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Pseudonym

How does social media affect people's body image?

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Last night I got an email from a researcher at Waikato Uni, Darren Elliott. He's doing his PhD with a study of social media sites and body image, and he needs our help...

 

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Kia ora Gymnation,  

 

Together with Geoff Lealand and Lisa Perrott in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato, I am researching and writing about perceptions of body shape and image, and the role of the media in shaping or reinforcing such perceptions. I am focusing on notions of body and gender, with particular attention to the connections between perceptions of the body and masculinity/maleness (which is a rather under-investigated area of life which I am rectifying). As a personal trainer I see first hand just how widespread issues around negative body image are and just how problematic it is. 

 

This research has the full approval of the University of Waikato Human Ethics Committee, and I am sending you a link to the questionnaire with the hope that Gymnation might be interested in distributing the questionnaire with anyone who may be willing to share their experiences and knowledge surrounding this topic.

 

I would really appreciate your participation as this is an important area of research for men and women. 

 

Questionnaire link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MS9FQLF

 

Note:  participants need to be 18 years or older.

 

Best wishes,

Darren Elliott

 

He seems like a decent chap, so it would be awesome if you could spend a moment helping him out:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MS9FQLF

 

Then tell us what you think here... How does social media affect people's body image?

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I assume most male social-media posters are on juice, regardless of whether they claim natty or not. Therefore I find them interesting, but not relevant to my own body image. My wife's opinion is worth far more to me than some pin-up anyway, and she likes a cuddly stomach =D

 

 

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I started doing the survey but stopped halfway through the first page as I was finding it difficult to answer the questions. I  see a whole range of bodytypes on my Facebook with none being especially more frequent, which is pretty much just pics the people I'm facebook friends with post of themselves or are tagged in. This makes question 3 and the proceeding questions (on page 1 at least) pretty much unanswerable.

 

Either it's a poorly written survey, or perhaps it's only designed for people who use Facebook very differently to me.

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Yeah, this ^ X1000

 

Its more of an instagram type study for people following a lot bodybuilders etc?

 

i got to this same question, and it just doesn't seem relevant to me.

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I keep my fb rather limited however have joined instagram recently. In fact after i read a post where gymnation had an instagram page. As for the inpact, i have started following some well known bodybuilders/trainers/nutrition companies etc... and as a result see a lot of marketing imagery depicting healthy lifestyles, bs example 'chow down on these vitamin d capsulse 3caps 3x daily and you too can be huge' with a really jacked up dude holding a small bottle in his hand that would look like a bucket in mine. Noticeably a lot of the supplement companies push supps but usually an 'enhanced' sized hulk saying its the best ever, sure thing nate so whybtake the horse strength good stuff that makes your ass look like the local pubs dart board. So yip youre right a bit of butt hurt knowing ill never be a mass monster like  ronnie coleman and im fine with that,but does grind me that it gets passed off as though the vegge capsule is going to add an inch on each arm by weeks end. Obviously exaggerating some of these lol i guess my outlook is the perception of perfection, expectation vs result. If society deems that i have to be arnie to be healthy im screwed thank goodness my mrs is happy with my current state and puts up with my aspirations of trying to be lean,muscular and in shape. If she had to start holding up IG pics as a yard stick id be up the creek without a paddle lol

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10 hours ago, PETN said:

I  see a whole range of bodytypes on my Facebook with none being especially more frequent, which is pretty much just pics the people I'm facebook friends with post of themselves or are tagged in. This makes question 3 and the proceeding questions (on page 1 at least) pretty much unanswerable.

I get what you mean. I don't know whether I see more bodybuilding-type physiques in my Facebook photos than the photos of all my other friends combined... but I can say that the bodybuilding physiques definitely make more of an impression on me than the "normal" physiques. So that's the basis I chose to interpret the survey.

 

Later on, they ask for comparison with other bodytypes you might also see on FB. So I think that's how they meant it to be interpreted.

 

 

1 hour ago, Biggerbythedaynz said:

does grind me that it gets passed off as though the vegge capsule is going to add an inch on each arm by weeks end.

To be fair, this is nothing new. I remember standing in a supplement store probably 15 years ago, holding a tub of MuscleTech, and laughing at the outrageous claims on the label. And to this day I have never bought a single muscle magazine for the same reason.

 

I think the only thing that's changed now is that social media makes this a lot more intrusive and harder to avoid.

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2 hours ago, Pseudonym said:

I get what you mean. I don't know whether I see more bodybuilding-type physiques in my Facebook photos than the photos of all my other friends combined... but I can say that the bodybuilding physiques definitely make more of an impression on me than the "normal" physiques. So that's the basis I chose to interpret the survey.

 

Later on, they ask for comparison with other bodytypes you might also see on FB. So I think that's how they meant it to be interpreted.

 

Ah yep, I removed most of the bodybuilding crap I had liked on my Facebook a few years ago as I imagined it would be a bit embarrassing being on FB at work on the computer and having the boss or whatever come talk to me about something and see a picture of some muscly guy in a speedo on my screen. Then probably go off and talk shit to people about about how I'm a weird c*nt looking at gay soft porn or something.

 

Another reason was that I was sick of all the advertising crap. Also I think most of the nz guys that have social media presences in the fitness industry are fucking losers. While some of their drama was amusing I didn't really give a shit about what they were up to or what their opinions were.

 

Another thing that fucked me off was seeing a bunch of faggots that don't even look like they lift posting pics of themselves wearing "fitwear" branded clothing or talking about how sick the new "raptors" are. If I was talking to someone about raptors I'd either be talking about birds of prey or the F-22 fighter aircraft named after then. Definitely not some shoe that looks like something a homosexual would dress up in for a mardi gras parade that also looks like it would be shithouse to lift in.

 

Anyway I deleted pretty much it all off my Facebook and definitely don't regret it. Just scrolled through 200 items on my fb newsfeed and didn't see anything  portraying any type of body image aside from a few sluts I know trying to look hotter than they are IRL on their fb profile pics which is pretty much standard practice now, especially with all the easy to use image filters that these borderline whores now have access to.

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On 3/9/2017 at 12:32 AM, PETN said:

most of the nz guys that have social media presences in the fitness industry are fucking losers. While some of their drama was amusing I didn't really give a shit about what they were up to or what their opinions were.

 

Another thing that fucked me off was seeing a bunch of faggots that don't even look like they lift posting pics of themselves wearing "fitwear"

 

aside from a few sluts I know trying to look hotter than they are IRL on their fb profile pics which is pretty much standard practice now, especially with all the easy to use image filters that these borderline whores now have access to.

^social media in a nutshell

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On 3/7/2017 at 11:40 PM, Pseudonym said:

(which is a rather under-investigated area of life which I am rectifying)

There is a constantly growing body of work in this area.  I CBF making an effort but PubMed has 431 results for "body image social media".  Poking around would find plenty of on-point work.

 

Not clear how the results of this can have any weight.  Psychologists have been working on various aspects of self-image and body dysmorphia specifically for a long time, including the social media dimension.  OP is tackling this without psychology.

 

I'm sure it will be a hit with NZ Herald and such.

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