Document Type



Social media is marketed as a way to connect and share with others all over the world—a fast way to connect to grandma down in Florida, do research from a university on the other side of the world, or even spark environmental change across the globe. So how, at the same time, can this be a harmful tool, one that has been identified as a cause of depression and even, in some cases, suicide in young girls? Social media sites like Instagram, FaceBook, and TikTok encourage users to post pictures and videos that show your “best self” alongside a rating system of visible comments and like counts on each post. While social comparison is not new, social media has amplified it allowing people to compare themselves to hundreds of people in with endless scrolling and the expectation to “be liked” by everyone. Research has shown social media comparison impacts individuals’ body image, particularly how it is affected by viewing other people’s bodies that fit societal expectations when theirs may not. Several studies note specifically how social media negatively impacts adolescent girls and their body image and self-worth through various trends and personalized critiques. Through the examination of fitspiration posts and food shaming hashtags, I detail examples of negative body image in the demographic of adolescent girls, and I call for awareness and changes in social media.


Communication Studies

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Michele Meek, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Jessica Birthisel, Committee Member
Dr. Thomasena Shaw, Committee Member

Included in

Social Media Commons