Increasingly, sports and fitness brands are using a variety of social media platforms. Instagram has come to the fore in the area of fitness, asserting itself as the de facto channel for users to catalogue their athletic activities, and offering inspirational training advice to followers. Considering this increasingly-popular ‘fitspiration’ trend, we see a significant impact upon young female users self-esteem, specifically in relation to their perception of body imagery. Hence, this paper will develop understanding of fitness brands’ social media activities by investigating the impact of Instagram upon the selfesteem of young women. Nascent literature has examined influence upon self-esteem among women throughout a variety of advertising mediums, however, none have explored the connection between self-esteem and social media. Accordingly, semistructured interviews with female sports enthusiasts are proposed to uncover opinions and perceptions relating to their use of Instagram. Initial findings reveal a strong correlation between participant perception of the ‘fitspiration’ social media accounts they subscribe to, as well as the impact upon their self-esteem. Ultimately, this paper makes two theoretical contributions relating to the effect of social media upon female self-esteem, as well as contributing to a wider debate of body image within a modern digital economy.
Goldstraw, Dee and Keegan, Brendan James, "Instagram’s ‘Fitspiration’ Trend and Its Effect on Young Women’s Self-Esteem" (2016). BLED 2016 Proceedings. 35.