Facebook Makes Girls Feel Fat

A picture of a young woman with a phone

Mind the [thigh] gap.

Facebook once again drawing concern and ire.


“Appearance exposure” on the Internet has been linked to body image disturbance among adolescent girls. A new study that links specific Facebook activities, but not overall Facebook use to body dissatisfaction and a drive for thinness in teen girls is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

(Aphex Twin’s take on the body image issue from before Lily Allen had even ‘quit’ the music business for the first time.)

Poor body image

In the article “Facebook Photo Activity Associated with Body Image Disturbance in Adolescent Girls,” Evelyn Meier andA picture of a young woman with a phone James Gray, PhD, American University, Washington, DC, present the details of a study that identified an association between Facebook time spent on photo activity and poor body image among adolescent girls who internalize a thin ideal physique. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for eating disorder prevention programs and understanding the impact of social networking sites.

Eating Disorders

“Given the connection between eating disorders and body image distortion and dissatisfaction, it is important to identify contributing factors in this particularly vulnerable group,” says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA. “By identifying these factors, we can move towards designing more effective prevention programs.”

The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Photo: Carl Byron Batson. Not to be used or reproduced without prior permission

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