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Social media posts exposing ultra-beautiful images as fake can improve women's body image: Study

ANI | Updated: Dec 08, 2019 15:11 IST

Washington D.C.[US], Dec 8 (ANI): A newly published research has suggested that posts exposing ultra-beautiful images of people on social media as 'fake' can improve women's body image.
Various studies have demonstrated that viewing a steady stream of such images of people on social media sites can have a negative impact on body image as you start comparing yourself to them. However, a new study tested the possibility that identifying perfected images as fake could disrupt the comparison process, and may block any negative impact on body image, reported Psychology Today.
To conduct the study, the researchers collected a set of 15 "Instagram vs Reality" posts and randomly assigned participants to view one of three versions of these images. The participants of the research were 305 US women, aged between 18 and 30.
The research results revealed that women's body dissatisfaction increased if they only looked at the 'ideal' versions of the Instagram images. The research found that increases in body dissatisfaction were particularly notable in women who reported comparing themselves to the images.
On the other hand, women who saw the 'Instagram vs reality' posts and the women who saw only the 'real' side of the posts showed decreases in body dissatisfaction.
Researchers asked the participants whether they believed the snaps they saw were promoting a specific message and if so, what that message was. Over 80 per cent of women, after seeing the side-by-side 'Instagram vs Reality' images, opined that the message being promoted was that Instagram is unrealistic.
In the 'real' condition, over 86 per cent believed the pictures were promoting a message of body acceptance or body positivity.
In the 'ideal' condition, nearly 44 per cent believed the images were sending a message about feeling confident and looking good. However, about 25 per cent felt that the women in the images wanted to show off their bodies.
Moreover, the authors of the research noted that #instagramvsreality posts are rarely inclusive of the range of women's bodies. (ANI)

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