions of body image. Participation in the survey was anonymous and voluntary. Participants were female college students ranging between the ages of 18-23 who are members of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority at Bridgewater State University. In addition to the data from the survey, additional research was collected and analyzed from academic sources, articles, and books that further supported the research question. The research and data look at how female body image differs and is influenced by the social media outlets that participants are exposed to. Many findings concluded that there is a correlation between social media and negative body image but social media does not directly cause negative body image. Rates of negative body image among social media users were higher based on the user’s own internalization of messages and images. The higher one’s internalization level, the more likely they were to experience negative body image and body dissatisfaction.



Thesis Comittee

Kim MacInnis (Thesis Director)

Michele Wakin

Kimberly Fox

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

Included in

Sociology Commons