How Women View Body Positivity Posts on Social Media

A new study found that Instagram users who sense self-promotion or corporate marketing underlying a body positivity message may be put off by the blended messaging.

During the research women viewed manufactured Instagram posts that borrowed body positivity messages and hashtags (like #bopo) from actual users. All the posts contained the original body positivity message, but some posts also asked viewers for a like or a follow or advertised for a product or service.

The researchers determined that participants found those posts with self-promotion or advertising to be less appropriate morally and/or insincere in the poster’s support of the body positivity movement in comparison with posts that weren’t promotion or advertising.

Self-promotion was consistently viewed by participants to be less negative than corporate advertising but viewers didn’t consider corporate marketing to offensive or inappropriate, according to the study’s authors.