Olivia Ciampaglia

Research Project

How the Body is Presented on Social Media


Age: 22

I am a 4th year Professional Communications student studying at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Research Summary

In today’s digital age, social media platforms play a significant role in shaping perceptions of the body and influencing the mental well-being of young adults. This capstone project delves into the influence of social media on body image and self-esteem among teenagers and young adults. Through a social media analysis encompassing 55 links from influencer platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and others, we examined how the body is portrayed in the media. Posts from influencers specializing in various topics, including body image, fitness, fashion, cosmetics, and nutrition, were meticulously analyzed for speech, body language, clothing, eye contact, setting, and engagement. Our study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of individuals’ attitudes and perspectives regarding body image across diverse social media platforms. The research question guiding our investigation is: To what extent has exposure to idealized standards through social media affected the self-esteem of teenagers and young adults, considering factors such as comparison, peer feedback, and the use of filters and editing tools? Through this exploration, we aim to shed light on the complex interplay between social media, body image, and mental well-being, ultimately contributing to discussions surrounding digital literacy and mental health awareness.

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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