The influence of social media and fashion magazines on body image of culturally and racially diverse young women
Mass media is considered to be the most pervasive cause of body dissatisfaction (Tiggemann, 2011). Body image and physical attractiveness are typically determined by weight and body type and the ideals for an attractive physique vary from culture to culture. The primary purpose of this study was to focus on female individuals and the effects that media exposure (in fashion magazines and a variety of social media) has on their body image. The secondary purpose was to examine differences in body image perceptions based on ethnic background (African-American, Asian-American, Arab-American, Euro-American, Hispanic-American, and mixed race). The sample consisted of 742 females between the ages of 19 and 25 years old. The body dissatisfaction findings present a convincing argument that the increase in body dissatisfaction in females is mostly prevalent when exposed to certain media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and fashion magazines, and not when exposed to YouTube and Pinterest. Results of chi-square analysis showed that African-American and Arab-American young females were found to have significantly more positive body image than Euro-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic-American females.