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.

 

The Power of Positivity

According to new research, telling someone who is in distress something very simple, like “I understand why you feel that way,” can actually help people feel better.

During the study participants described something from their real life that had made them angry.

When researchers didn’t show support or understanding for the participants’ anger the participant showed decline in positive emotions. On the other hand, when a researcher validated the anger the participants were saying their positive emotions seemed to stay the same.

Study participants also reported dips in their entire mood as they retold the event that had angered them. Only those who were validated reported feeling any recovery in good mood.

There was no notable difference found in participants negative emotions. Researchers say this speaks to how powerful focusing on protecting positivity can be.

While it is really important to help people experiencing anxiety, fear or depression but the practice can also help people explore positive emotions such as love, flexibility, optimism or curiosity.