The Impact of Social Media on the Female Body Image: Research Proposal


Body image is such a significant and unrecognized issue worldwide, and can have profound effects on both men and women however for the purpose of my research proposal I’ll be focusing on Females.

There are so many statistics showing high percentages of how women feel after being compared to these unrealistic targets. Teens can now cover up pimples, whiten teeth and even airbrush with the swipe of a finger, curating their own image to become prettier and thinner to appeal to these unrealistic targets set by models, celebrities and micro celebrities.

Walk through any university campus and you will find young females splitting their time between using their laptops, smartphones and tablets. The role of media today is increasingly critical, as it can now interfere in everyday life through several platforms and devices. I have chosen this issue to research in depth for my proposed project as social media is distorting young females aged 18-24 with the misconception of unrealistic standards.

To further my research and gain more accurate results, I’m aiming to incorporate my classmates and BCM212 students to take part in vigorous surveys and small group discussions to gain a real understanding on how UOW students feel about Instagram and the negative impacts this platform has on females.

Questions which I will ask myself, does the media play an active role in influencing a female’s body image?  My focus will be on Instagram and how this media platform shapes the minds of young females with their dissatisfied appearance and is the media to blame? These are questions I’m going to be capturing with quantitative data research.

I would also want to understand how Instagram perceives the idea of certain lifestyles using trends, micro celebrities and hashtags to capture the minds of 18-24 year olds. I also want to gain an understanding on how the audience I’m targeting perceive Instagram and the unrealistic standards Instagram portrays and is it just Instagram or are there other social media platforms which are following this ‘trend’?

Since I’ll be looking at Instagram in depth I will incorporate other social media platforms such as magazines, facebook, advertising and television to compare results and see if other platforms have the same effect on young females as Instagram does.


Klein, Kendyl M., “Why Don’t I Look Like Her? The Impact of Social Media on Female Body Image” (2013). CMC Senior Theses. Paper 720.

How social media is a toxic mirror (Time, 20th August 2016) Rachel Simmons (accessed 12th March 2017)




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